If you happen to venture into the Czech Republic’s small suburb of Sedlec, you may stumble upon the Cemetery Church of All Saints. The structure itself looks fairly unassuming, but the outer walls contain some creepy indications of the ghastly findings you are about to encounter inside – actually, less so inside than underneath.
Tucked beneath the small Roman Catholic chapel is the Sedlec Ossuary, which is essentially an enormous mausoleum estimated to hold the remains of between 40,000 and 70,000 dead people. Charming, yes? The vast majority of the deceased met their demise in the 14th and 15th centuries after obviously unsuccessful encounters with the black plague and the Hussite wars. Just the thought of dealing with that many corpses is shudder-worthy on its own, but there’s more … many of the inhabitants’ remains have been used to build giant bone sculptures within the ossuary’s underground walls. Is this pragmatism at its finest?