A Visit To The Ghoulish Bones Chapel In Evora, Portugal

evora portugalUpon landing in Lisbon, we picked up our rental car and then drove straight to Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed for its historic center.

While planning our trip, I decided on visiting Evora primarily due to one ghoulish site. I came across Portugal’s Chapel of Bones (Capella Dos Ossos) through one of my favorite sites, Atlas Obscura.

The Michael W Travels family got a later start than we would’ve liked during our first day, due to our late arrival. We walked from our beautiful Airbnb apartment through Evora Portugal to the Bones Chapel.

Evora is an amazing place to walk through and we didn’t expect it to be busy. When we arrived at the Bones Chapel, we were a little surprised to see such a long line. Luckily, the line moved relatively fast. Around 15- 20 minutes after we arrived, we walked inside through the small entrance.

Above the door, it says “We bones, are here, waiting for yours.” (Thanks Atlas Obscura for the translation!)The Bone Chapel reminded me of other similar places we’ve been around the world and I loved it!

The chapel is decorated in a beautifully artistic and somewhat shocking way. (Not so shocking to me!)Every wall is covered in bones, columns are decorated with bones and skulls, evenly lined up.

Six-year old (at the time) Lucas wasn’t a big fan. He’s been to a fair share of these kinds of sites and has liked them less and less as he’s gotten older. Kim took the kids outside so I could explore the chapel some more.In the middle of the first side of the chapel, there are two cases.

Atlas Obscura mentioned that “two desiccated corpses hanging by chains from the wall next to a cross. One is that of a child.” It appears that those corpses have been removed from the wall, moved into a more comfortable place to rest.Upon making my way around the chapel, it appeared that I had saved the most amazing piece of work for last.
Above the doorway, was an intricate design of bones and an abundance of skulls. When I first looked up, I thought they were arranged in the shape of a family crest. I’m not sure exactly what the pattern was but it’s an amazing site to see.

I highly recommend a visit to Evora Portugal and if you do, make sure to make a stop at the Chapel of Bones.

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