San Juan Cemetery

The cemetery is planned in the city by legal requirement, which forced creation in all populations of the kingdom. Initially it was thought of a plain near the chapel, but the unevenness of the terrain and health considerations made this location inadvisable. A suitable plot of land was purchased, more distant, and work was begun on the site. On 4th of July of 1814, it was consecrated and inaugurated.

The cemetery is a large rectangular area divided by an octagonal axis that distributes it, in turn, into two other rectangular surfaces. A longitudinal road lined with cypress trees leads to the chapel through the main entrance. As a result, the chapel is located practically in the centre of the cemetery, separating the oldest part – which was inaugurated in 1814 – from the site that was acquired in 1903 to enlarge the enclosure. In the two areas that extend in front of the chapel, bordering the path that leads to them, there are beautiful stone and marble graves from the Romantic period. In the left corner of the head of the cemetery stands the interesting family pantheon of the Bretillards; the right one is occupied by a small compartment for non-Catholics. The enclosure is completely enclosed by a masonry enclosure but, as is characteristic, on one of its fronts the main entrance opens up, flanked by two sturdy pilasters of carved stone.

In 1903 the original site was extended with the acquisition of a new plot of land that was practically the same size as the previous one. During the Second Republic, in accordance with current regulations, the small non-Catholic cemetery was incorporated into the rest of the site after the corresponding separation wall was demolished.

The cemetery’s chapel was built with neoclassical inspiration, referring us to a markedly historicist period, with great roots in the Archipelago. It is conceived as a small Greek temple, but the great decorative simplicity and the architectural elements used express a language strongly conditioned by the neoclassical style.

At the same time, on 8th May of 2000, the Church of San Juan Bautista was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, with the category of monument; the aforementioned cemetery also received the same protection.

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