The main entrance to the Chapel of Bones greets visitors with a foretelling Portuguese inscription:
“We, the bones that are here await yours.”
Walk inside the chapel and tourists can feel a chill down their spine when they realise that human bones are incorporated into every aspect of the chapel interior.
There are actually of 5,000 bones intricately cast into the cement from floor to ceiling. Skulls line the roof and walls, watching visitors from every aspect. The Chapel of Bones is both a spell-binding and incredibly eerie experience.
Despite its appearance, it was constructed out of necessity and is more than just a religious curiosity. During the 16th Century, the graveyards in Evora were overcrowded so bones were exhumed to make way for new bodies to be buried. The bones were respectfully cast into the cement and housed in this place of worship. The exhumation aligned with the common beliefs of the era and followed the Counter-Reformation ideology that the bodies would be closer to God.
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