Capela dos Ossos in Évora, undoubtedly an extremely intriguing place in Évora, in the Alentejo region, that you cannot miss visiting in Portugal.
History of the Chapel of Bones in Évora
In the 16th century Évora, cemeteries were much smaller, although Évora had many (about 40), built on the initiative of three Franciscan monks with the aim of representing the transience of life, the Chapel of Bones has more than five thousand bones and skulls adorning the walls, the ceiling and the columns, and even the outside of this chapel, coming from the various cemeteries in the city.
Representing an allegory of death, in the Chapel of Bones you can read “We bones that are here, for yours we hope.” undoubtedly this is the most famous chapel covered with bones, but not the only one in Portugal, with five more chapels of bones in the Algarve and Alentejo region.
This chapel is formed by 3 naves, 18.70 m long and 11 m wide, where the light enters through three small cracks on the left side, its vaults are of white plastered brick, all of them painted with allegorical motives about death, and even two complete skeletons hanging from chains on one wall, one of which belongs to a child.
It is clear that the bones of the three Franciscan monks responsible for building the chapel of the bones of Évora are in the chapel, in a small white coffin.
Along with the ruins of the Roman Temple, the Capela dos Ossos is undoubtedly one of the great attractions of Évora, although there are many people who do not feel well to visit, perhaps because they think it is a rather sinister visit, the place you love or hate.
Most of its visitors end up adopting a silent and respectful posture, taking advantage of this moment to think about certain aspects of human life, respecting the present more.
Information about the Chapel of Bones in Évora:
- Address – Annex to the Church of São Francisco – Praça Primeiro de Maio
- Working days: opens daily (closes on January 1st; Easter Sunday; December 24th afternoon; December 25th)
- Opening hours: from 9am to 6:30 pm (June 1st to September 30th) and at 5pm (October 1st to May 31st). On Sundays and holy days it opens at 10am. Closed for lunch from 12:50 to 14:30
- Cost: 5 € (the entrance also serves to the Núcleo Museológico and the collection of Nativity scenes of the church).
- Family: 12 € (two adults and two young people)
- Website: igrejadesaofrancisco.pt