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São Francisco Church and Chapel of Bones

Chapel of Bones, completely formed by human bones.

Building from the 15th and 16th centuries, Manueline-Mudejar and Renaissance style built in replacement of a previous Gothic temple, which still has some vestiges. The Royal Annex or Royal Palace was considered to be the Royal Church, in which important ceremonies took place, with the wedding of Prince D. Afonso with D. Isabel de Castela, in 1490.
The façade of the church is characterized by the volume of the crowns and the portal is decorated by the regional emblems of D. João II and D. Manuel I. Its interior features a single nave, a rectangular plant and Latin cross, highlighting the main altar and the Chapel of the Third Order of S. Francisco, in Baroque style. The convent was demolished in the late 19th century.

A major popular curiosity lies in the Chapel of Bones. It was built in the 17th century, following a model then in vogue, with the intention of provoking an image about a reflection on the transience of human life and the consequent commitment to live a permanent Christian life. As much as the walls as pillars are lined with a few thousand bones and skulls, the entrance tickets connected to the convent. The frescoes that decorate or vault the ceiling, dating from 1810, feature a variety of symbols illustrated by biblical passages and others with the instruments of Christ's passion. At the exit of the chapel, on the edge of the wall, on the tiled panel, by the architect Siza Vieira, in connection with the fusion of death or the miracle of life.

Source: CM Évora/ Igreja de São Francisco