Monumental Cemetery of the Capuchin Brothers
Hours Fri-Wed 9am-1pm and 3-6pm
Address Via Vittorio Veneto 27
Location: Beside the Church of the Immaculate Conception
Transportation Metro: Barberini
One of the most horrifying sights in all Christendom, this is a series of chapels with hundreds of skulls and crossbones woven into mosaic "works of art." To make this allegorical dance of death, the bones of more than 4,000 Capuchin brothers were used. Some of the skeletons are intact, draped with Franciscan habits. The creator of this chamber of horrors? The tradition of the friars is that it was the work of a French Capuchin. Their literature suggests that you should visit the cemetery while keeping in mind the historical moment of its origins, when Christians had a rich and creative cult for their dead, and great spiritual masters meditated and preached with a skull in hand.
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