“What you are now, we once were; what we are you shall be”. This introspection-inducing quote was found written in the somber crypts of Santa Maria Della Concezione Cappuccini. A dark tourism travel hub featuring walls to ceiling decoration of skulls and skeletons of ancient monks in poses of prayer.
That might sound like a place to stay away from for some. However, for dark tourism enthusiasts, it can just be their next perfect travel destination. There can be as many tell ideas as many kinds of voyagers there are.
Some go on a wine tasting trip, some go hunting museums or the history untold by most books. Some prefer adventuring, while others may enjoy the spooky nature of their travel destinations.
If you find yourself craving a tour to places with haunted historical origins then this blog is just for you. Now without further ado, let’s dive right in.
3 Historic Dark Tourism sites in Europe
Chernobyl, Pripyat: The spooky silent aftermath
Have you heard about the Chernobyl incident? April 26, 1986, was a day of great distress for the local population. The Reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl reactor experienced an error and the twin explosions took off its roof.
If the story ended there, this might not have been seen as such a harrowing incident. The Reactor leaked radioactive dust, which formed a cloud and started spreading around the area. Pripyat was the town close by the reactor.
The thick miasma of radioactive fog spread to the rest of the surrounding regions. Residents of Pripyat were directed to leave the town as soon as possible. It is estimated that the radiation was supposedly 400 times more intense than that of Hiroshima.
If you find yourself craving some dark tourism, I recommend Pripyat. Beware though, you will be directed to wear full sleeves and body covering clothes at all times. You will be checked for radiation after your visit is over as well.
There are guided tours available to visit the town. The Chernobyl plant and the woodlands around the vicinity can be visited on these tours too. This also means you will only be allowed to visit through a guided tour of this site. It’s for your own safety.
Is visiting Chernobyl and Pripyat Safe?
Pripyat and Chernobyl were deemed safe destinations to visit after a thorough investigation by officials in 2010. Strict safety measures are still in place to keep the visitors safe. You will be screened for radioactive particles after you are done with your visit.
You will be given a set of instructions to follow, which you must obey for your own safety. Wearing long sleeves and skin covering clothing to not touching any random object is a good habit to practice there.
The objects can still carry radioactive dust particles and touching them can be dangerous to your health. You will be told to not sit down anywhere as the radioactive dust might be in those locations. The safety measures may seem excessive to you, but considering what had happened there, can you truly blame them?
Things to do in Chernobyl
Take a guided tour to Duga Radar Russian Woodpecker
Visit the point of incident origin at Reactor No.4
Go to the Chernobyl Go
Find some peace and quiet at St. Elijah Church
Take a private tour with Chernobyl visit and experience the adrenaline rush of extreme dark tourism
Where to stay in your Chernobyl Dark tourism vacation?
Check-in at Desyakta Hotel-
it’s located at Bohdana Chmelnitskogo Str. 1a, Chernobyl, 0720 Ukraine. Some of the featuring amenities of Desyakta hotel are a free parking facility, internet connectivity, Bar/lounge availability, restaurant facility, and nonsmoking rooms.
You can visit Chernobyl visit, Chernobyl Go, and St. Elijah Church nearby. If you are feeling peckish then perhaps checking out Desyakta cafe, which is barely 1 kin walk from here might be a good idea.
Book your accommodation at Pripyat Hotel for your Chernobyl Tour–
It’s located at Bohdana Chmelnitskogo Str 1_ Chernobyl Ukraine. Some of the featuring property amenities are WiFi connectivity, a Bar/lounge, Shared bathrooms, and a restaurant facility available. It’s a Mon smoking hotel.
If you are looking for nearby attractions, then St. Elijah Church is barely 0.8 miles and Chernobyl Go 1.2 miles from Pripyat Hotel.
Where to eat at Chernobyl?
One of the highly recommended cafes in this location, Desyakta Cafe is the place to be. You can taste European authentic cuisines for breakfast, dinner, and lunch with a table service facility.
It’s located at Bohdana Chmelnitskogo Str 1a, Chernobyl, 66677, Ukraine.
If you are comfortable with driving a bit to get the best taste you can around the spot, then is the place to go. Old Tallinn is located at Tbilissky kvartal, 1, Slavutych, Ukraine, which is about 28.5 miles from Chernobyl.
You can order yourself some Eastern European or international cuisines to taste. This place is majorly vegetarian-friendly and offers brunch, lung, and dinner services.
Terror inducing Dark tourism vacation to Auschwitz, Poland
Unlike your mainstream travel destinations, this place is known worldwide for being a Nazi concentration camp. A place of depression desperation and genocide. It is known that around 1.1 million people were slaughtered here between 1940 to 1945.
90% of that number comprised of Jewish people. The rest 10% comprising of gypsies, Soviet prisoners, and Poles. As the Soviet army approached during 1945 in January that’s not the concentration camp was abandoned in a hurry. however, even during the last moments, they left nothing behind.
All that was left for the Soviet army to find was piles and piles of human Ashes scattering through the wind. They left behind a hell along with the personal artifacts belonging to the departed. Even after many decades have passed to this day remains to be a harrowing reminder of how far human cruelty can descend.
Even if the Nazi army tried their very best to destroy any and everything left, some personal artifacts of former inmates were left behind in good conditions. If you are on a tour to find the darkest destinations around the globe, then this is a must-visit. It can help you remind yourself to treat others well despite their origin.
I recommend you so go on a guided tour of this site. The tour guide can tell you all about the history related to this place, as you journey back in time.
Things to do in Auschwitz, Poland
Take a guided dark tourism tour to the historic site of Pànstwowe Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Take an Auschwitz trip to nearby Krakow
Go on a trip down the memory lane of salt mines in Auschwitz
Spend some time in the Museum Krakowa
Travel around the Krakow, lesser Poland province through guide Pablo taxi tours.
Where to stay on your Auschwitz dark tourism trip?
Book your accommodation at the Queens House
Situated in Oswiecim, it’s a 28-minute walk from Auschwitz. The place features amenities such as free WiFi, a bar, kid and pet-friendly services, and a garden on the premises.
After you get refreshed at your accommodation, you can go on nearby sightseeing. Memorial and Museum Auschwitz is a 20-minute walk or 20-minute drive from this place. You can get to Katowice airport on a 1hr drive or 3hr by train.
Rent your vacation apartment at Colors Apartments
This place features a kitchen with refrigerator amenities and complimentary wi-fi access along with a flat-screen TV.
By staying here, you can be at your destination to Energylandia and Pepsi DinoZatorland through a 5-minute drive. Colors Apartments is situated about 20 Kms from Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and Wawel Castle can be found about 45 kms from here.
Where to eat at Auschwitz, Poland?
If you are on your way to Auschwitz on an empty stomach, stop, go back, get something to eat. Once you are past the security checkpoint in Auschwitz, there is no well-renown place for you to get something to eat. Even around the area, there may be some stalls selling food, however, I recommend you arrive on a full stomach.
If you are coming through Krakow then I do have some recommendations for you.
Taste the authentic Polish menu at Restaurant Wentzl
Wentzl is mostly known for its Authentic Polish dining experience some of the featuring recipes being smoked eel tartar and whipped rabbit mousse.
It’s situated at Rynek Gloweny 19, 31-008 Krakow, Poland.
Restauracja Pod Baranem
This place is raining on around the area or offering a satisfying homemade soup, Surowka, and main serving of fish or meat.
It’s situated at 33-332, Swietej Gertrude 21, Krakow, Poland. If you happen to be an art enthusiast or a writer yourself then you will love this place. It is known for attracting a majority of the creative crowd in the city.
Specter of death at Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins in Rome, Italy
“What you are now, we once were; what we are u shall be”. This hard-core quote that gets you introspective can be found written in many languages on the last crypt.
If you glance at its exterior you’ll find the space looking rather normal. An ancient simply but overall ordinary. take a trip inside this place and your opinion will be changed forever.
Santa Maria Della Concezione dei Cappuccini is An ancient crypt containing the final remains of around 3700 monks. It was built between 1626 to 1631. this place used to be a refuge for capuchin monks.
They were a hidden religious order which deferred from the main branch by embracing simplicity. It was ordered to be built by Pope Urban VIII. As time progressed the monk’s refuge in this place continued to pass away and their remains continued to be buried in the church.
After some time, however, there was no more space left for new bodies so the old dead bodies were excavated and were used to decorate the walls and ceiling of this place.
On your Dark tourism trip to the lady of the conception of Capuchins, you will find skulls and bones adorning the walls. Some skeletons placed in such a way that they look to be in prayer, covered with brown cloaks. This place also features a monumental depiction of death through a child’s skull with a scythe and scales of justice in either hand.
Things to do in Santa Maria Della Concezione dei Cappuccini
Take a guided dark tourism tour to Monumental Cemetery of the Capuchin brothers
Comprehend the deep connection of the ultimate destination of us all to our present lives on a stroll through the museum and crypts of Capuchins
Click some pictures with your friends at the Fontana del Tritone
Places to eat around Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins crypts
Ristorante Crispy 19
One of the best places to eat around the crypt, Ristorante Crispy 19 offers Italian, seafood, Mediterranean, European, and contemporary cuisines. You can ask for a Vegan and vegetarian diet as well, even gluten-free options are available.
It’s situated at Francesco Crispi 19 RM, Rome, Italy.
Trecaffe Due Macelli
Best known for its Italian cuisine and being a cafe, it offers a vegetarian-friendly menu with vegan options along with other popular dishes. You can get your brunch, breakfast, or lunch from here.
This place is situated at Dei Due Macelli 107, 00187, Rome, Italy.
Best Hotels to stay in near Santa Maria Della Concezione dei Cappuccini
Book a room at Hotel Stendhal
Situated at del Tritone 113, 00187, Rome, Italy, this place is barely 0.1 miles away from your destination.
Some of the main amenities provided by Hotel Stendhal are free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, transportation facility to the airport, Baggage storage, and Dry cleaning support.
The room comes with soundproofing and air conditioning, a minibar and flatscreen TV, and basic amenities. The rooms are no smoking only.
Stay at Hotel Majestic Roma
Hotel Majestic Roma is situated at Vittorio Veneto, 50, 00187, Rome, Italy. It’s just right by Santa Maria Della Concezione Cappuccini.
Some of the main amenities offered by Hotel Majestic Roma are, Valet Parking, Free WiFi services, a bar, a gym, a nightclub with DJ, Car hiring facility, and miscellaneous.
The air-conditioned rooms of this hotel offer bathrobes along with a shower, a minibar, a flatscreen TV, and a private balcony.
While you may be on your journey or a sense of adventure kindly remember to respect the departed. these places are sites of significant dark impact on the local history. I recommend you to respect the culture and people and history of the places you visit.
There are much more places that I can recommend to you for you are dark tourism trip around Europe. However, the above three can certainly be said to be the top three of such places.
Now that you know, it’s time for us to part ways.
Go on now adventurer, have fun, Happy Travels!