One of Evora's most popular sights is the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones), housed in St. Franciso Church. Visitors are welcomed with the interesting message "We bones wait for your bones", which stands above the entrance to a most bizzare and rather disturbing room, whose walls are entirely covered by the bones of more than 500 monks, moved here by the Franciscans in the 16th century from the various monastic cemeteries in the city. I found this place a little bit gruesome and can't really recommend it. If you are interested in this sort of thing it costs 1 Euro and the Chapel is open until 5pm every day.
Its plastered and beautifully decorated ceiling is supported by many substantial columns constructed, like the walls of the room, of bones faced with skulls. Many of the skulls have been gilded, so that the overall appearance is not stark, but actually rather warm and "elegant," in a ghoulish sort of way.
The bone chapel is located by the sao fransico church and is a rather odd chapel where you have bones from more than 5000 dead human beings on display.
The is suppose to show you how fragile life is, but it was made at a time where the church was moving the graves from the church (the portugese used to bury people underneath the church floor in the old days) to grave yeards outside the church, so they were kinda left with a lot of bones anyway and i think that was the reason why they got the idea for the chapel.
It´s a rather facinating sight and there is even two mummified dead bodies hanging on the walls in the chapel.
The chapel of bones was my favorite and also the main reason for me to book the VT-tour from Lisbon to Evora. I saw a similar church, decorated with bones in Sedlec/Czech Rep. but the one in Evora is somehow more spooky, because the bones seem to be part of the construction with columns made of bones etc. Of course they were just attached afterwards and I learned as well that these are the bones of 5000 monks from Evora.
There is another bone-church in Sedlec/Czech Republic
read more about it in my Sedlec-page!
Sala do Capitulo is the entrance-hall of the bonechurch and there you will see this beautiful altar with 2 small angels sitting in front (one of them in my main pic). This part of the bone-chapel is free of charge and in its back you will have to pay the entrancefee of 2 euros. Once that you payed the entrance you will be able to step into the backpart of this altar in Sala do Capitulo, before entering the chapel with the bones.
To me the Capela dos Ossos will be what I will remember the most out of Evora. I think that this must be unique, or almost unique, in the world.
It is kind of freaky but the inner walls of the chapel are covered with the bones and skulls of about 5000 people...
Belongs to the Sao Francisco church.
A chapel drawing on religious baroque influences which is totally covered with human bones). It has 5000 skuls from ancient monks. It has written on top of the entry: "Your bones we have, your bones we await".
This is quite an impressive chappel unseen all over the world. I heard theres a bone chappel somewhere in Poland. Either the way this is something you shouldn't miss.
The Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos) is located in the Sao Francisco Church, built in the 15th Century. This gruesome chapel of bones was created in the 17th Century from the remains of 5,000 monks. Two leathery corpses, one of a child, hang from a chain. The morbid message at the entrance says it all: "We bones that are here await yours."
The Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of the Bones) is a part of the Igreja de São Francisco church.
It was built in the 16th century at the time of King Philips. The interior is completely covered with human bones from the local graveyard.
At the entrance you are welcomed with the following text: WE BONES THAT ARE HERE, WE ARE WAITING FOR YOURS.
Mo-Sa: 9AM - 12.45PM and 2.30PM - 5.10PM
Su: 10AM -12.45PM and 2.30PM - 5.10PM
Admission fee: Euro 2.00; Pictures Euro 1.00
This is a quite unique place, I've heard there's only another chapel like this one in Sedlec, Czech Republic (thanks for the information, globetrott!). It's not for the squeamish - it can be disgusting for some people.
It is said that it was made with the bones of the thousands of people who died during a plague. In fact, there are hundreds and hundreds of bones! Particularly impressive are the two complete skeletons, who are said to be a father and his son.
At the entrance, the sign that says «We, bones, await here for your bones» completes the creepy atmosphere ;-)
Perhaps the most memorable sight in Évora is the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones; 9am-1pm & 2.30-5.30/6.30pm; in the church of São Francisco , close to the bus station. A gruesome reminder of mortality, the walls and pillars of this chilling chamber are entirely covered with the bones of more than 5000 monks; an inscription over the door reads, "Nós ossos que aqui estamos, Pelos vossos esperamos" (We bones here are waiting for your bones).
Maybe it would be advisable for the most impressionable people not to visit this chapel - you will be submerged under thousands of bones, in a gloomy but also harmonious image.
The bones are not only piled, they were used to artistically compose structures, rhythms and images with aesthetics concerns.
Simply disgusting! I only went in because you can't not see something like a chapel lined with bones. Luckily one of our Canadian friends was also disgusted, so I wasn't the only sissy. The most disgusting part is what is hanging. You have to pay to take a picture. It's based on honesty (how sweet!).I knew I didn't need a picture of bones...Ew!
A rarity in Portugal definitely.
A very special place in Evora is the Chapel of Bones in which the chapel walls are entirely covered with bones and skulls. Walking through it you will have a feeling of fascination as this kind of place des not exist so many times, but on the other hand it is really strange. Well, I guess all this was the meaning by the one who constructed this building in the 16th century. A Franciscan monk wanted to give a meassage to the people and the monks in his monastery that life on earth is not endless. A sentence that warns the visitor says: "Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos" (“We, the bones that are here, await yours.")
Glad my fellow VTers and me could leave again.
It is calculated that about 5000 skeletons make up the 'decoration' of the chapel.
This is probably the most interesting chapel for me because it is completely covered by the bones of more than 5000 monks collected from various places all over Evora. There is a quiet grimness about the place but yet offers a certain sense of serenity.