Chapel of bones

chapel of bones

What is the Capela dos Ossos?

The Capela dos Ossos (English: Chapel of Bones) is one of the best-known monuments in Évora, Portugal. It is a small interior chapel located next to the entrance of the Church of St. Francis. The Chapel gets its name because the interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones.

What is the significance of the chapel of bones?

It is said that the monks’ reasoning for the chapel was to bring their brothers to the contemplation of the ephemeral, volatile, and transitory nature of life. Photograph of one of the columns of the Chapel of Bones, decorated with human bones and skulls. Church of San Francisco, Evora, Portugal. (Francisco Antunes / CC BY 2.0 )

Is the chapel of bones in Portugal worth a visit?

It may sound gruesome, and it certainly is a little strange, but visiting the Chapel of Bones in Evora in Portugal (Capela dos Ossos in Portuguese) is something you really should do – if only to get a sense of your own mortality.

What is bones chapel in Evora famous for?

It is dedicated to Senhor dos Passos, a character representing quite impressively the suffering of Christ in his walk towards Calvary with the cross on his back. Bones Chapel is one of the highlights of our Evora Tour with a local guide.

How did the Capela dos Ossos get its name?

The Chapel gets its name because the interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones. The Capela dos Ossos was built by Franciscan monks. An estimated 5,000 corpses were exhumed to decorate the walls of the chapel.

Did you know there is a ‘chapel of bones’ in Portugal?

But some creative designer conceived of and created just such morbid décor for a chapel in Portugal. The Capela dos Ossos (which translates as ‘Chapel of Bones’) is a chapel located in Évora, in the southern central part of Portugal.

How many bodies were exhumed for the Capela dos Ossos?

For the Capela dos Ossos, an estimated 5000 corpses were exhumed, and then used by the Franciscans to decorate the walls of the chapel. According to legend, these bones once belonged to soldiers who died at a major battle, or were the victims of a plague.

How much does it cost to visit Capela dos Ossos?

The entrance fee for the Capela dos Ossos is €2.00/€1.50/€1.50 (Adults/Children/Seniors). There is an additional €1 fee to take pictures. The chapel is open daily from 9:00-12:50 and then from 14:30-17:45 (17:15 in winter).

How do you get to the bone chapel in Lisbon?

The bone chapel is located at the back of the church and, to get to it, you’ll need to go through the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church. The church itself isn’t quite as interesting, but is still worthy of a visit and you entrance covers both the Nossa Senhora do Carmo and the Capela dos Ossos.

Who built the chapel of bones in Portugal?

The Chapel of Bones in Évora, Portugal, is part of the larger Royal Church of St. Francis, and was constructed by Franciscan monks in the late 16th century.

What is the bone chapel in Faro?

The bone chapel in Faro is actually just a small part of a larger church, Nossa Senhora do Carmo. The exterior of Nossa Senhora do Carmo is done in a baroque style and I love the little pops of yellow around the upper windows. The church was completed in the earth 1700’s and the facade wasn’t completed until after the infamous 1755 earthquake.

Can you see the bones in the Capela dos Ossos?

While the bones in Évora’s Capela dos Ossos fill the walls and pillars, in this chapel in Faro, the bones form a continuous unit, from the walls to the vaulted ceiling, with no possible escape to look at. To complete the picture, several tomb slabs are part of the floor.

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