Milan / Attractions / San Bernardino alle Ossa

San Bernardino alle Ossa Milan

Visit the bone church in Milan: ossuary and skull chapel

San Bernardino alle Ossa

The Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa is a church in Milan known for its chapel decorated with human bones and skulls.

Info & Tickets Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa

Location Piazza Santa Stefano, Milano, only 300 meters from the Milan Duomo
Admission No tickets needed, free entry
  • Monday to Friday: opening hours from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: opening hours from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: opening hours from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, but the church is open, but the bone chapel is closed
Website Official website

A chapel in Chiesa di San Bernardino alle Ossa

This Catholic church is located in Milan less than a ten minute walk from the Duomo di Milano, but attracts fewer visitors. The unique thing about this church is the chapel, which contains thousands of human bones and skulls. The origin of this can be traced back to the thirteenth century, when there was not enough space to bury the deceased. A room was then built in which the bones were stored. The church San Bernardino alle Ossa was subsequently added to this space.

History of Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa

After a fire in the eighteenth century, the church was rebuilt and enlarged. As a result the ossuary (the bone chapel) could also be enlarged. By now it had gained popularity and attracted many visitors. The gigantic wall covered with layers of bones and skulls is sure to impress you.

San Bernardino alle OssaThe bone church of San Bernardino alle Ossa
Bone Chapel in MilanThe Bone Chapel in Milan

Other decorations in San Bernardino alle Ossa

A very special fresco can be seen when you lift your head to view the ceiling at the bone chapel of the Santuario di San Bernardino alle Ossa. The edges along the wall are still covered with skulls peering over the edge, one level up the daylight shines in through the windows, but then… your eye is caught by a special fresco by Ricci. It dates from 1695 and shows a spectacle of souls and angels. The colors in mainly yellow/gold and various shades of gray give a soft impression. In the corners you can also see the Holy Mary and other saints. Other paintings in the church are from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and are somewhat darker in nature, but no less impressive for that.

Where is the bone church in Milan?

San Bernardino alle Ossa Milano
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