Évora, a World Heritage Site city in the heart of the Alentejo region, has a well known cultural and historical heritage.
An open air museum, its medieval buildings, walls, old streets, roman temple and its many churches play a role in giving the city identity. It's also about the wine, the bread, the cork trees and the local traditional singing. Yet, the Chapel of Bones is a big draw too.
The Capela dos Ossos is precisely what it sounds like: a chapel made of human bones. Part of the Sao Francisco Church, this Chapel was built during the 17th century, and its construction was ordered by three monks from the Franciscan order to put human life in perspective.
Its walls and columns are covered by human bones. Floor to ceiling. Dedicated to Senhor do Passos, the Saint associated with Jesus' suffered path to the Calvary, the Chapel used to be the monks place for inner reflection.
It has now become part of a preserved architectural heritage and an attraction to visitors, even though there is a warning at the entrance: "Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos"- meaning "We, the bones that are here, wait for yours to come."