Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins (Santa Maria della Concezione dei Capucchini)
The Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins (Santa Maria della Concezione dei Capucchini) is an offbeat and somewhat macabre attraction in Rome that’s noted for its unusual Capuchin crypt. Made up of five chapels, the crypt is decorated with the bones of more than 4,000 friars, arranged in elaborate patterns on the walls and ceilings.
Commissioned in the 1600s by Pope Urban VIII, Capuchin Cardinal Antonio Barberini had the remains of deceased friars exhumed and transferred to the new church's crypt upon its completion. Tour this remarkable crypt as part of a larger crypt-and-catacomb tour—which often include the Domitilla Catacomb and Basilica of San Clemente—to see how the monks transformed the bones into intricate works of art, or on an underground walking tour of Rome.
Things to Know Before You Go
Cover your shoulders and knees when visiting the Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins, a working place of worship.
The church and crypt is not accessible to wheelchairs.
Photography is not allowed inside the crypt.
The crypt may not be suitable for the very young or squeamish.
How to Get There
The Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins is located on Via Veneto, a short walk from Piazza Barberini where a number of buses and the metro line A stop.
When to Get There
The church and crypt are open daily, and it’s best to visit this popular site either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it’s less crowded.
Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini Beyond The Crypt
Most come to the Church of Immaculate Conception to see its extraordinary crypt, but it's also home to a number of important 17th-century works of art. The most notable are the St. Michael the Archangel altarpiece by Guido Reni, Christ Mocked by Gherardo delle Notti, and Saint Paul Restores Vision by Pietro da Cortona.
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