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“Haunting and Dusty” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Capela dos Ossos

Capela dos Ossos
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Private tour to Évora from Lisbon
Ranked #2 of 142 things to do in Evora
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The walls and pillars of the chapel, built in the century. XVII, are lined with thousands of human bones and skulls. Ceilings with murals realtivas death. Written on a plaque next to the door, the phrase "We bones that are here for your hope", reminds us how fleeting passage through life
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
59 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Haunting and Dusty”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2014

Definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, the rest of the cathedral is undergoing renovation so access was limited, and the entire space was pretty dusty with a hint of mildew - not good if you have allergies.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank indygem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Unusual monument”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

Amazing chapel made from the human remains of over 5000 people, strange but not at all spooky, worth a visit

Visited July 2014
Thank Ozagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newnan, Georgia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A Surreal Memorial to Ages Past”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

I had some trepidation about seeing human remains so openly displayed. But it was mostly quite lovely and why not use God's handiwork in a beautiful and artistic way? There were a couple things that I didn't like as well (a skeleton sort of hanging on the wall) but I loved that it was like a mosaic of bones.

Visited August 2013
Thank JFlanigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1,136 reviews
834 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 631 helpful votes
“"Our bones are waiting for your bones"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

Sometime during the 15th and 16th centuries, land was getting scarce and the remains of 5,000 monks were dug up out of more than 40 cemeteries. What to do with these bones? The solution was to move them (and incorporate them) into the construction of a beautiful "consecrated" site.

The chapel inside the building is a work of true beauty: gold gilding, wonderful ornate paintings and tile work, just exquisite. But that is not why the visitor comes here, is it? It's the bones.

These bones of the monks now adorn the walls of this quite large structure, as well as adorning the posts, ceiling edges, and everywhere possible. The skulls look very, very small but they really are only the "face" portion of the skull (which is why they look more the size of a small primate rather than of a human). The long bones and even some hip bones all work together to add character like you will never, ever see again. It's maybe a little macabre but tastefully done.

There is a strange cautionary tale hanging on the wall (hard to miss since it is highlighted with a spot light). The story goes that these are the remains of a father and near-infant child (mummified and still dressed in their clothes) who are being punished for all eternity because they were cruel to the mother. So, what did the infant do to deserve this? Wet his diaper? Refuse to eat? Cry at night? Really, what can an infant do to merit that? The husband, well, that is probably a different story (many a fado song is probably written about those kinds of transgressions).

Pick up a book of postcards at the gift counter, it's hard to do this monument justice with a regular camera.

Oh, and yes, that motto above is actually written above the door way. What a sense of humor! (And a good reminder). So, you husbands and children, mind your manners and be kind to mom!

Visited June 2014
Thank on_the_go_98765
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cerritos, California
Level Contributor
513 reviews
257 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Weird bones next to a lovely church”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014

We drove through Faro during a recent trip to Portugal and sought out the chapel and church that were in our guidebooks. The area of town is a little seedy, with homeless folks camped out in front of the church. The church itself was closed till 2:00 the day we were there, so we waited. The church is lovely with lots of gold and a decent museum. We wandered back to the bone chapel, certainly worth a visit if you can get past the creepy factor.

Visited April 2014
Thank Barbara F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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