Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bones' Chapels

This post is not for the faint of heart.
These are two cards from Poland and Portugal with unique constructions, bones' chapels. I've visited the portuguese Bones' Chapel 4 years ago. That's something..... different!!

Skull Chapel (Kaplica Czaszek) in Czermna is a chapel located in Kudowa-Zdrój, Lower Silesian Voivodeship.
The chapel was built in 1776 by the local parish priest Wacław Tomaszek. It is the mass grave of people who died during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), three Silesian Wars (1740–1763), as well as of people who died because of cholera epidemics and hunger.
Together with J. Schmidt and J. Langer, Tomaszek collected the casualties’ bones and put them in the chapel. Walls of this small, baroque church are filled with three thousand skulls, and there are also bones of another 21 thousand people interred in the basement. The skulls of people who built the chapel are placed in the centre of the building and on the altar.
It is the only such monument in Poland, and one of three in Europe. - in: wikipedia

The Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos) is one of the best known monuments in Évora, Portugal. It is a small interior chapel located next to the entrance of the Church of St. Francis. The Chapel gets its name because the interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones.
The Chapel of Bones is entered through a large arch bearing a painted rhyme reminding visitors of their own mortality: Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos: "Our bones that are here wait for yours!"
Inside, human bones and skulls completely cover the chapel's walls and pillars - the number of skeletons has been estimated at 5,000. Legend has it the bones come from soldiers of a major battle or plague victims, but in reality they are people from all walks of life who were buried in Evora's medieval cemeteries.
Interestingly, the bones of the monks who assembled the chapel are not on display - they are kept in a small white coffin in the chapel. In addition to all the bones, there are two full corpses hanging high on a wall. Their identities are unknown, but there are plenty of legends: one popular story says they are an adulterous man and his infant son, cursed by his jealous wife.
At one end of the chapel, an altar with a crucifix reminds visitors of the way to overcome death. The rib-vaulted ceiling of the chapel continues the theme, painted with small scenes accompanied by Latin phrases such as "I leave, but I don't die," "I die in the light," and "The day that I die is better than the day that I was born." - in: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/portugal/evora-capela-dos-ossos-chapel-of-bones

1 comment:

Dawid said...

My girlfriend goes to Czermna in this week.
I hope she will bring me this kind of postacrd :)