E.J.Wilkins

13 Jan 2008 918 views
 
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photoblog image Évora

Évora


"Nos ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos"

"Our Bones that are here await yours"

This is the Bone Chapel at Ingreja Real de Sao Francisco (The Royal Church of St Francis) in Rua da República, Évora.

The chapel was built between 1460 and 1510, and during the 16th century was enhanced by monks who wanted those coming to the church to contemplate that life was transient. It's estimated that there are the bones of about five thousand individuals here. Some say they are monks, others that they are the skeletons of soldiers who died in battle. The long bones are stacked around the church, end outwards, while the skulls line the arches and 'decorate' the pillars. There are also two complete mummified corpses, one adult and one child.

It's not the most pleasant of places to visit. It is quite chilling and performs the monks' purpose quite well. People don't talk when they are looking, nor do they stay long. When I look at this picture I recall the smell.

I did take some pictures of the inside, but I'm not entirely comfortable with sharing them. It doesn't feel altogether right to share pictures of human remains, however old they may be.
.

Évora


"Nos ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos"

"Our Bones that are here await yours"

This is the Bone Chapel at Ingreja Real de Sao Francisco (The Royal Church of St Francis) in Rua da República, Évora.

The chapel was built between 1460 and 1510, and during the 16th century was enhanced by monks who wanted those coming to the church to contemplate that life was transient. It's estimated that there are the bones of about five thousand individuals here. Some say they are monks, others that they are the skeletons of soldiers who died in battle. The long bones are stacked around the church, end outwards, while the skulls line the arches and 'decorate' the pillars. There are also two complete mummified corpses, one adult and one child.

It's not the most pleasant of places to visit. It is quite chilling and performs the monks' purpose quite well. People don't talk when they are looking, nor do they stay long. When I look at this picture I recall the smell.

I did take some pictures of the inside, but I'm not entirely comfortable with sharing them. It doesn't feel altogether right to share pictures of human remains, however old they may be.
.

comments (23)

I've never visited this chapel. I guess you understand my reluctance to do so. Very brave of you wink It's a really nice capture and I love your explanation about the place.
EJWilkins: I wouldn't go again, but I'm glad we went there.
  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 13 Jan 2008, 01:39
Oh my, Ellie. I've never heard of such a place. I can only imagine what it must have felt like. Thanks for sharing what you could!
EJWilkins: Oh my is probably about the best thing to say, really. It's somewhere I wanted to see and experience, I wouldn't go back though. Even though it's been there for centuries it still seems a bit too voyeuristic.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 13 Jan 2008, 03:55
Good dof very interesting place a bit spooky thank you for the information
EJWilkins: It wasn't spooky, there was nothing of that there, it just wasn't very nice - but even then it was compelling. Hard to explain
  • Richa
  • United States
  • 13 Jan 2008, 04:10
Nice framing Ellie.Love the conrtast between the inside and outside here...
EJWilkins: I'm not sure what sort of lighting they used inside that gave this coloured glow.
very interesting!!! you are a brave woman!! what a message, "...pelos vossos esperamos".
EJWilkins: Yes, really makes you think when you see it
  • Aussie
  • Brisbane
  • 13 Jan 2008, 06:13
Lovely composition, it draws you in.
EJWilkins: Err, yes, the place had that sort of effect, Uncanny really
  • urban8
  • Stoke-lying-somewhere-over-the-River-Trent
  • 13 Jan 2008, 07:28
Lovely image, Ellie, quite a moving shot, but made much better for your commentary - which shows why the text is so important to give that extra dimension.
It drives me mad when I click on an interesting SC image and the person has not even added a title, nevermind anything else, so well done for this one!!
EJWilkins: I'm never sure how much to say with pictures. Sometimes I think it's worth putting a fair bit of detail otherwise, well, nobody will know anything about the place, will they? Also, the words would have been a mystery that I'd have had to try to explain umpteen times wink
  • Astrid
  • The Netherlands
  • 13 Jan 2008, 08:26
This is some story with this stunning picture, I can feel the atmosphere...and thanks for sharing
EJWilkins: I can feel the atmosphere too, each time I look at it. Thanks Astrid
  • anniedog
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 13 Jan 2008, 09:08
Sounds an interesting place to visit though I understand your reluctance to show the human remains pictures. I like the framing here.
Ingrid
EJWilkins: There was much more to the church than just this chapel, some fascinating archive material which I can share.
Great photograph, Ellie. Like the angle and the golden colour of the light. I can imagine this really was a `chilling` experience. (:o)
EJWilkins: It was chilling, wouldn't go back, but glad we went .. do you understand?
Nice one. Very rich.
EJWilkins: Yes, thanks
  • Pops
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 Jan 2008, 10:49
Always nice to read the history to photographs.
You captured this well with lots of depth
EJWilkins: Thanks Paul, I like adding some local info if I can, and I think this picture deserved it
What a wonderful image Ellie. Great depth. Thanks for the story of the place. You are brave!
EJWilkins: It was unnerving, but I didn't feel particularly brave when I was there wink
  • Ann
  • Sucé sur Erdre - France
  • 13 Jan 2008, 11:53
Special atmosphere, and nice colours ... I love this kind of buildings ...
EJWilkins: Yes, there was a special atmoshpere
  • tim
  • leeds, uk
  • 13 Jan 2008, 12:31
beautiful framing and colours Elliesmile
EJWilkins: Ta Tim smile
  • PhotoSam
  • London, U.K
  • 13 Jan 2008, 13:35
the golden tones inside are very attractive...
EJWilkins: Someting to do with the lighting they used inside, makes the place glow when seen from outside - odd
Sounds like quite an emotive place Ellie. Nice shot.
EJWilkins: No, it wasn't distressing at all, but it did make us all stop and think a bit, which was the intention. It wasn't gruesome or anything like that.
  • Jewlya
  • United States
  • 13 Jan 2008, 16:40
The color on the ceiling is stunning!
EJWilkins: Yes, the colour was unusual
Without your explanation I was thinking, what a nice building!
EJWilkins: It was a nice building though, so you're right - just what it contained that was different
Great shot ! For those who understand, "Nos ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos" says it all and for those of us don't, your note does.
The picture conveys depth..
EJWilkins: Yes, perhaps the building was originally designed to be inviting
I've seen photos of this place and things like that give me nightmares. I'm glad I was not unpleasantly surprised here.

This photo, I really like with the depth shown through your marvelous use of perspective.
EJWilkins: No, it wouldn't have given you nightmares Mary, our daughter gets upset by unpleasant things and it didn't have that sort of effect on her, it somehow wasn't like that at all - it just made us go quiet and think.
  • Catalpa
  • Newcastle
  • 13 Jan 2008, 23:38
Interesting. I liked the shot before reading the commentary, but would have said that the yellow light was quite inviting. The commentary isn't so cosy. I think you were right to repect the dead.
EJWilkins: Thanks Ian, I've seen pictures of the inside and, well, you know my feelings. The light is strange, and it does look inviting. I wonder if it's intentional?
  • Dave Wilkins
  • Recovering from surgery in Ireland
  • 17 Jan 2008, 12:12
Yowzah! How bizarre. Isn't it funny how differently we treat humanity in different era's.

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