Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of This World

March 2, 2018 at 8:28 am 10 comments

Capela dos Ossos
Location: Capela dos Ossos, Évora, Portugal

One of the strangest sites that I had visited was Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in the Portuguese city of Évora, Portugal. As the name suggests, it’s a chapel whose walls are decorated by skulls and human bones from floor to ceiling.

The main entrance to the chapel bears the inscription, Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos (We, the bones that are here, await yours).

Capela dos Ossos
Capela dos Ossos Capela dos Ossos
Capela dos Ossos Capela dos Ossos

Click any picture to enlarge
It’s been said that sometime in the 16th century, the city’s cemeteries were running out of space. This necessitated removing an estimated 5,000 remains from older graves to make room for new ones.

As a result, the Franciscan monks built a chapel as a final resting place for the exhumed bodies. It was following the common belief among Catholics that the dead would be closer to God if they were kept in a sacred place. Rather than placing the remains in the ossuary, however, the monks decided to put them on display to remind the faithful of the ephemeral and transitory nature of life.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Leigh W. Smith  |  March 2, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Cool, but creepy. (Or creepy but cool.) Gives me a story idea; thanks for sharing, Plaridel!

    • 2. plaridel  |  March 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm


      awesome! i’d be delighted to read it when you post it online. 🙂

  • 3. pierrmorgan  |  March 2, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for the pingback, Plaridel. And your photos are definitely out of this world. They bend my mind…and bones!

    • 4. plaridel  |  March 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm


      you’re welcome. thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • 5. YesterdayAfter  |  March 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you so much for posting my link! Your post remind me that I have visited a couple of similar sacred places in my native country Italy in Naples the City I was born has several historical places one is “The Fontanelle Cemetery” Skulls from the plague of 1656 and the bombings of WWII united by a cult dedicated to caring for the ancient dead. And also The Catacombs of San Gennaro (St. Januarius) are considered by many to be the most significant paleo-Christian ruins in Italy south of Rome. These places are very creepy but interesting and intriguing to visit! 🙂

    • 6. plaridel  |  March 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm


      i’d been to naples but only for a day and had the opportunity to visit National Archaeological Museum and enjoy the local pizza. i won’t mind going back again. 🙂

  • […] Musings of a Random Mind Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of This World […]

    • 8. plaridel  |  March 3, 2018 at 8:58 am


      thanks for the pingback! much appreciated.

  • 9. Robert  |  March 16, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Very strange indeed! Maybe not out of this world, as Underworld?

    • 10. plaridel  |  March 16, 2018 at 9:56 am


      excellent point.


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