Chapel of bones | A church made up of skeleton of 40,000 people



There is Chapel (Church) located in Portugal which is made up of skeletons of at least 40,000 people. This Church is known as Capela dos Ossos which in English means “Chapel of Bones“. It is one of the most visited sites in Portugal. There are myths developed regarding the origin of bones. Some people believed that this Church was made from the bones of Muslim Turks that were killed during the 16th Century in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain + Portugal). Some historians believe that these bones once belong to soldiers who died in war or people that were died due to plague.



The chapel is the small place next to the entrance of Church of St. Francis. The chapel is 18 meters long and 11 meters wide. The wall and ceilings of the chapel are decorated with human bones and skulls held together by cement. In the entrance of the Chapel, it is written

“We, the bones that are here await yours.”


This chapel was built by Franciscan Monks. At the time when they were building the mosque, cemeteries in that area were overflown and people were not finding any place to bury their dead ones. So Monks decided to take dead bodies out of the graves and place their bodies and skull in the chapel in a respectful manner.

Myth 1:

First Myth is that these bone came from the body of Muslims that were martyred in Spain. Just to defame them, their skeletons are made stored to show the world. This is just a myth because if someone genuinely wanted to defame the body he would not place them in such decent manner, rather he would do what Mongols do with the body.


Myth 2: 

The second myth is that bones belong to the people who were died in major battles or due to plague. This could be possible that some of the people among the bodies died in battles, but most of the bones came from the ordinary people who were buried in the graveyard


8 thoughts on “Chapel of bones | A church made up of skeleton of 40,000 people

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