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Museum and Crypt of the Capuchin Friars

Overview

The historic Capuchin cemetery, near the church of Santa Maria della Concezione, built in 1624 by order of Capuchin Cardinal Antonio Barberini and adorned with paintings by Pietro da Cortona and Domenichino, is made up of four rooms crossed by a corridor that introduces visitors with the admonition "We were like you and you will be like us". Here, the bones of about four thousand friars who died in Rome from the 16th century to 1870 are collected, arranged to form garlands and decorative elements, while some skeletons are even dressed in the friars' robes and placed in niches made of bones. It is believed that the origin of these crypts can be traced back to a Frenchman who had fled during the Terror of the 18th century and who, on arriving in Rome, wanted to put a symbolic end to the Ancien Régime in this way. Others see in it a Masonic sign, while it is possible that it is just the work of the Capuchins as a warning about the fleetingness of life and the mortality of the flesh. Legend has it that the earth covering the floor of the rooms comes from the Holy Land.

Hours

Sunday - Saturday
10:00 am-07:00 pm
Museum and Crypt of the Capuchin Friars
Via Vittorio Veneto, 27, 00187 Roma RM, Italia
Call +390688803695 Website

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