Knowing the etymological origin of the term crypt is necessary in order to discover its meaning. In this case, we can state that it is a word that derives from Latin, exactly comes from “crypta”, which was used to refer to an “excavation” or “underground gallery”. Word that, in turn, comes from the Greek, from “krypte”.
The concept alludes to the underground site that was destined for the burial of the corpses.
Common in the Middle Ages, crypts were often chambers found under churches. Even sometimes the construction of the temple was raised from the surface level so that the crypt was on the ground. Previously, the crypts were caves that were carved into a rock.
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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 above ground level, it is called a mausoleum.
An example of a crypt is the Royal Crypt of the Monastery of El Escorial, whose origins date back to the 7th century. It has twenty-six marble tombs containing the bodies of Spanish monarchs belonging to the Austrian and Bourbon dynasties.
The Crypt of San Antolín, for its part, is located under the Cathedral of Palencia. The place is consecrated to San Antolín, the patron saint of Palencia, housing his remains.
In the same way, there are other important crypts that are worth discovering and seeing in situ. This would be the case, for example, of the crypt of the Cadiz Cathedral. That was built in the first half of the 18th century, specifically around the year 1732.
The one that has a circular appearance and that stands out because it houses the tombs of two of the most illustrious sons of the city was made of oyster stone. We are referring to the writer José María Pemán (1898 – 1981) and the composer Manuel de Falla (1876 – 1946).
“Tales from the Crypt”, finally, is the title of a TV series known as “Tales from the Crypt” in Latin America and as “Stories from the Crypt” in Spain. Its chapters are based on comics created by William Maxwell Gaines for EC Comics. “Tales from the Crypt” aired between 1989 and 1996.
One of the most important novels of Spanish literature of the 20th century also bears the term in question in its title. We are referring to “The Mystery of the Haunted Crypt”, which was written by Eduardo Mendoza and published in 1978.
It comes to narrate the mysterious disappearance of a girl in a boarding school in Barcelona. Commissioner Flores, inspector of the Criminal Investigation Brigade, will be in charge of solving the case and finding the whereabouts of the minor. To do this, he will decide to enlist the help of a criminal who is admitted to an asylum.