- History of the Capuchin Crypt in Rome
- What to see and what to do in the Capuchin Crypt in Rome?
- - The Capuchin monastic church
- - The Capuchin Crypt
- How do I get to the Capuchin crypt in Rome?
- - How to get to Rome
- - To go to the Capuchin crypt in Rome...
- Schedules and rates of the Capuchin Crypt
- - SCHEDULE
- - RATES
- GOOD TO KNOW
Are you passing through the eternal city? Don't miss the visit to the Capuchin Crypt in Rome!
Welcome to Rome! The Trevi Fountain, the Dolce Vita, scooter rides, ice cream and pizza... It's certainly not difficult to fall under the spell of the Italian capital.
Ranked among the most visited in the world, Rome invites you to discover a remarkable architectural and cultural heritage. It must be said that the city was, in turn, the capital of the Roman Empire and the world centre of Christianity. Moreover, its historic centre is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During your stay, it is thus a flock of symbols which awaits you: Colosseum, Roman Forum district, Capitol, Vatican City... And of course, you will be tempted by its gastronomy, its festive atmosphere, its romantic sweetness.
Among the countless wonders to be discovered in Rome, don't miss a visit to the Capuchin Crypt. Strange and terrifying at the same time, it is a place where monks have stored the bones of their comrades for centuries. Amateurs of horror films will be delighted. Nowhere else will you find a place that offers such a spectacle.
Ready to experience the thrill? Here's all the information you need to visit the Capuchin Crypt in Rome.
Read also: The 17 must-do things to do in Rome
History of the Capuchin Crypt in Rome
The Capuchin friars in Rome had a very strange custom. Whenever one of them died, they would exhume the remains of the monk who had been buried the longest, and replace him with the one who had just died. When in 1631 they left the convent of Saint Bonaventura and moved to the church of Santa Maria della Concezione, it was only natural that they took the bones of their deceased brothers with them. In total, they fill three hundred carts with the remains of the deceased monks' bodies. The deceased are buried again around the church for more than thirty years. When only the bones remained, they were transported to the crypt of the church and placed along its wall as decoration. The realization of this strange rite ends in 1870.
It is estimated that the bones of nearly four thousand monks, who died between 1528 and 1870, are today kept in the Capuchin Crypt in Rome. If for many, this visit today is more like a horror film, the Catholic order of Capuchin monks invites you to discover it in a different way. Indeed, for the monks, the Capuchin Crypt is above all a strong symbol of our ephemeral passage on earth.
What to see and what to do in the Capuchin Crypt in Rome?
The monastic church of the Capuchins
Your visit begins with the discovery of the monastic church of the Capuchins, the Nostra Signora della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Italian. Compared to other buildings and churches in Rome, this small Capuchin church is nothing extraordinary. It still houses some famous works of art from the 18th century, such as St. Michael Slaying the Dragons by Guido Reni. It also has a very interesting and well-stocked museum. Numerous documents and paintings will allow you to learn more about the life of the monks four hundred years ago. Some of the works are also signed by Caravaggio. The museum is relatively large and really worth a visit.
The Capuchin Crypt
Then take the corridor leading to the main attraction, with its bone-covered ceiling, to visit the Capuchin Crypt. At the entrance, you will be greeted by an inscription that sets the tone for the visit: "As you were, we were; as we will be". It says it all.
The cemetery, located in a forty-metre long gallery, is made up of five crypts, a chapel and a corridor, all decorated with skulls and other shins of adult monks, but also of children, forming a work of art, the author of which remains unknown. Legend has it that the monks are collectively the creators. To visit the Capuchin Crypt in Rome, you have to have a good heart!
Each of the sections also bears an evocative name: the Crypt of the Resurrection, the Crypt of the Three Skeletons, the Chapel of the Mass, the Crypt of the Leg and Thigh, the Crypt of the Skulls and the Crypt of the Pelvis. The floor is, moreover, entirely covered with earth, imported from Jerusalem by Pope Urban VIII.
Finally, you will be able to admire, so to speak, the skeletons of the three grand-nephews of Pope Urban VIII, the remains of Prince Matthew Orsini or the heart of Princess Maria Felice Peretti, grandniece of Pope Sixtus V. It is frighteningly frightening!
How do I get to the Capuchin crypt in Rome?
To get to Rome
- By plane
The plane is ideal to get you to Rome. Numerous flights, coming from the main Italian and European cities, land daily at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. Many regular and low-cost airlines offer flights to Rome at very reasonable prices (check out Skyscanner).
Once at the airport, a train and buses allow you to easily reach the city centre.
- By train
The city of Rome is very well served by train. Two trains leave Paris for Rome daily. However, the journey takes more than 11 hours. A good opportunity, however, to enjoy the scenery!
- By bus
Many bus companies, such as FlexiBus, OuiBus or EuroLines, offer journeys to Rome from several cities in France. It's often a bit long, but the fares are unbeatable!
- By car
If you have the time, and you are travelling with family or friends, the car can be an interesting option to get to Rome and visit the Capuchin Crypt. This mode of transport will allow you to discover Italy, and make many stops in sumptuous cities such as Pisa or Florence. To give you an idea of the journey, you should know that nearly one thousand five hundred kilometres separate Paris from the Italian capital.
To go to the Capuchin crypt in Rome...
The church and the crypt are just a few minutes walk from Piazza Barberini.
- By metro: Take line A and get off at the Barberini stop.
- By bus: Lines 52, 53, 61, 62, 63, 83, 85, 492 or 590: stop Place Barberini.
Schedules and rates of the Capuchin Crypt
Opening hours of the Crypt and the Museum
- Every day: from 9 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6:30 pm)
- Closed on 25 December, 1 January and at Easter.
- Every day: from 7am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm
- Sundays and holidays: from 9:30 am to 12 am and 3:30 pm to 6 pm
- Closed on December 25
Crypt and museum rates
- Full price: 8,50 euros
- Tariffs under 18 and over 65 years old: 5 euros
Please note: The visit of the church is free.
Have you had the chance to visit the Capuchin Crypt in Rome? Share your impressions as a commentary!