Museum of the Dead in Palermo

 Catacombs of the Capuchins (Italian Catacombe dei Cappuccini) - burial catacombs located in the city of Palermo in Sicily, in which the clear remains of more than eight thousand people, most of the local elite and prominent citizens - the clergy, the aristocracy and the representatives of various professions. This is one of the most famous exhibition of mummies - skeletirovannye, mummified, embalmed body of the dead lie, stand, hang, form a composition.
 By the end of XVI century, the inhabitants of the Capuchin monastery has grown considerably, and there was a need for a dignified and spacious cemetery for the monks. For this purpose we adapted the crypt under the monastery church. In 1599 there was buried brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and then the remains were moved here several previously deceased monks. In what room crypt was close, and the Capuchins gradually dug a long passage in which up to 1871 placed the body of deceased monks.

 Philanthropists and benefactors of the monastery have also expressed a desire to be buried in the catacombs. For their burials were dug up additional lanes and kubikuly. Up until 1739 the burial permit issued in the catacombs of the archbishops of Palermo Capuchin or managers, then - the abbot of the monastery. In XVIII-XIX centuries, the Capuchin Catacombs became prestigious cemetery for the clergy, the nobility and the bourgeois families of Palermo.
 Capuchin catacombs were officially closed for burials only in 1882. Over three centuries in this unique cemetery were buried about 8,000 residents of Palermo - the clergy, monks and laymen. After 1880, for exceptional petitions in the catacombs were placed a few of the dead, including Vice Consul Giovanni Paterniti (1911) and two years of Rosalia Lombardo, the incorrupt bodies of which are the main attractions of the catacombs.
 Already in the XVII century, it became clear that the singularity of soil and atmosphere Capuchin Catacombs prevent decomposition of bodies. The basic method of preparing bodies for placement in the Catacombs was drying them in special chambers (Collatio) for eight months. After this period the mummified remains were washed with vinegar, clothed in the finest clothes (sometimes, according to the wills, the body changed clothes several times a year) and placed directly into the hallways and kubikulah Catacombs. Part of bodies placed in coffins, but in most cases the bodies were hung, exposed or laid in an open form in niches or on shelves along the walls.
 The most famous part of the Catacombs is the Chapel of St. Rosalia (up to 1866 was devoted to the Virgin of sorrows). In the center of the chapel in a glass coffin lies the body of Rosalia Lombardo two years (she died in 1920 of pneumonia). Rosalia's father, suffering her death, he turned to the well-known embalmers Dr. Alfredo Salafia keep asking her daughter's body from corruption. The successful embalming, the secret is Salafia never revealed, the body remained incorrupt. Remained intact not only the soft tissues of the face the girls, but the eyeballs, eyelashes, hair.
 Currently, the secret of the composition was set by Italian scientists. According to information from the found diary of Salafi, a convoy with formalin, alcohol, glycerin, zinc and some other ingredients. The mixture was fed under pressure through the arteries and to disperse the blood vessels throughout the body. Conducted in the U.S. research on embalming with the use of the Salafi gave excellent results. Burial Rosalia Lombardo was the latest in the history of the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo. With the mummy of a girl associated with a number of mysterious stories. Thirty-five years ago, the local superintendent has gone mad. According to him, he saw the girl opened her eyes .
 In kubikule adjacent to the chapel, located a few perfectly preserved bodies. These include the body of a young man with fiery red hair, a few priests, as well as Vice-Consul Giovanni Paterniti (died 1911), the only buried in the catacombs of a U.S. citizen.
 For convenience, the orientation of rooms are divided into categories: men, women, virgins, children, priests, monks and "profession".
 Corridor monks is historically the most ancient part of the Catacombs. Burials were made here from 1599 to 1871 years. The right of the current entrance of the corridor (not open to the public) put the body 40 of the most revered monks and people somehow connected with religion.

 Kubikula children located at the intersection of Corridors of men and priests. In a small room in a closed or open coffins, as well as in the niches along the walls placed the remains of dozens of children. In the central niche of children placed a rocking chair on which sits a boy, holding in his arms his little sister.

 Women corridor forms one of the smaller sides of the rectangle. Until 1943 the entrance to the corridor was closed by two wooden bars, and the niches with the bodies were protected by glass. As a result, Allied bombing in 1943, one of the gratings and glass barriers were destroyed, but remains substantially intact. Most are placed bodies of women are separated in horizontal niches, and only a few best-preserved bodies placed in vertical niches.
 Women's bodies are dressed in finest clothes on the fashion XVIII-XIX centuries - silk dresses with lace and ruffles, hats and bonnets. Shocking disparity between spilled from the time the remains of trendy clothes and screaming, into which they are clothed, Maupassant been noted: "This woman is even more hideously comical than men because they are dressed up smartly. Hollow eyes staring at you from under the lace, decorated with ribbons Cheptsov framing its dazzling whiteness of the black face, terrible, rotten, corroded by corruption.'s hands sticking out from the sleeves of new dresses, the roots of the felled trees, stockings, skinny leg bones appear to be empty. Sometimes the dead man wearing nothing but shoes, great for him pathetic, dry feet. "
 Small kubikula, located at the intersection of Corridors of women and professionals, is reserved for the burial of girls and unmarried women. About a dozen bodies lying and standing near a wooden cross, on which is placed the inscription "They are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins are those who follow the Lamb wherever he went" (Otk.14: 4). Head girls crowned with metal crowns as a sign of the virgin purity of the dead

 Corridor professionals concurrent Corridor men, is one of the two long sides of the rectangle. In this corridor placed the body of professors, lawyers, artists, sculptors, professional soldiers. In those buried here are noteworthy: Filippo Pennine - sculptor, Lorenzo Marabitti - sculptor, who worked, including the cathedrals of Palermo and Montreal, Salvatore Manzella - a surgeon, Francesco Enea, (he died in 1848) - Colonel, lying in a beautifully preserved military uniform Army of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. According to local legend, accepted or rejected by various researchers, professionals in the Corridor lies the body of Spanish painter Diego Velazquez.

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