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Chapel of Bones

“The Chapel of Bones was built in the XVII century under the initiative of three Franciscan monks aiming at transmitting the message of the fragility of human life.  Right at the entrance, this message is clearly transmitted to the visitor by a warning: “We bones that here are, for yours await". 

 The walls of the Chapel of Bones as well as the eight sustaining pillars are covered with bones and human skulls carefully displayed in grey cement. The domes are made of white plastered bricks covered with paintings symbolizing death.  Besides the old bones the Chapel is also decorated with religious statues and Renaissance and Baroque paintings.  

In the XVI century there were about forty two monastic cemeteries in the city, which occupied too much space. As a solution, the monks took the bones out of the ground and used them to build and “decorate” this chapel.  

About 5000 human skulls are estimated to be there.” 

Source: Site VisitÉ – Guia de Viagem  





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