(Image Credit: Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Poland)
Czermna, Poland, is home to a church of different, er, style.
Looking at the church from the road, it would be easy to assume it was nothing more than another ordinary chapel. Located in one of the oldest towns in Southwestern Poland, behind the wooden doors is a construction made up of human bones from over 3,000 war and plague victims. A trapdoor lead into the crypt below, which is home to another 21,000 remains.
The background story of the spooky church is between 1776 and 1804, the local priest by the name of Vaclav Tomasek painstakingly gathered the bones of victims from the Thirty Years’ War, Silesian Wars and Cholera outbreaks. He cleaned the bones and carefully arranged them into the finished product that it is today.
The chapel was made with the intention to be a shrine for the dead, and a ‘memento mori’ for the living.
At the altar of the church, Tomasek placed the bones of important figures, ranging from the skull of a local mayor, to the bones of a supposed giant. Now, his own bones are placed in the altar as well, after he passed in 1804.
Check out the article here with plenty of pictures of the incredible chapel at Smithsonian Mag.
There is also a 3D tour of the the chapel here at The Official Site.