Category: 

What Is the Most Macabre Form of Art?

Art can't be defined; what is beautiful to one viewer might seem grotesque to another. But there must be near consensus that a visit to the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic will shake up your view of artistic expression. About an hour's train ride from Prague, the small chapel is commonly known as the "Bone Church" because it contains bones from more than 40,000 skeletons. But the bones aren't in coffins or tombs -- at least, not anymore. Instead, they are utilized in an assortment of displays, from chandeliers and candelabras to pyramids and family crests -- all made of human bone. The chapel got its start as a burial site in the 13th century when an abbot scattered "holy" soil from Jerusalem on the ground. Almost immediately, it became a place where everyone wanted to spend eternity, and in no time, the little landmark was overwhelmed with the bones of the dead. Finally, in the 19th century, a woodcarver was employed to make the place look more presentable, and he came up with the idea to turn the bones into artwork. Today, visitors can even see his signature on the wall -- made of bones, of course.

Boning up on human anatomy:

  • Babies have approximately 300 bones, but many fuse together, leaving adults with the standard number of 206.

  • The only bone in the human body not connected to a joint is the hyoid; it aids the tongue in moving and swallowing.

  • There's no "funny bone" in the human body; the ulnar nerve is what causes that odd feeling when being struck near the elbow.

Follow wiseGEEK:
  twitter

More Info: Atlas Obscura

Discuss this Article

dimchild
Post 1

What a great way to truly immortalize yourself.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

As President of Uruguay, José Mujica refused to live in the presidential mansion and gave away 90% of his salary.  more...
 
October 16 ,  1964 :  China became the fifth country in the world to successfully detonate a nuclear bomb.  more...