The little town of Alcantarilha in the Algarve in southern Portugal is delightful and pretty and I shall show some other pictures of it later. But a rather surprising find is the Capela dos Ossos (or Chapel of Bones) which was built in the 16th Century and is annexed to the nave of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição in the centre of the town.
This tiny chapel, which is accessed directly from the roadway, measures no more than probably eight or ten feet in width, perhaps ten or twelve feet in depth and about eighteen or twenty feet in height but is lined entirely with human bones (mainly skulls and leg bones) which were retrieved from a local cemetery at the time of its building.
On the "beta" version of TE, you can see a LARGER VERSION of this picture.
Quite difficult to photograph due to limitations of space and the fact that a metal grille (with gaps just wide enough to allow a lens to pass) prevents access farther than about two feet from the road, this is a "vertical panorama" stitched from five separate images.
I've added as a workshop a closer view of the upper, more distant part of the chapel in which Christ on the Cross can be seen amidst some ancient skulls and bones.
Critiques | Translate
subhendu_bagchi (26089) 2013-08-31 10:30
a GREAT capture. Like the texture of it. Razor sharp, perfect light. A nice tight cropping. Excellent presentation. Tfs.
emka (102666) 2013-08-31 10:34
Hi John, rather macabre view. And it seems that in Portugal they like such decorations from skulls. I saw a small chapel somewhere in Algarve and also big one in Evora. Very strange picture, the skulls seem so small. Interesting note.
carlo62 (52142) 2013-08-31 14:20
il luogo è veramente originale e nonostante la luce difficile, hai ottenuto un eccellente risultato.
Bello anche il particolare del ws.
annjackman (21901) 2013-08-31 22:53
My eyes did not immediately adjust to the detail of this picture as at first I though that the chapel was made of pebbles. An excellent TE post with an interesting note. Very well taken under difficult conditions.
Kind Regards, Ann
jjcordier (79297) 2013-08-31 23:29
La version plus grande permet encore mieux "d'apprécier" les détails de cette très étrange chapelle et cette utilisation surprenante de ces ossements humains. Merci de nous faire partager ta découverte!
ktanska (28415) 2013-09-01 1:58
Quite surprising and bizarre view. You have done good work stitching these images together. Obviously there was not much choice of angle or light but the round forms of bones make a contrasty view anyway.
jcpix (13930) 2013-09-01 6:16
Well now, this is certainly not something we see every day. Quite intriguing to say the least, I was instantly curious when I saw the thumbnail...and was basically caught off guard when viewing the larger version. It appeared as stone work, the collection of skulls making this pattern and design was about the last thing I would have ever thought.
This is precisely the kind of thing that attracts me to TE, seeing and learning about new places, cultures and customs. I must admit though, I also really enjoy the traditional scenic images. :) This looks like something that may have posed some issues with a balanced composition because of the "off angles," but you've done a wonderful job getting it leveled. The WS close up is a great addition to show even more of the detail and make up of this Chapel of Bones. Thanks for sharing something new and fascinating. Hope you're having a pleasant weekend. Take care.
All the best,
Noel_Byrne (32542) 2013-09-01 10:03
Wow, what a place. I thought from the thumbnail view this would be stones, or seashells but the last thing I expected was human bones. Its a macabre scene, but an unusual and visually fascinating one. For me, the cross seems a little out of context surrounded by what we would normally see in a horror film. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of this fascinating place.
chrisvek (7001) 2013-09-01 19:12
Great and so unique photo.Splendid colors and contrasts.Nice lightning usage and details.Perfect framing too.Well done and thank you
Have a nice month
Sonata11 (33969) 2013-09-01 20:29
Wow! what a impressive chapel. Wonderfully executed image and fantastic presentation. Colors, light, sharpness, clarity are fabulous. This is an amazing.
Best regards and have a nice Sunday,
adores (46079) 2013-09-08 6:08
Good to see this chapel here! We have more like this one in Portugal - try to visit the one we have in Évora.
These are really impressive places and your photo transmits the atmosphere. I'm not sure if I've ever visited this one but I like the composition with the steps leading to the little cross, so small compared to the walls covered with bones.
Still today these are places that make us think.
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (26138)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-08-26
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/8, 1/50 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-08-31 10:08