Find On MapFind On Map - Photo Gallery (9)

Chapel of Bones, Evora, Portugal

Chapel of Bones is another scary church that can be found in the city of Evora (Portugal). The St. Francisco church was built in 1460-1510. The word scary refers not to the whole church but to one of its chapels-Capella dos Ossos. When translated from Portuguese it means chapel of bones. This is not exaggerated: all the walls of the chapel are decorated with human skeletons, fastened with cement.

The church was built at the end of XV - beginning of XVI centuries in gothic style with the mixture of the Manueline (architectural style in Portugal in XV-XVI centuries ). The chapel itself was built by Franciscan monks in XVI century. From the very beginning the building had its mission: as in all countries in middle ages, in Portugal also plague and wars killed many people. As a result the cemeteries grew very fast, and soon the problem raised with storing the bones. At that time monks decided to build a chapel: old bones could be kept there at the same time showing the inevitability of death. As we can see the monks were quite sarcastic about the building and its mission. On one of the arcs there is a note: "Our bones are here. Waiting for yours". It should be mentioned that the bones of the "authors" themselves aren't presented on the walls of the chapel, but are buried in a white coffin.

There are about 5000 people's bones inside the chapel. All the skeletons were thoroughly treated with hydrated lime to make them snow-white. Broken bones or those that couldn't be used were crushed and added to the cement. Unlike the chapel, the main hall of the St. Francisco church is decorated quite luxuriously - golden altar and blue tiles on the walls.

By Sona Gasparian,


Browse Buildings (519) : # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z