The Chapel of Skulls in Poland is adorned with the bones of 3,000 people who died from war, disease, and starvation.
The Chapel of Skulls in Poland
Inspired by the Capuchin crypt in Rome, Father Vaclav Tomaszek began building St. Bartholomew’s Church, or Kaplica Czaszek, in Czermna in 1776. He spent the next 18 years exhuming bones from mass graves left over from years of war, disease and famine. Skulls and bones of 3,000 people were meticulously cleaned and arranged in the chapel as memorial and memento mori to visitors.
A trap door opens to the basement where bone fragments of another 21,000 have been interred.
When Father Tomaszek died, his skull was placed on the altar beside a syphilis skull, a skull said to have belonged to a giant, and others he had found interesting.
Images: Wikimedia Commons