Don Alvaro Alley – Cáceres, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Don Alvaro Alley

Fragments of human bones are embedded in the walls of this quaint alley. 


Many tourists visit Cáceres, Spain, and stop in this narrow alley to snap a few pictures of this picturesque corner of the old quarter. But its beauty isn’t the only reason people cast lingering looks toward the walls.

Bits of human bones are embedded into these old walls. Though it may look like the scene of some sort of grisly murder, the reasons the bone fragments freckle the architecture is much more mundane.

Don Alvaro Alley is situated in the very heart of Cáceres, near the Torre de las Cigüeñas (Storks Tower) and St. Matthew’s Church. The church plays a key role in the bones’ presence within the alley’s walls.

In medieval times, a cemetery was immediately adjacent to the church. When Don Alvaro Alley’s walls were rendered, the workers scrounged up building materials—including soil containing human remains—to build them. When the bones were discovered, the walls were covered in lime to conceal the macabre materials. Over the years, the lime began to crumble and chip, exposing the bones again.

Know Before You Go

The alley is situated in the very heart of Cáceres in the old quarter.

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