Is There a Chapel Decorated with Human Skeletons?

An ossuary is a church building that is used to store human bones when cemeteries run out of room for full bodies. There is a chapel decorated with human skeletons known as the Sedlec Ossuary, or the Church of Bones. Located in the Czech Republic, this small chapel does not simply store bones or have them on display. The bones of 40,000 to 70,000 people have been used as intricate decoration for the chapel. Sedlec Ossuary dates to the year 1278, when the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery brought back soil from Jerusalem that was considered holy, which led to an increase in the number of people who wanted to be buried at the cemetery there.

More about cemeteries :

  • The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, Romania, contains headstones that feature artwork depicting the lives of the deceased.

  • One of the most well-known pieces in the Sedlec Ossuary is a chandelier that is composed of every type of bone in the human body.

  • In the Philippines, people often carve their own coffins before they die, and the coffins are then hung on the sides of cliffs.
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Discussion Comments


A chandelier that's composed of all human bones? Interesting, yet very morbid.


Even though I don't have a fascination with death, one thing I find really interesting is how everyone views it differently, especially with the way people buried.

For example, I'm sure that most Americans (myself included) think of people in coffins being buried underground whenever there's a funeral or ceremony.

However, from reading the third bullet point, it's pretty obvious that some think otherwise. While I've never heard of hanging coffins on cliff sides, it sure is an interesting concept.


I've never been to an ossuary before, but it's very intriguing that they use human bones when there's no more room left in the cemetery. However, I also find that to be a very disturbing concept. Besides, if there's not enough room, couldn't they just make room, or at least try to find a different cemetery that's nearby? Just food for thought.

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