The Chapel of Bones and a bit of Évora

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There is a lot of cool things to do in Portugal, but I assume most foreigners can only think of this country surrounded by an aura of joy – the beaches, the sunny skies, the overall warm weather especially during summer.

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Truth to be told, there is a lot more about this little country. Since childhood, I wanted to visit this little place located in Évora, in the interior of the country, for its originality and perhaps creepiness. Afterall it’s a chapel made of human bones. Truly.

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The entrance to the Chapel of Bone. The phrase means “We, the bones in here, for yours await”

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I remember the first time when I was a child and my dad drove us there. Évora is far from where I’ve grown up, so it was a long drive. I was excited. I really wanted to visit the famous chapel of bones (the sort of obsession I have for creepy things is something that has been with me since I can remember).

Plus, as a bonus, Évora was also in possession of some real Roman ruins, the kind that I had only seen in History books. The kind that seemed so far away from me at a time when I was a kid and my parents couldn’t afford any trips to Rome.

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The Chapel of Bones was built in the 16th century out of necessity. The graveyards were overcrowded, so someone came up with a truly original idea. To exhume the bones from the local cemeteries, and cast them into cement in a place of worship. The result is simply marvelous, of course, but at the same time, being inside this little chapel can indeed cause some goosebumps. The hundreds of skulls seem to follow your every step.

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And don’t be creeped out by the inscription at the top in the entrance. It means “We, the bones here, for yours we await”. It really doesn’t sound so well in the English language.

Apart from this chapel, which won’t take you more than 15 minutes to visit, stroll through the narrow and typical streets of Évora and take some time to admire Diana’s Temple.

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Did I feed you with the desire to explore this little Portuguese town? 🙂

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