Gallery: 6 Creepy Churches Made of Bones

Chandeliers made of bones? An architectural arch lined with skulls? These aren’t bloody scenes from House of 1000 Corpses, they're typical parts of your run-of-the-mill ossuary! When graves and catacombs became over-crowded with bones largely due to the plague, churches began sorting and placing the bones in designated bone rooms. During the 16th and 17th centuries, churches around the world began applying an artistic touch to the bones, arranging them in their interiors decoratively as a reminder to its parishioners of the fragility of life. Read on to get a peek into our favorite bone churches - if you dare....

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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