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Girona History Museum

The cemetery, or the Capuchin mummification chamber

<p>The cemetery or mummification chamber of the former convent of Saint Anthony of the Capuchin friars, from the 18th century. Photography: Kim Peravalsky.</p>

The cemetery or mummification chamber of the former convent of Saint Anthony of the Capuchin friars, from the 18th century. Photography: Kim Peravalsky.

It was built in 1753 and is the only complete example in Catalonia, related to the Barberini convent in Rome and another convent in Palermo, Sicily. It is located on the ground floor, which was formerly the basement, and is bordered with eighteen vertical niches, with perforated benches where, in line with a ritual practised by the order since the 16th century, deceased friars were placed in a seated position until their bodies dried out. After two years, the mummies were dressed in religious habits and removed from the chamber, in order to become objects of reflection and devotion. This was in line with the Baroque concept of death, and invites reflection on eternal life.

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