Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) is part of a larger Royal Church of St. Francis in Evora, Portugal. It got the name "Chapel of Bones" because the interior walls of the church are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones.
This church was built in the 16th century by disciplined and fanatical Franciscan monks.
At the time, the 43 graveyards in Evora town were experiencing serious overcrowding that was taking up little valuable lands. So as a matter of necessity, the Franciscan monks had to exhume the corpses of people who were already buried and took them to the chapel.
Legends had it that they were the bones of soldiers who died in battle and victims of pandemics of that era.
The major reason why the monks took the eerie decision of decorating the chapel walls openly with the bones of dugout corpses instead of interring them, was to bring them closer to God.
Another reason given was to show the meaninglessness in material things in the presence of death.
Written on the front door of the chapel is a thought-provoking scary words, "We bones are here, waiting for yours."
As one enters the chapel, written right on top of the altar were Ecclesiastical words, "I die in the light." "The day that I die is better than the day that I was born."
It was reported that the skulls and bones that were used to decorate the chapel, were gotten from exhumed 5,000 corpses.
Chapel of Bones is one of the largest tourist attractions in Portugal.
Do you see yourself worshiping in this type of church?
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