July 4, 2011

Places of horror: the Chapel of Bones!

Chapel of Bones, Evora, Portugal
A holiday tip for this year (if you happen to be in the area) for all of you who like solemn, but slightly weird and horrible, attractions, is the Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal!

Situated right next to the St. Franciscus Church, the Chapel was built around 1500-something by a Fransican monk when they accidentally uncovered a mass grave believed to be victims of an earlier battle. Instead interring the victims, the monk decided to create a chapel dedicated to life being transitory.

At the doorstep, you automatically halt!
The chapel is entirely built out of the bones of these victims. Walking in, there is a warning in Portugese reading: "We bones, lying here bare, are awaiting yours". Despite yourself you feel a chill going down your spine and your mouth falls open as you halt at the doorstep.

Stepping over the threshold is an exercise in overcoming some instinctive fear of death. The whole chapel is beautifully lit and around you the empty sockets of the skulls are staring down at you. You have to be silent, but that's no problem since the view will take your breath away.

If you are in Europe and if you are in Portugal, please go and visit this more than impressive landmark building. Portugal, in itself, is full of culture and history and definitely worth a visit, but this chapel will be the crown on the whole trip. 

Photos by me!

Yes, these are all human skulls.


†Bed of Brimstone† said...

Such an amazing place, Ive seen this before on the Travel Channel. To see it in person must be something indescribable.

Marcel Admiraal said...

It is! You think, I've read about this, I know what it's all about. But still you halt at the doorstep. It's instinctively overwhelming, I tell you!

Thx for the comment!


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