Capuchini Bone Chapel

Where do you go to see a magnificent display of funerary art? If you're ever in Rome, the Capuchini Bone Chapel is the site to see. All furnishings in the church are made from the donated bones of 4,000 Capuchin monks and several poor Romans. There are many theories as to the identity of the artist. Some believed he was a French Capuchin. The Marquis de Sade visited the crypt in 1775 stating the artist was a German priest.

The Capuchins broke from the Franciscans in 1525, returning to a more genuine interpretation of St. Franci's edict. They wore a pair of sandals with no socks, and a tunic with a hood to cover their head if the weather was bad. The name of the Capuchin friars actually dervies from this hood, or capuce. And Capuchins have traditionally worn a beard. They left the friary of St. Bonaventure in 1631 to the priest one, transporting the remains of deceased friars.

The crypt contains six rooms: Crypt of Resurrection, The Mass Chapel, Crypt of the Skulls, Crypt of the Pelvises, Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones, Crypt of the Three Skeletons. All contains bones except for one (The Mass Chapel). Alterations were made until 1870. Tibia and fibula form the chandelier. Vertebrae line the ceiling. Skulls and pelvis bones are displayed like tiles. A clock is made from vertebrae, foot and finger bones. An altar containing the heart of Capuchin devotee Maria Felice Peretti (1656) is preserved in the Mass Chapel.

There are no fees for tours. Although donations are "required".


Rosa said…
Hello, Just wanted to let you know that the chapel is in ROMA in the Czech Republic not Rome ;)
Andrea Allison said…
I think you may have this one confused with the one in Kutna Hora which is in the Czech Republic.

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