The Chapel of Bones, Capela dos Ossos in Évora

The Chapel of Bones is one of the most popular monuments in Évora, Portugal. It is located in the Church of San Francisco – Igreja de São Francisco. It was built in the seventeenth century by initiative of three monks who, in the spirit of the time (religious counter-reform, according to the regulations of the Council of Trent), intended to convey the message of the transience of life, as appears from the famous warning the entry: “We bones that are here for your hope.” The chapel, built in the primitive dorm fradesco site is formed by three ships of 18.70 m long and 11m wide, entering the light of three small slits on the left.

Its walls and the eight pillars are “decorated” with bones and skulls connected by brown cement. The vaults are of brick plastered in white, painted with allegorical motifs to death. It is a monument of a penitential architectural arches decorated with skulls queues, cornices and white ships. Was constructed with around 5000 skeletons, from the cemeteries, located in churches and convents of the city. The chapel was dedicated to the Senhor dos Passos, Lord of the Steps, known in the city image as Senhor Jesus da Casa dos Ossos, Lord Jesus House of Bones, impressing with the expression that represents the suffering of Christ, in their walk with the cross up to Calvary.

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