The Chapel of Bones

Here is the story of the famous Chapel of Bones.

chapel of bones

The Chapel of Bones

Evora is the capital of the province of Alentejo, in the center east of Portugal. Flourishing in Roman times, it experienced mixed fortunes under the Visigoths and during the Arab occupation. After its liberation Evora at the end of the 12th century became the chosen capital of the Portuguese sovereigns.

It experienced a cultural boom during the 15th and 16th centuries, which earned it an exceptional architectural heritage, where Renaissance art competed with the Manueline style and Muslim decorative art (Moorish Luso art).

After the disaster of El Ksar el-Kébir, Portugal is annexed to Spain, Evora will not regain its past brilliance even after the restoration of Portuguese independence.

For these reasons the city presents a very homogeneous architecture, it does not seem to have changed since the 16th century. It is also listed as a World Heritage Site.

The walk in its sometimes Moorish streets allows the discovery of interesting monuments and works, such as the Cathedral and its pregnant virgin, even unexpected like the temple of Diana dating from the 2nd century or the Church of Our Lady of Grace, and his "tired" Atlanteans who have laid down their "burden".

Even more surprising The chapel of Bones in the Saint François church.

The story goes that a Franciscan monk lamented the lack of faith of his brothers, more attracted by the secular life of the 16th century than by meditation and prayer. He prayed to God to bring them back to the right path, and he vowed to build a chapel and donate his skeleton for the "decoration" of the chapel.

Perhaps God acceded to his prayer, because the monks touched by this wish also gave their skeleton, imitated by many inhabitants of the city. This is how the bones of 5000 skeletons decorate the walls and columns of the chapel.