In 1525, the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, was an ecclesiastical order united and twinned to the Franciscan order, which was installed throughout the European continent, especially in the Italian and Spanish Mediterranean region.
The priests discovered perfectly mummified corpses from the religious Order during the construction of the crypt in Palermo. The Capuchin monks interpreted it as a heavenly sign and they decided that they should be exposed, standing on the first walls of the corridor of the catacombs.
During the following centuries, the brotherhood used these graves on their benefit to convey the message of memento mori to all citizens or visitors of the city, while the crypt acquired more notoriety. This is why it is possible to find corpses, not only of the brotherhood of friars, but also civil bodies with decorative elements of the old times such as clothing or daily materials , which would honor the profession or social position of the deceased person. This is how it became the first museum of death.
Nowadays, there may be a great variety of opinions, but between the 16th and the 19th century, being buried in this crypt became an act of prestige and social position, at the same time it was acquiring fame and renown throughout the European Mediterranean.
In addition, this crypt contributed to current anthropological studies to know the way of life and history of the time.
Keep in mind that the visit to the museum is unusual and creepy, so it is not recommended for children. In addition, it is totally forbidden to take photographs inside the museum.