Posts tagged ‘capela dos ossos’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of This World

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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March 2, 2018 at 8:28 am 10 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

Chapel Sign Bones on the Wall

Chapel Altar

A Monk’s Skeleton More Bones on the Wall

In the 15th century, the Franciscan monks in Evora, Portugal built the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones). They used the skulls and bones of their departed brothers as well as those collected from local cemeteries to adorn its walls and pillars. It was to remind the visitors of the inevitability of death and to give the poorest of the poor the opportunity to be buried in a holy place.

The place was eerie cold. I still feel the jitters when i think about it.

November 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm 29 comments

From The Book Thief

i have hated the words and i have loved them, and i hope i have made them right.

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