Italian mummies
July 11, 2004 10:57 PM   Subscribe

Long ago in the town of Palermo in Sicily some monks got together and decided that they wanted to start praying to one of their own after he had passed to the Great Beyond so they embalmed him. Four hundred years and 8,000 corpses later you can see the Capuchin Catacombs for yourself.
posted by euphorb (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
so that's where the Italian liberals meet
posted by mr.marx at 11:12 PM on July 11, 2004

Good link. The wall of priests is especially creepy.
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:30 PM on July 11, 2004

I'm going to amend my will to specifically state that I do not want to be embalmed, awkwardly hung from a wall and turned into a tourist attraction after I die. Sure, it sounds far-fetched, but I'm pretty sure this guy didn't think it could happen, either.
posted by mmcg at 11:43 PM on July 11, 2004

Mummy monks.
posted by homunculus at 12:31 AM on July 12, 2004

The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rome also has catacombs along these lines, and its the same order of monks, so I guess they made a habit of it (apologies), except that in the roman version, they actually take the monks apart and use bits of their skeletons to make interesting patterns on the wall and ceiling. Nice. (I have been there, its thoroughly rank.)
posted by biffa at 1:50 AM on July 12, 2004

Rank? Hardly! Rome's bone church is fabu. Also, the inscription when you walk in:
What you are, we once were. What we are now, you will become.

I was just there to pay my respects but sadly, it's closed for restoration.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:35 AM on July 12, 2004

Does one restore bones from the bone church with new bones, one wonders.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:46 AM on July 12, 2004

La cripta dei Cappuccini - Chiesa dell'Immacolata

on preview: Ciao CL!
posted by romakimmy at 3:48 AM on July 12, 2004

The ossuary in Kutna Hora (Czech Republic) is also decorated with disassembled skeletons.
posted by stonerose at 5:45 AM on July 12, 2004

Thanks for the link, stonerose. I have always wanted to visit that ossuary (made of 40 thousand people!). See also this thread.
posted by shoepal at 6:41 AM on July 12, 2004

I've been to Kutna Hora. At the presentation they blacked out the place and did a spotlight thingee while playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Very, very creepy.
posted by mr.marx at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2004

This site presents also some fine pictures of ossuaries in the catacombs of Paris.
posted by nims at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2004

I need a link to maria sharapova to cheer me up after all this.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:20 AM on July 12, 2004

Wow, these are fabulous links gang, thank you!
posted by dejah420 at 11:08 AM on July 12, 2004

two of the photographers are named "mike prenis" and "nacho prevenuty". They should get married (im assuming nacho is a girls name, I mean WTF if you are naming your kid nacho it dosent matter what sex they are) so one would be called Nacho Prenis. Yah, I got nothing.
posted by outsider at 2:59 PM on July 12, 2004

living dead.
posted by atom128 at 6:52 PM on July 12, 2004

I don't know why I am stunned things like this exist, or more precisely, still exist (i.e. have not been dismantled, destroyed, or ruined) but I am.

Absolutely incredible.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:04 PM on July 12, 2004

outsider: all the nachos I've known have been blokes, short for Ignacio.
posted by biffa at 1:49 AM on July 13, 2004

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