The Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal

by Bernardo Ricci Armani 0 comment
The Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal

Evora (Portugal). It’s Halloween, again! Did you notice it? I guess so… In the past weeks the number of photos shared on social networks about Halloween parties and related events have been increasing and increasing. It seems that people are thinking only about this event: there’s a general excitement, and to be honest I do not understand the reason.

Let me speak frankly: I do not like Halloween at all. Perhaps it’s because I’m not American, but for sure I don’t feel it as a traditional recurrence of my calendar. In Italy, in the past years, there has been a growing interest on Halloween, but mainly – I suppose – for consumerist reasons: supermarkets are full of Halloween-related products, candies, sweets, masks and of course the traditional pumpkins (which are much better prepared with a good risotto, than carved and illuminated with candles). For sure, when I was a baby, there wasn’t any Halloween to celebrate with my friends: nobody dressed me to look like a zombie or a skeleton, and I never walked around my neighborhood knocking at every door and asking “trick or treat?” (despite all these things, I had a happy childhood – believe me).

Anyhow: if this is the trend, let’s surf it! At least, my intention is sharing photos from my travels, therefore I decided to wait for Halloween to post this one taken during my recent trip around Portugal (perhaps I’m too commercial, but I try to be fully in line with the contemporary spirit of Halloween). I took this photo when I went to Evora, a lovely and old little city some kilometers south-east of Lisbon. One of the main touristic attractions here, is the “Chapel of Bones” (Capela dos Ossos, in Portuguese), which is connected to the Church of St. Francis. This is a very weird place, a bit shocking at the beginning; but at the end I enjoyed the visit. I didn’t know it, but there are several other “chapel of bones” around the world: one is in Rome, another one is in Milan (San Bernardino Alle Ossa); in all of them, bones are used to decorate walls also with the main scope of transmitting the message of being “transitory” (a sort of “memento mori”). In Evora’s Capela dos Ossos this is confirmed at the entrance, where the motto “We bones that here are, for yours await” welcomes the visitors. I found it pleasantly grim…

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