Crypt


Underground place where it was customary to bury the dead, usually located under the main floor of a church. The crypts were located within the catacombs, underground galleries, with the main purpose of burying corpses, and where religious celebrities such as popes or martyrs were placed for their final rest. The crypts were adorned with pictorial representations and mosaics that reproduced scenes from the Bible.

The first crypts were intended to hide the martyrs from the profane, and for them they dug into the rocks. It was after these churches were raised on these graves.

Currently, the rock chambers that house the bodies of the deceased are known as crypts, which can be in cathedrals, but also in public or private cemeteries, and by extension in the places that exist in any underground building.

Over time, crypts began to be built in cemeteries. The function has remained unchanged since its inception: in this type of place the remains of people are deposited. If the crypt is built on the ground level, it is called a mausoleum.

Burial sites were usually underground galleries dug into the ground, also called catacombs. In them there was a specific space dedicated to burying the dead and that place was the crypt. For the most part, the crypts had a skylight in the ceiling to facilitate lighting and ventilation of the place. In addition to its function as a cemetery, this place was also used for religious worship.

In any case, the catacombs where the crypts were built continued to be built until Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380 AD.

On the other hand, in Botany, a crypt is a deep hole that some plants have. For example, the leaves of certain xerophytic plants may have their stomata hidden in crypts, that is, in holes (stomatal crypts).

Many of today’s Christian churches were built on top of the original catacombs and crypts. These places are still visited by some pilgrims. In them it is possible to find the tombs of saints and martyrs of the primitive Christian church and, at the same time, to know the symbolic elements of Paleo-Christian art (the chrismon that refers to the figure of Christ, the images of the Good Shepherd, the paintings of the Peacock as a representation of the immortality of the soul or the Anchor that symbolizes the future life).