Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

100 Wonders: The Classiest Saint Relic in Europe

Chiesa della Santa in Bologna, Italy is filled with stunning architecture, gilded sculpture and paintings. But it would be easy to miss perhaps it’s most surprising sight: St. Catherine of Bologna.

This wonder is found behind the little wooden door near the left of the church’s entrance. Those who take notice and ring the doorbell will find themselves ushered into a back room, sitting face to face with the mummified relic of the saint’s body.

St. Catherine has been sitting there for over 500 years, her skin stained black from countless centuries of candle soot, with a Bible and a cross still held tight in her hands. Cared for by a group of dedicated and welcoming nuns she may well be there for 500 more.

See more 100 Wonders on our YouTube page, and click here to subscribe!