Capela dos Ossos

Capela dos Ossos, Evora

Capela dos Ossos
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Religious Sites • Churches & Cathedrals
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
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.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
5,554 reviews
Excellent
2,726
Very good
1,965
Average
679
Poor
117
Terrible
68

TiaP
8 contributions
Really unique and powerful venue with a rich story and symbolism. I would recommend doing this as part of a tour though as the message and symbolism is not something that as obvious without an expert explaining it. We were able to eavesdrop on someone else's tour to better appreciate everything we were seeing. It would be good for the venue to provide an audio tour for visitors to better appreciate what you're seeing. Still a 'must see' while in Evora.
Written April 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

chimayred
Durham, NH2,230 contributions
We're becoming Ossuary aficionados. The first one we ever saw was in Kutna Hora CZ. Whoa. That's the one that's hard to beat. We missed the one in Brno., So we made a point of seeing this. Now I didn't tell my wife about the one in Kutna Hora until we entered it and the look on her face was priceless. Same with this.
This is impressive in its own way. Not quite as "artistic" as Kutna Hora, but humbling and almost overwhelming. It was about 10euro to get in, and frankly we rarely pay for stuff on our trips, like castles or museums. Just seen enough of them. BUt I gladly forked over the euro for this. The cathedral it is attached to isn't too bad itself and there are a few other displays (see pictures) within the chapel that are worth viewing. If you are in Evora, which I recommend, this is a must see.
Written April 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marty Bielicki
Jensen Beach, FL14,133 contributions
Located almost in the center of Old Town Evora, the Gothic church, cloister and “Chapel of the Bone” was built by the Franciscan Monks back in the 14th Century. Visiting the church is free, but the Chapel of the Bones is about 3 Euros.

The Chapel of The Bones is what most people come to see. I overlooked telling my wife what this chapel was about. To say the least, she quickly walked out and was not happy with me. There are at least 5000 bones of various Evora people buried in the walls. This was the Medieval Age when mysticism was still rampant. It was actually the work of three monks who spent years collecting and cementing all these bones in the chapel.

All these bones were to help you meditate and ponder about accumulating the material life of wealth and pleasure. It was to make you think that life surely was going to end one of these days. There is a saying (in Portuguese) on top of the doorway as you enter, “We bones in here wait for yours to join us.”

Ironically, the three monks who put all this together are buried in a white coffin by the Chapels alter.

Taking all the photos that you want without flash was no problem.

We also found the Evora Cathedral a pleasure to visit. We liked going to the top and seeing a majestic views of Evora. The only downside was that their museum, unlike St. Francis, did not allow you to take pictures.

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Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Linda Y
Frisco, TX5,194 contributions
Constructed in the mid-1600s, The Chapel of Bones is a small interior chapel near the entrance to the Church of St. Francis. The chapel was built by Franciscan monks who decorated the walls, pillars and ceiling with bones and skulls, artfully arranged in a variety of patterns. The bones came from about 5,000 people buried in Évora's medieval cemeteries. The chapel also contains 2 glass display cases of desiccated corpses. An inscription at the chapel's entrance reads "Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos" (we bones that are here, for yours we wait). The atmosphere is somber, macabre, unsettling, and thought-provoking, all at the same time. I’m guessing that’s what the monks were going for, providing an opportunity to reflect on our fragile and fleeting earthly existence. For that I give 5 stars, but be prepared, you may find it gruesome (couldn’t have been fun for the monks either). A quick walk through is enough for the over-all experience. Don’t bring the kids unless you are prepared to answer lots of questions.
Written November 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michelle A
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico24 contributions
Family
The chapel is very impressive. Worth to take time there, but truth be told is a bit creepy. Apparently it was constructed out of necessity because the graveyards in Evora were overcrowded. So bones were exhumed and placed in this place of worship.

Outside the church go up to the 1st floor to see various religious artifacts, paintings and history of its evolution in Evora.

The last floor guides you to a lovely view of Evora. After you click a few pics, go see the nativity exhibit from around the world. Some are divine others are just… alternative. Same goes with the nativity plates. Some clearly are made from devoted craftsmen others seem to be experimental. My family and I had fun trying to guess where the nativities came from. The QR code in the wall made it easy to find the origin and creator.

bathrooms are very clean and staff is very friendly. many postcards and religious items at the shop. Before going out to the street there is a commemorative coin dispenser cost €2.

Don’t forget to visit San Francisco Church (next door).
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

boaster
horsham1,474 contributions
Couples
Unique place and not for some who are squeamish but I thought it was beautiful. Former church now a museum. The monks realised they were running out of room to bury people so used their bones to decorate the church. Above the door is a statement - translated broadly - we are awaiting your bones.
Written May 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

stork90
Mount Juliet, TN1,186 contributions
This was actually smaller than I thought it would be. As someone else posted, it was creepy and interesting at the same time.

We're SO glad we went upstairs to check out the museum (just ok) because we found the Nativity Scene collection. Keep going upstairs and outside into another building. There are multiple rooms with over 300 different Nativity Scenes from all over the world. They are beautiful and fascinating to see the various takes on the same theme, as well as all of the different mediums out of which they are made.

Once you go through all the rooms, you can get out on the Terrace with some nice views over the city.
Written October 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jonahNJ
Pennington, NJ10,858 contributions
The one place I was really looking forward to visiting in Portugal was the Chapel of The Bones. Once inside this relatively small chapel, it exceeded my expectations! Note that the chapel is small, so there is a staggering of groups admitted to the chapel. However, the visitors moved along well during my visit.

Just outside of the chapel is a poem which compels travelers to ponder their existence. If that was not enough of a prompt, just over the entrance to the chapel is the engraved warning “Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos” which loosely translates to “We bones that are here, we are waiting for yours." I then entered the chapel and sure enough all of the walls and pillars are covered in a variety of human bones and skulls. Skulls are also used to trim portions of the ceiling. During my visit, I learned that approximately 5,000 skeletons from church cemeteries in Evora were used to “decorate” the chapel.

Visiting this small chapel was one of the most surreal experiences of my life and a must see for visitors to Evora.
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

IndySig
Indianapolis, IN3,717 contributions
Solo
Looks can be deceiving and you might think this is a brand new church but it isn’t. It is €5 adult entry fee for the entire complex. The painted ceilings and the layout is very nice. They have plexiglass screens so you can’t get in very close. Not one of the more intricate designed, but still very interesting.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LuizDutraNeto
Rio de Janeiro, RJ8,619 contributions
At the historic center of Évora, next to the famous "Igreja de São Francisco", stands "Capela dos Ossos" - literally "Chapel of Bones", in English. Dating from the 17th century, with clear Gothic influences, it is an example of the rare "penance architecture". Inside, skulls and bones of more than 5,000 corpses were exhumed to decorate, in different patterns, its walls and ceilings. At the chapel's entrance, an inscription - "Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos" (meaning something like "We, the bones, wait for your own bones") - enhances the gloomy, somber and sorrowful atmosphere, bringing reflections on the transience and fragility of human life. It is much more a curiosity than a tourist attraction. Don't bring your children! Anyway, enjoy!
Written December 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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