July 31, 2007

Bone Church

Laura wanted to see some skeletons while she was here in Rome, so on Saturday I dragged her and Sara to the Chiesa Santa Maria della Immacolata Concezione just past the metro stop at Piazza Barberini in the middle of Rome. It's a cappuchin friary that boasts a 17th century crypt decorated with the bones of over 4,000 monks. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures, but here is a link to the church's website where you can see such rooms as the Crypt of the Pelvises and the Crypt of the Three Skeletons. My favorites were the incidental decorations, like the clock made out of radii, the chandeliers, and the hourglass made of two sacra placed end-to-end with a patella in the middle flanked by radii. Apparently, this crypt in Rome was the inspiration for the world-famous Kostnice Ossuary in Prague. I'm thinking about heading back to the church at some point to take pictures anyway. The old woman who demands a donation just yells at you to not take pictures - she doesn't actually do anything about the photos and videos that people do take.

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