Sedlec Ossuary.

One of the most macabre and shiver-giving places in the world that I would love to visit, is this small chapel in the Czech Republic. I am not a religious person by any means, the reason why I would like to experience this ossuary, is all in the bizarre/amazing architecture.

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Don’t believe that this place could actually exist? A short history:

Around 1400, a Gothic church was built in the center of a 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 demolition to make room for new burials.

After 1511, the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was 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, František Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to put the bone heaps into order, yielding a macabre result.

This incredible chapel is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones have in many cases been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. The ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech Republic, attracting over 200,000 visitors yearly. My personal favourite piece of furniture would have to be the chandelier, containing at least one of every bone in the human body. If only you could bequeath your bones to add to the church once you die, my life (and perhaps several more chandeliers) would be complete.

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