“Stop here and consider, that you will reach this state too.”
That reminder is over the entrance to the Capela dos Ossos or the Chapel of Bones in Faro, Portugal. We visited it the day we went to Faro to meet our friend Rudy at the airport.
The chapel is located in the rear courtyard of the The Igreja do Carmo church.
We first went inside the church where I found another Veronica Station of the Cross to add to my photo collection of them from around the world. The inside of the church is very ornate decorated with gold from Brazil which was once a Portuguese colony. The Chapel of Bones just behind the church lives up to its name. It contains the bones of over a thousand monks whose bodies were exhumed in the 19th century from Faro’s overcrowded cemetery. The monks’ faces stare at you from the ceiling and walls of the Chapel of Bones. The practice of moving bones from cemetery plots into ossuaries after a period of seven to ten years was once common in Catholic Europe. There are still ossuaries like the ones in Portugal in Spain, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Italy.
The Chapel of Bones was certainly a unique place to visit, although I think there may be slightly less macabre ways to remind to people that we need to live each day of our lives to the fullest.
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