The first of Portugal’s many Capelas dos Ossos that I visited was in Faro, the capital of the Algarve region. This southernmost slice of the country is best known for its sunny beaches and lively nightlife. Finding out there was a chapel decorated with human bones just a short drive from the sun-loungers and karaoke bars definitely made me raise an eyebrow.
It was certainly quirky enough to earn a place on my travel itinerary, and I jotted it down before absent-mindedly scrolling down to see what else Faro had to offer. It wasn’t until I was actually standing in the chapel, looking around, that I really began to think about what I had come out of my way to visit: a chapel made up of literally thousands of human bones.
There wasn’t a single section of wall that didn’t have a skull, a femur or even a phalange