13 Jan 2008 • 1,038 views
"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..
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