Dem Bones….Dem Bones

On Sunday morning, we decided to find a church to visit and happened upon Christ Church Anglican Church……

It was a gorgeous church, inside and out….

….and the people that we met were so kind. Fortunately the service was in English which made it much easier. It was moving to go forward for communion and have the Vicar place the bread into my hands…very different from me taking it from a tray.

After lunch we wanted to do one more “touristy” thing and picked…..

The Cimitero della Fontanelle !! Here is some of the history of this cemetery…..

The cemetery is an ossuary located in an old quarry on the high end of Naples. In the 16th century, churches with crowded cemeteries started moving the bones of their long dead in the cave to make room for the newly dead. The remains were interred shallowly and then joined in 1656 by thousands of anonymous corpses, victims of the great plague of that year. Sometime in the late 17th century, great floods washed the remains out and into the streets. The anonymous remains were returned to the cave, at which point the cave became the unofficial final resting place for the indigent of the city in the succeeding years—a vast paupers’ cemetery.

So far so good…..then things got weird!!!

In the 19th century a cult developed whose members began to adopt the skulls. They named them, put them into little houses, brought them flowers and asked them to intervene with God for favors from the next life.

The cult of devotion to the skulls of the Fontanelle cemetery lasted into the mid-20th century. In 1969, Cardinal Ursi of Naples decided that such devotion had degenerated into fetishism and ordered the cemetery to be closed. It is now considered a historical site!!

So, enough history….let’s see the photos!!!

Many of the skulls were in little stone houses with various charms and offerings……

This one was a little strange with the hat on the skull….

….and I really have no idea why one of the seven dwarfs is there…..

Michael decided that this was the Italian version of “Go Fund Me”……

Here are a few other weird photos…..

Even though it is weird, I really like the composition of this photo…….

It was fun to look at the cavern….note the size of the people for scale……

There was a nativity scene in one area and it was interesting to see it from BEHIND…..

The cemetery was located in a less affluent part of town but we loved seeing the streets…..

…and the colors (and tile patterns)……

The happiest thing about the visit was this building…..

Yes…..it was a weird way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but when in Naples……

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