Skull Chapel of Czermna

Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland

The Skull Chapel (Kaplica Czaszek) or St. Bartholomew's Church, is an ossuary chapel. Built in last quarter of the 18th century on the border of the then Prussian County of Glatz, the temple serves as a mass grave with thousands of skulls and skeletal remains 'adorning' its interior walls as well as floor, ceiling and foundations. The Skull Chapel is the only such monument in Poland, and one of six in Europe.

The chapel was built in 1776 by Czech local parish priest Václav Tomášek. It is the mass grave of people who died during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), three Silesian Wars (1740–1763), as well as of people who died because of cholera epidemics, plague, syphilis and hunger.

Together with sacristan J. Schmidt and grave digger J. Langer, father Tomášek who was inspired by the Capuchin cemetery while on a pilgrimage to Rome, collected the casualties’ bones, cleaned and put them in the chapel within 18 years (from 1776 to 1794). Walls of this small, baroque church are filled with three thousand skulls, and there are also bones of another 21 thousand people interred in the basement. The skulls of people who built the chapel, including father Tomaszek, were placed in the center of the building and on the altar in 1804. Inside are a crucifix and two carvings of angels, one with a Latin inscription that reads 'Arise from the Dead' are among the bones.

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Founded: 1776
Category: Religious sites in Poland

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eva Wasiak (5 months ago)
This place is unbelievable, I came here when I was a child and took this I was not able to forget about it, walls inside are made from human bones, priests skulls market and let’s not forget what’s under the wooden floor !!! It will leave a mark on you, is just so peaceful and beautiful.
Marzena Kachniarz-Korzeniowska (9 months ago)
CREEPY ?☠️
Kamila Żebrowska (10 months ago)
Interesting place. You must visit if you are staying in Kudowa-Zdrój.
Jakub Bujny (11 months ago)
So as you see in comments it's just the single room BUT it has very specific atmosphere - you have many thoughts in your head when you see skulls of real people which have died during the epidemic. It's worth to see.
Abhilash A (15 months ago)
First of all, my deep respect to the bones and skulls of departed which has been exhibited. Place is small hall next to the church. There is no English guide. Ticket price is not worth as this should have been free entry to visitors. There should not be intention to make money from this kind of tourist exploitation.
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