The Capuchin Crypt is a Monument of Human Bones and Corpses in Rome, located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on Via Veneto, near Barberini Square.
Constructed between 1732-75, it is an ossuary made of a corridor about 30 metres long, connected with five chapels. holding the bones of over 3,700 Capuchin friars buried by their order between 1528 and 1870.
Each room is unique, with different bones used and arranged in creative ways, forming arches, garlands and chandeliers.
A placard in five languages declares “what you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be”.
There is no official history of how this bone church developed over the centuries. It is known that in 1631Capuchin Monks moved there from a nearby monastery and brought with them 300 carts full of their belongings and of bones from the Capuchin cemetery.
Bones kept collecting over the years and were used for the decoration of the bone church.
One of the refuged monks asked to arrange the bones in a artistic way while staying there, and that's how theCapuchin Crypt was created.
The Catholic order insists that the display is not meant to be macabre, but a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth and our own mortality.
The entrance ticket is 6€ and it is including not only the crypt but also the Capuchin Museum.
How to reach it
From Hotel San Francesco, you can take the tram no 8 getting off at Via Arenula and from there you can take the bus no 63, getting off at Barberini Square.
This post has been edited by our receptionist Alessia