Gallery: 6 Creepy Churches Made of Bones

Located in the walled medieval city of Evora, Portugal, the Capela dos Ossos is a 16th century Franciscan chapel lined with skulls and bones that stretch over the interior groin vaulting and all over the walls. Unlike the decorative bones of the other chapels, two full corpses hang from chains, left in their entirety- one of a man and one of a child, with “Better is the day of death then the day of birth” written near them on the ceiling.
+ Capela dos Ossos
The intricate décor of bone churches was a way for churches to make use of excess bones, leaving a haunting reminder of mortality.

Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins

Sedlec Ossuary

Monastery of San Francisco


San Bernardino alle Ossa

Czermna Chapel

Capela dos Ossos

Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins

Rome’s Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins is decorated with the remains of over 4,000 friars who died between 1500 and 1870. Once visited by the Marquis de Sade, the bones are arranged in Baroque and Rococo style. The skeletons of three friars, resembling Macabre himself, greet visitors to the church.

Sedlec Ossuary

Inspired by Our Lady of the Conception, the Sedlec Ossuary is a small chapel in a suburb in the Czech Republic. The bone chilling chandeliers (made from every bone in the human body), skull lined arches and pyramids are made from 40,000-70,000 skeletons. A half blind monk  stacked the bones into pyramids in 1511, but woodcarver Frantisek Rint was commissioned by the Schwarzenberg family to redesign the bones 1870. Rint also designed the Schwarzenberg coat of arms near the entrance.


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