Fodor's Expert Review Igreja de São Francisco

Évora Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

After the Sé, this is the most impressive of Évora's churches. Its construction in the early 16th century, on the site of a former Gothic chapel, involved the greatest talents of the day, including Nicolas Chanterene, Oliver of Ghent, and the Arruda brothers, Francisco and Diogo. Magnificent architecture notwithstanding, the bizarre Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) is the main attraction. The translation of the chilling inscription over the entrance reads, "We, the bones that are here, await yours." The bones of some 5,000 skeletons dug up from cemeteries in the area line the ceilings and supporting columns. With a flair worthy of Charles Addams, a 16th-century Franciscan monk placed skulls jaw-to-cranium so they form arches across the ceiling; arm and leg bones are neatly stacked to shape the supporting columns.

Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Praça 1 de Maio
Évora, Évora  7000-650, Portugal


Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Church free, Chapel of Bones €5

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