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The Panteón del Tepeyac is a cemetery said to have been founded in 1660 by the Knights of the Order of Guadalupe. According to an older legend, it began with the interment of Juan Diego himself who died in 1548, some 18 years after the famous apparitions of 1531. 1660 is the date on the oldest grave markers at the site. But some historians believe it was founded as much as a century later with the Cerrito Chappel. It’s today a civil cemetery and requires permission to be visited.
The access gate, pictured, dates from 1865 when much of the plot was reorganized and improved. Most of those interred date from the colonial period. Perhaps best symbolized by the giant Angel of Silence sculpture, the cemetery also hosts a once much-visited statue of the Virgin of Lourdes. The graveyard is also the final resting place of former president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. That’s to mention but one famous grave among many.
A small site museum may be visited by appointment. Its two rooms include a history of the Cerro del Tepeyac, that is, the hill. A second room recounts the history of the cemetery. Most international visitors will notice the quite graveyard as something of a backdrop to the rest of the Basilica site. It can be glimpsed from multiple points in the surrounding hills, chapels, and walkways.