Church Santa Maria della Concezione
Church Santa Maria della Concezione is situated at the bottom of via Veneto just off Piazza Barberini. Pope Urban VIII commissioned it in 1626. It was designed by Antonio Casoni and built between 1626 and 1631.
Cappuccini (Capuchin) Cyrpt
Church Santa Maria della Concezione shows the simple life of the Capuchin monks. The church itself is small and quaint. The Mass Chapel is used for the celebration. On the left side on the wall there is a display of the preserved heart of Maria Felice Peretti. She is a grandniece of Pope Sixtus V, who was very devoted to the Capuchins. It houses magnificent artwork by artists like Guido Reni, Andrea Sacchi and Caravaggio. The painting by Guido Reni depicts St Michael the Archangel crushing Lucifer is one of favorite here. My other favorite painting I found particularly captivating was St Francis in prayer by Caravaggio.
The real highlight of this trip is the crypt, which holds Rome's most grim sight. The underground crypt, found below the mass church is divided into five chapels.
All five rooms are decorated with the skeletons of over 4,000 Capuchin Monks. They died between 1528 & 1870 and reside here. The soil in the crypt was brought from Jerusalem 400 years ago. Surrounded by religious symbols, the bones are meticulously dismantled and arranged in ornate patterns. A very interesting plaque hangs in one of the chapels. It reads in three different languages, “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be”.
Part of the exhibit provides a lot of history and a display of robes, shoes and bibles of some of the monks. What I found interesting is the complete skeletons dressed as friars standing in each of the five chapels. They appeared to have skulls retaining some withered skin. The Capuchin crypt also known as the "Bone Church" is definitely an attraction in Rome that is worth seeing.