The Skull Chapel Of Poland

On September 24, 2014 by Tim Newman

Skull Chapel, Czermna Poland exterior

The skull chapel in Czerman, Poland is a grizzly reminder of human loss. It was built in 1776 by the Czech local parish priest Wacław Tomaszek to commemorate people who died during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), three Silesian Wars (1740–1763), and the people who perished thanks to cholera epidemics, the plague, syphilis and starvation.

The Thirty Years’ War was one of the most destructive wars in European history killing an estimated 8 million people in total. It sucked much of mainland Europe into its death tanks throughout the duration of the conflict. The war began as a good old-fashioned Catholics vs. Protestants fandango but slowly evolved into a more standard political rivalry kind of thing.

Skull Chapel, Czermna Poland

The father was inspired after a visit to the Capuchin cemetery in Rome and when he returned from his vacation he got busy building this grizzly monument.

Skull Chapel, Czermna Poland interior

Tomaszek got to work collecting the fallen from their shallow graves and cleaning them up all nice and shiny. He was assisted by a grave-digger called Mr Schmidt. All in all it took 18 years to construct the masterpiece, from 1740 to 1763.

Skull Chapel, Czermna Poland ceiling

There are 3000 skulls adorning the interior of this exquisite masterpiece and the cellar holds a further 21,000 skeletons. The skeletons of the people who made this monument, including Tomaszek himself were placed on the altar in 1804 alongside some of the odder, more deformed and bullet ridden specimens.

Skull Chapel, Czermna Poland cellar

So, in conclusion – it’s nice they’ve made an effort with the place but you wouldn’t want to stay the night, would you?

Skull Chapel, Czermna Poland 2

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