Saturday, April 11, 2015

Capuchin Crypt

In my relatively short time on this earth, I have never seen anything half as weird as the Capuchin Crypt in Rome.  It is one of those places that pictures can hardly do justice to in trying to recreate the shocking feeling of walking through room after room that has been decorated by human remains.  

We waited across the street for a while, looking at the unassuming double staircase that is right next to the entrance of the crypt and monastery.  Upon entering we were ushered down a small passageway that led to a series of viewing areas that were on the left side as you walked in.  There is nothing that can prepare you for the utter surrealism of seeing the bones of deceased monks displayed in ornate set-ups and the knowledge that this was exactly how they wanted to be seen after death.  Chandeliers of rib bones, tables made of femurs, walls wallpapered in skulls.  It has a feeling of some sick sadist joke, but also an odd feeling of reverence.  

Nice Centerpiece 
Photo Credit 1

It only gets weirder and weirder as you head further into the crypt.  Honestly, it gets to the point where you no longer even feel like it is shocking and are starting to look for some decorating tips.  I find myself now thinking about the fact that if I ever have any vertebrae and some pelvises lying around I know that I can make a very lovely end table.  Of course it will be hard to find a lamp for it that would go with the motif, but one cannot be faulted for trying.  

So Welcoming
Photo Credit 2

I guess that the moral of the story is that someone should be allowed to do whatever they like with their remains.  These monks spent their life in service of their monastery, I guess they should be allowed to decorate it as well when they are no longer able to care for it in the physical sense.  Sure.  That is what we are going to go with.  

Lovely Wallpaper
Photo Credit 3

Photo Credit 1: http://untappedcities.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Untapped-Cities-Capuchin-Crypt-4-E-Ryan.jpg
Photo Credit 2: https://wheninroma2012.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/capuchin-crypt2.jpg
Photo Credit 3: http://www.travelinginitaly.info/Italy/Rome_Sights/Entries/2011/5/17_Capuchin_Cemetery_files/shapeimage_3.png