In a small churchyard in Dingolfing, Germany you’ll find the Schusterkapelle (Schuster Chapel). Inside the chapel, you’ll find a decorated wooden display―and in that display, you’ll find a staggering collection of carefully painted skulls.
You’ve arrived at the Dingolfing Ossuary. Look closely, and you’ll see elegant calligraphy, dates, and decorative patterns inscribed on the over 60 skulls stored within this chapel. Schusterkapelle was built in the 17th century and if you look closely, you can see years written across several of the skulls, many of the dates from the 1800s.
The skulls are displayed on several shelves in the theatrical 15th-century wooden frames. As your eyes wander above the skulls, they’ll come across several paintings capturing various scenes of death and resurrection, while painted wooden cut-outs of souls in purgatory appear to burn in shadowy niches below. All of which served to remind the visitor: you too shall join these ranks.
Know Before You Go
The chapel seems to go by several names depending on who you ask, including "Schusterkapelle" "Erasmikapelle"and the “Dreifaltigkeitskirche." It is the smaller brick building in the side yard of the St. Johannes Church.
You can arrange to enter the ossuary by calling the Parish Office at +49 8731 2413. The Parish Office (Pfarrbüro St. Johannes) is just behind the Schusterkapelle, at Pfarrplatz 10, 84130 Dingolfing.