Posts Tagged ‘San Bernardino alle Ossa’

One of the things I find fascinating is the ossuary concept and San Bernardino alle Ossa is no exception. It is in Milan, Northern Italy and the church there has a small side chapel decorated with human skulls and bones.

The Ossuary came into play in 1210 when a cemetery adjacent ran out of space, the room was build to hold bones. A church was attached in 1269, it was renovated in 1679, then in 1712 it was destroyed, a new church for Saint Bernardino was then built.

The ossuary’s vault was frescoed in 1695, by Sebastiano Ricci, and many niches and doors are decorated with bones in what is known as the Roccoco style. Interestingly in 1738 King John V of Portugal was so struck by the chapel he had a similar one built in √Čvora, near Lisbon.