Catholics can be creepy. I’m one of them and have been to enough Roman and Italian churches and seen enough saints’ relics to say that with a certain level of authority.
We visited the Capuchin Crypt on via Veneto and the creep factor went to an all-time high. The cemetery of the Capuchin monks is a place that once you visit it, you will never forget it. How can you? It’s just too…too…creepy. There’s no other word for it.
From the 16th Century until the 19th Century, the Capuchin monks that lived a life of poverty and were considered to be almost hermits, kept all the bones of their deceased brother monks, dried them and then used them to decorate this crypt. Key word here; decorate.
Bones are set into the walls and ceiling to create patterns – imagine all arm bones set in such a way that they form a star, or pelvic bones to form an oval shape in the ceiling. The alter, light fittings, and picture frames, were all made with bones. Hundreds of skulls were stacked on top of each other along one wall.
I mean, who would sit there and put all the finger bones, all the leg bones, all the skulls, all the vertebrae, pelvic bones, etc into piles and decide what pattern to form with them? That is seriously creepy.
“What you are now we used to be, what we are now you will be.”
p.s. Sorry about the quality of the photos, not my finest photographic hour.
via Vittorio Veneto 27, Roma (near Piazza Barberini)
Tel: +39 06 487 1185
Closed Monday and Tuesdays.