Havana Baptist Cemetery

The Baptist Cemetery of Havana is one of the 21 cemeteries that exist in the Cuban capital . Built at the end of the 1880s, it was inaugurated on February 1 , 1887 with the aim of serving as a final resting place for the Baptists who lived in Cuba and who, until then, were buried in the cemeteries administered by the Church . Catholic , in secluded places intended for “non-believers”. Currently it is one of the Havana cemeteries that still continue to provide services.

History

The Baptist Convention Association of Western Cuba is founded and registered in the General Registry of Associations of the Ministry of Justice on February 6, 1905. But the history of the Baptists in Cuba was much older, considering its initiation in the second half of the century. XIX precisely by missionary pastors coming mostly from the United States. The creation of the Association allowed Cuban Baptists to value the importance of joining efforts to cooperate in the fulfillment of their objectives.

The Baptist Cemetery, however, was built and inaugurated 18 years before the association was formalized, on February 1, 1887. Although there was a space in the Colón Cemetery destined for non-Catholics, the fundamental causes that originated its foundation were the high cost of burials in the Catholic cemetery and the deplorable conditions in which these deceased were buried.

Officially built under the Royal Order of August 6, 1884 that dictated the measures for the application of Article 11 of the Spanish Constitution and in accordance with it, the construction of Cemeteries for non-Catholic sects, with no other limitation than putting it in knowledge of the local authority 48 hours before being opened to the public

Cemetery entrance in the early 20th century

The new cemetery for the Baptists was reached by following 2 paths that bordered that of Colón: Mordazo and Callejón de los Protestantes; In its beginnings, it was 8 meters south of the Colón cemetery. It occupied part of the land belonging to the “Los Zapotes” and “Las Torres” farms.

Its interior was designed in the form of a trapezoid, with a 4-meter main door with a double-leaf gate. The main street, starting from the portal, described an irregular circle at a certain distance from the border fence of the holy field that returned to the starting point, thus allowing the entire area to be covered. It was divided into three sections or departments to the right, center and left, subdivided in turn by paddocks, separated from each other by wide streets 3 meters wide planted by aralias.

Due to economic issues, its administration chose to mortgage part of the area that it occupied; and a short time later he lost her by not being able to fulfill his commitment; financing the North American Baptist direction the rest that managed to conserve and that we know today. Maintains its trapezoidal shape; its northern limit is about 200 meters from the south gate of the Colón cemetery, and its dimensions are approximately 248 meters from north to south on the east wing, and 4 irregular sections on the west. Most of its perimeter wall adjoins the patios of surrounding buildings, such as the “Antonio Maceo” granite factory, and the houses around it.

 

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