The Chapel of Human Bone

Look at the picture above. This is Sedlec Ossuary, a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, Czech Republic. Wait! This is not just another chapel. It contains approximately 40,000-70,000 human skeletons, artistically arranged to form decorations of the building and it's furnishings. So, this is the "Chapel of Human Bones".

But, what inspired to build this chapel of human bones? Let's give some lights on the history behind this chapel.

During the Black Death in the mid 14th century, and after the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, many thousands of people were buried Sedlec and the cemetery had to be greatly enlarged. Around 1400, a Gothic church was built in the center of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves unearthed during construction, or simply slated for abolition to make room for new burials. After 1511 the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was, according to legend, given to a half-blind monk of the order.

Between 1703 and 1710 a new entrance was constructed to support the front wall, which was leaning outward, and the upper chapel was rebuilt. This work, in the Czech Baroque style, was designed by Jan Santini Aichel. In 1870, FrantiĊĦek Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to put the bone heaps into order. The macabre result of his effort speaks for itself. Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vaults. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, and the signature of Master Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance. Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

OMG is that even real ewwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sweeeet! This is some awesome place! I gotta put this on a list of places to see firsthand!