This Church Has A Chandelier Made Entirely Of Human Bones


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockNov 11 2015, 16:46 UTC
3608 This Church Has A Chandelier Made Entirely Of Human Bones
the_boglin/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It might sound like the ultimate Halloween party venue or some interior design by Skeletor, but the Sedlec Ossuary might just be the most bizarrely macabre place on Earth.

In the small Roman Catholic chapel in the Czech Republic, there’s a chandelier made of every bone in the human body. If that wasn’t morbid enough, the whole interior of the building is caked with the skeletal remains of between 40,000 and 70,000 people.


It started with a handful of dirt that a local abbot brought back from Jerusalem in the 13th century. After sprinkling it in the graveyard, a grave in the increasingly popular chapel became the must-have accessory for every corpse. As the Black Death and wars added to the collection, the abundance of skulls soon became a kind of memento mori: a reminder of our transitory fleshy existence and our eternal spiritual existence. The collection grew and grew, until the Bohemian royal family employed František Rint to organize the skulls in 1870, using them to decorate the chapel.

This deliciously creepy video from Atlas Obscura, gives you an intricate history of this grisly church, as well other ossuaries around the world.

Main image credit: the_boglin/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

  • tag
  • death,

  • bones,

  • skull,

  • church,

  • Czech Republic