10 Mais interessantes Capelas de Ossos no Mundo

10 Most interesting Chapels of Bones in the World
Bone churches, more accurately called “ossuaries,” exist in several countries in Europe, and can consist of everything from piles of decorated skulls to pieces of wall art made up of various human bones. Little did know , bone churches in Europe aren’t that uncommon.
Note: The numbering is only for the purpose of posting. No serves to classify.

1. Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini - Rome, Italy

The soil in the crypt was brought from Jerusalem and is considered holy, so burial space disappeared quickly. To make room for additional people who wanted to be buried in that soil, they began removing bones of previously-buried monks and stacking them. Eventually, someone had the brilliant (well, I think it’s brilliant, anyway) idea of using those bones to decorate the walls.The crypt features the bones of more than 4,000 monks who died between 1528 and 1870. There are six small chapels in the Capuchin Crypt, and all but one is creatively adorned with bones. Furthermore, some of the bone-covered chapels feature predominantly one particular bone. For instance, there’s a “Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones” and a “Crypt of the Pelvises.”

The sign in the final chapel which says, “As you are, we once were. As we are, you shall be one day.” 

2. Sedlec Ossuary - Sedlec, Czech Republic
The ossuary was built in the 15th century in order to make room in the small adjacent cemetery for more burials, but it wasn’t until 1870 that the collected piles of bones were put to any kind of artistic use. That year, a local wood carver was hired to make sense of the bone chaos – but it’s unclear whether his bone art was exactly what the church had in mind.

Among the decorations in the Sedlec Ossuary, there’s a coat of arms on one wall representing a prominent local family of the time, and a massive chandelier (that actually works) hanging in the center of the room made entirely from bones. Not only that, the “artist” left his mark in bones – his signature and the date is crafted in bones near the church’s entrance.

3. Santa Mara de Wamba Church - Wamba, Valladolid, Spain
The tiny town of Wamba outside the city of Valladolid in northern Spain is home to yet another giant collection of bones, and like many other bone churches the original reason for piling the bones up was a simple lack of space remaining in the cemetery. The Medieval Ossuary in Wamba is in the Church of Santa Maria and contains bones from hundreds of villagers who died between the 12th and 18th centuries.

Unlike some of the other bone churches, the Wamba ossuary doesn’t have walls or ceilings which are ornately decorated with bones. Instead, the bones are just in huge piles – they’re organized piles, but they’re piles. Researchers have studied the bones and learned a great deal about medieval village life in Spain, but since all the bones are mixed together it’s impossible to put together a complete skeleton of one particular human being.

The designers of the Wamba ossuary wanted to convey the same kind of message to visitors as the designers of the Capuchin Crypt in Rome, because a sign over the entrance to the ossuary/shrine reads: “As you see yourself, I saw myself too. As you see me, you will see yourself. Everything ends in this. Think about it and you won’t fall into sin.”

4. Capela dos Ossos - Évora, Portugal
Capela dos ossos inscricao: Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos.
Capela dos ossos' entrance warning: "We bones that are here for your hope".
Bone churches by and large tend to be structures into which piles of bones have been placed. The Capela dos Ossos in the Church of St. Francis in Evora, Portugal, on the other hand, seems to be made of bones. The very walls of the chapel have bones in them, with cement holding everything together. Even the pillars supporting the ceiling have skulls running up and down them.

Built in the 16th century, the Capela dos Ossos (or Chapel of Bones) was built with the goal of pointing out how short life is. The poem at the chapel’s entrance emphasizes this, as it reads in part, “Where are you going in such a hurry, traveler? Pause … You have no greater concern than this one. … Recall how many have passed from this world, reflect on your similar end. Our bones that are here await yours.”

Estimates are that there are roughly 5,000 bodies whose skeletons are represented in the chapel, and if that’s not macabre enough for you there are also two bodies hanging from chains – and one of them is that of a child.

5. San Bernardino alle Ossa - Milan, Italy
In the high fashion capital that is Milan, you might not expect something as morbid as a bone church. But a few steps from the city’s famous Duomo is a church with a tiny chapel in the back that’s absolutely full of bones. The church of San Bernardino alle Ossa is unremarkable in most respects, but once you find the sign pointing you to the “ossario,” you’re in luck.

The footprint of the ossuary is incredibly small, but the ceiling soars overhead so there’s plenty of space on the high walls for the stacks of bones. For the most part, there’s nothing much that’s artistic about the displays – they’re essentially just carefully placed skulls and large bones. But in the two biggest wall panels, the large bones make up the background while the skulls are strategically arranged to make the symbol of the cross.

6. Capela dos Ossos de Alcantarilha - Silves, Portugal

Attached to the parish church, is located very curious Bones Chapel of the sixteenth century, following the national taste for this kind of chapels, as there are several of these chapels in various parts of Portugal, as in Évora and the Algarve in Faro and Lagos.
Besides its appearance and "ornamental" completely unusual, "lined" that is inwardly with human bones and skulls, probably originated from an ancient cemetery, which denotes a strange religiosity in terms of religious art the chapel is limited to the image the altar, the Crucifixion, a curious work in wood, of the sixteenth century, probably from an ancient altar of the parish church (the Lord Jesus?). Suffered, certainly, some restoration, as seems to denote the size of the right arm shorter. It is believed that its interior is ornamented by more than 1,500 human bones.


7. Skull Chapel in Czermna - Lower Silesia, Poland
Poland - Czermna - Chapel of Skulls - interior
The chapel was built in 1776 by the local parish priest Wacław Tomaszek. It is the mass grave of people who died during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), three Silesian Wars (1740–1763), as well as of people who died because of cholera epidemics and hunger.

Together with J. Schmidt and J. Langer, Tomaszek collected the casualties’ bones and put them in the chapel. Walls of this small, baroque church are filled with three thousand skulls, and there are also bones of another 21 thousand people interred in the basement. The skulls of people who built the chapel are placed in the centre of the building and on the altar.


It is situated in one of the oldest villages in Kłodzko County, near Kudowa Zdrój, in the Lower Silesia, Poland.

8. Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo - Palermo, Italy

For many, the word “catacombs” conjures up images of the underground burial vaults in Paris and Rome where bones are stacked along the walls. In Palermo, it’s something quite different. The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are famous not just for the interesting way in which the dead are arranged, but also because of one amazingly well-preserved mummy.

Once again, the Palermo catacombs got their start in the late 16th century when the monks ran out of space in the cemetery. The climate in the underground space turned out to be ideal for preserving bodies, such that even some of the oldest skeletons in the catacombs still have some skin and hair left on them.

The last body to be placed in the catacombs was that of a two-year-old girl called Rosalia Lombardo, who remains so lifelike today that she looks like she could wake up from her nap any second and run outside to play – except she died in 1920. Rosalia’s body was perfectly preserved thanks to an embalming method which was, at the time, revolutionary. The specific formula was lost for decades, but was recently rediscovered – and what’s more, it still works.

9. Catacombs - Paris, France

One of the most well-known collections of bones is also the largest and most-visited. The Catacombs of Paris contain a whopping six million bodies’ worth of bones spanning the walls of more than 300km of tunnels. You won’t see it all, and you shouldn’t try – but a guided tour is definitely something on many tourist to-do lists.

The Paris Catacombs exist partly because the city was running out of burial space, but also because cemeteries which were in the city limits were officially condemned because people living near them were getting sick. In the late 1780s the first bodies were moved into the underground tunnels, and it was opened to the public as a tourist attraction less than 100 years later.

10. Hallstatt Karner - Hallstatt, Austria
Bone house
While most of the bone churches in Europe are filled with the bones of people who died hundreds of years ago, the ossuary in Hallstatt is different. The tradition in Austria has long been that graves are merely rented, and once the rental period is up bones are exhumed and moved to a karner, or bone house. The little Austrian village of Hallstatt is so small that the grave-rental period is a short 10 years.

One Hallstatt karner in particular, the Roman Catholic parish church, draws more visitors than just relatives paying their respects, as it has the skulls of more than 600 people on display – and each skull has been lovingly painted with its previous owner’s name, profession, and death dates.

While the last skull in the Hallstatt ossuary – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – dates from 1983, there are still requests today for individual skulls to be placed there after being appropriately dried and decorated.

11. Saint Catherine’s Church (Katharinenkirche) - Germany

In the Saint Catherine’s Church has bones stacked on display.

The Oppenheim Ossuary, contains between 14,000 and 20,000 skeletons all collected from the cemeteries belonging to the church.
As cemeteries got full, graves were reused. Old bones and skeletons were dug up and placed in the small room behind the church. Most of the bones likely came from graves of residents who died during the 16th and 17th centuries.

12. St. Michan’s Church - Dublin, Ireland
While this isn’t technically a bone church, it fits nicely under the category of places to see skeletons. The burial vault that was built underneath St. Michan’s Church in Dublin may not have been intended as the perfect place to preserve bodies, but the limestone walls have resulted in a space where nothing rots. So as the coffins around the bodies disintegrate over time, the bodies themselves are left exposed and largely mummified.

Many of the bodies kept under St. Michan’s aren’t on public display, but visitors still flock to see the room containing four caskets without lids. The bodies of the four are entirely visible, including the mummified skin, and two of the bodies were cut into pieces before they went into their coffins. One of the bodies in the vault is a nun buried 400 years ago, though she’s not one of the bodies that’s visible to the public.

Source: wikipedia.org and other´s.

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