bone chapel

The Capela dos Ossos is one of the best known monuments in Évora, Portugal. It is located in the Church of São Francisco. It was built in the 17th century on the initiative of three monks who, in the spirit of the time (religious counter-reform, according to the norms of the Council of Trent), intended to convey the message of the transience of life, as can be seen from the famous warning at the entrance: "We bones here are waiting for yours".



The chapel, built on the site of the original friary dormitory, is formed by 3 naves 18.70m long and 11m wide, with light entering through three small crevices on the left side. Its walls and eight pillars are “decorated” with bones and skulls connected by brown cement. The vaults are plastered in white brick, painted with allegorical motifs of death. It is a monument of penitential architecture with arcades decorated with rows of skulls, cornices and white naves. It was estimated at around 5000, coming from cemeteries located in churches and convents in the city.


The chapel was dedicated to Senhor dos Passos, an image known in the city as Senhor Jesus da Casa dos Ossos, which impresses for the expressiveness with which it represents the suffering of Christ, in his walk with the cross to Calvary.