The cemetery features hundreds of above ground tombs, many with elaborate sculptures and other decorative artwork embellishing the vaults. There is also a large private mausoleum in the back.
Due to the city being built on a swamp, the water table is just below ground, making earthen graves difficult. They would often fill with water almost as fast as they're dug. Even after burial, heavy rainfall would saturate the water tables, literally forcing coffins to float out of the ground. Looking for a better solution, a vault system that was popular in Spain at the time was adopted for those who wished to be buried stylishly above ground.
The walls of some above ground cemeteries were made of economical vaults stacked on top of one another, while wealthier families could afford the larger, ornate tombs with crypts. Many family tombs look like miniature houses, complete with iron fences. The rows of tombs resemble residential streets, bringing rise to them being known as cities of the dead.
Tombs are used repeatedly by families for generations. This is accomplished by placing the remains of the previously dead family member in specially made burial bags, which are then placed to the side or back of the vault. The coffin is then destroyed, and the vault is now ready for a newly deceased family member.
- Many of the names inscribed on the tombs correspond with last names listed in the Mafia III Credits.