Church of the Dead, Chiesa dei Morti, is a tiny church in Urbania that holds an interesting and slightly macabre display. Going through the Baroque doorway into the chapel, previously called the Capella Cola, one enters the Mummies Cemetery, Cimitero delle mummie.
Eighteen mummies, each standing in a glass case were put on display in 1833 behind the altar. These bodies were naturally mummified by the presence of a special mold that absorbed moisture from the corpses.
The Brotherhood of Good Death, founded in 1567, was responsible for the mummy display. The original goals of the brothers were to assist the poor and the dying, provide free burial for the dead, and register the deaths.
If there’s a guide available when you visit, the guide will tell you about how each of the mummies died. You’ll see a young Down’s syndrome corpse who died of heart failure, a woman who died during a caesarian birth (as was always the case during medieval times), and a murder victim. The mummies display a variety of health problems common during the middle ages.
You can see the mummies cemetery daily except Mondays and November 2. The Chiesa dei Morti is in Urbania’s center near the Palazzo Ducale Museum. Urbania is 17 km from Urbino in Le Marche region (see Le Marche map).
See on goitaly.about.com
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