Rather than bury their deceased in a graveyard, the people of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic took another tactic. Many people were buried in the Cemetery Church of All Saints, which dates back to the thirteenth century. In 1511, a monk cleared the bones out of the graveyard to make way for new arrivals and put them in a lower chapel. They were arranged into artful pyramids. But in 1860, a guy named František Rint turned that tiny space into what's now known as the Sedlec Ossuarydecorating the chapel with the bones of over 40,000 people. 

A bony candelabra from the Sedlec Ossuary. Image via Daniel Wabyick

Most of those folks died during a plague in the fourteenth century and later during the religious Hussite Wars in the fifteenth century. This was a particularly holy place to be buried, since a previous abbot had brought back a pile of dirt from Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified.

Rint was truly an artist; he bleached the old skulls to make them shine extra-bright and arranged them expertly. He created bone chandeliers, chalices, and a gorgeous coat of arms, representing the heraldry of the princely Schwartzenberg family, which had commissioned Rint to fix up the place.