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100 Wonders: The Bone Church

“Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”

Any lapsed Catholic will remember this line, as it’s part of the tradition of Ash Wednesday celebration. It has its roots in ”memento mori,” the Latin theory of death that was of great importance to medieval Christianity. Monks surrounded themselves with the bones of the dead, reminding them that life was fleeting and they would be with god soon. Churches were stacked with femurs and monasteries overflowed with skulls. What was philosophical was also aesthetic. The arrangement of human remains into fantastical forms became an art form. Nowhere is this more true than in Sedlec Ossuary, also known as “The Bone Church”.

Watch the video above for the explanation of how this bone church came to be!