I had just seen an article on the creepiest places you can visit when we started planning our trip to Portugal. One of the things on the list was the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones). At the time, I didn’t realize that there was more than one in Portugal. When I saw that there was the Capela dos Ossos in Faro, I decided we should check it out. (It wasn’t until we got home that I realized that the one on the list was in a town called Évora.
To go and see the Capela dos Ossos for yourself, make your way to Igreja do Carmo.
You have to walk through the Igreja do Carmo (which is not a terrible sight to see).
Above the door there is an inscription which reads: “Stop here and think of this fate that will befall you”.
It is much cooler in the Capela dos Ossos than outside or even in the main church. It is also pretty creepy. It was weird for me to be surrounded by so many human remains.
So I stepped outside to enjoy the courtyard and its inhabitants. The bones of the Capela dos Ossos are the remains of the monks who were buried in the church cemetery (which was dug up to build the chapel…) Looking back from the courtyard at the main church.And at least you can enjoy the beautiful nature if the bones are too creepy.
The Capela dos Ossos is indeed creepy. Moreso because of having to confront one’s own mortality than anything else. I enjoyed the courtyard more… but that’s because I got the heebie-jeebies in the chapel (hence the lack of photos). My travel partner loved the chapel and didn’t want to leave. She enjoyed waking around and examining the chapel from all angles.
Have you been to a Capela dos Ossos? What did you think?