There were times when using bones of the deceased was a rightful way for religious institutions to honor the dead. That's how ossuaries in churches and catacombs came to existence. Later, these caves were handy as there wasn't enough room in cemeteries after plagues.


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Piles of bones forming walls, pillars, towers, altars or even chandeliers can be found in the following pics. They belonged to monks, noblemen, victims of diseases and also virgins! However, in many cases the only conserved part of a body is the skull.

Although many people find it difficult to understand why ossuaries are labeled as "tourist attractions", visiting them doesn't necessarily mean some kind of morbid fascination. It might be a chilling or startling experience, but a sense of transcendence and life lies beyond the macabre confrontation with destiny that happens when one is seeing these bones.

If you have visited or know some other interesting ossuaries or catacombs, feel free to add your pictures!

(via: BoredPanda.es)

#1 Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

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#2 Capela Dos Ossos, Évora, Portugal

Capela Dos Ossos, Évora, Portugal

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#3 Chapel Of Skulls, Czermna, Poland

Chapel Of Skulls, Czermna, Poland

imgur.com Report

#4 Monastery Of San Francisco, Lima, Perú

Monastery Of San Francisco, Lima, Perú

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#5 L'ossuaire Municipal, Paris, France

L'ossuaire Municipal, Paris, France

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#6 Church Of Santiago Apóstol, Lampa, Perú

Church Of Santiago Apóstol, Lampa, Perú

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#7 Senhora Do Monte Do Carmo, Faro, Portugal

Senhora Do Monte Do Carmo, Faro, Portugal

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#8 Church Of St. James, Brno, Czech Republic

Church Of St. James, Brno, Czech Republic

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#9 Sta. Maria Della Concezione Dei Cappuccini, Rome, Italy

Sta. Maria Della Concezione Dei Cappuccini, Rome, Italy

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#10 Beinhaus, Hallstatt, Austria

Beinhaus, Hallstatt, Austria

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#11 Cathedral Of Martyrs, Otranto, Italy

Cathedral Of Martyrs, Otranto, Italy

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#12 Cele-kula, Niš, Serbia

Cele-kula, Niš, Serbia

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#13 Basilica Of St. Ursula, Cologne, Germany

Basilica Of St. Ursula, Cologne, Germany

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Camelopard 2 years ago

I work there seasonally as a restorer - not on the bones, but still very special. :)

#14 Sta. María De Wamba, Valladolid, Spain

Sta. María De Wamba, Valladolid, Spain

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BobbyK 2 years ago

That's alot of dead people! Who cleaned all them bones?

#15 Sedlec Ossuary - Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

Sedlec Ossuary - Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

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#16 Beinhaus, Eggenburg, Austria

Beinhaus, Eggenburg, Austria

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Evgeni Iliev 1 year ago

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Church_StNedelya,_Batak_2012_08.JPG St. Nedelya church, Batak, Bulgaria.

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