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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries
Description:
Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses or Ossuaries were common in many cultures all over the world. This category is for recording the many former ones that have been converted to other use over the centuries, as well as the ones still existing.

Please take a look at the Expanded Description for further details.
Expanded Description:


The Douaumont ossuary contains the skeletal remains of at least 130,000 unidentified French and German combatants from the Battle of Verdun

"An ossuary is a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary. The greatly reduced space taken up by an ossuary means that it is possible to store the remains of many more people in a single tomb than if the original coffins were left as is." (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

In Christian Europe, ossuaries came up from the 11th to the 15th century, mainly as a result of growth of population. Many churchyard cemeteries could not be expanded, Charnel Chapels were seen as an appropriate solution to solve the growing need for burial space. Some ossuaries were created after epidemics with many fatalities like the Black Plague, and several ossuaries were built near battlefields.

After the reformation, this tradition ceased in many areas, in Roman Catholic and Orthodox countries it lasted longer, sometimes until the early 20th century. On some Greek islands it is still practiced today.


A typical example of a Romanesque style Austrian charnel chapel (Karner) from 1167 in Hartberg

Except for some very few famous locations, where still existing charnel houses or ossuaries have become real tourist attractions, there is very little documentation around. The Rothwell Charnel Chapel and Ossuary Project (one of the first academic projects about this topic in the UK) states: "To date charnel chapels have remained a neglected area of funerary archaeology. No comprehensive attempt has been made to collectively investigate their significance or determine the quantity constructed nationally and little research has been undertaken regarding the role charnel chapels had in relation to the dead, either physically or ideologically." The same is true for most other European countries, those buildings are still very common in many areas, but there are no comprehensive lists or documentations. Sometimes not even locals know about them. "These unique structures have been pushed into the footnotes of history; they were part of a dialogue with death that is now silent." (Paul Koudounaris, author of "The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses")


A 12th century charnel chapel in Schorbach, France

There were numerous cultures all around the world that had similar traditions. This would include the Hopewell and Mississippian cultures in the Eastern United States, Zoroastrian astudans or Sogdian tanbars in Central Asia, some pre-Columbian sites in Central America and totemic burial rituals in Oceanian regions. The category tries to be as inclusive as possible, but we cannot know everything. We will welcome submissions from all cultures all over the world, when you can document to what extent your find is comparable to an ossuary.

What we are NOT looking for:

  • Burial sites for individuals, like Mausoleums or graves of historic rulers from all over the world.
  • Catacombs and Crypts: Some of them did indeed contain ossuaries, and they would qualify. But this cannot be generalized, they will only be accepted if the former use as an ossuary can be proven.
  • Some modern cemeteries offer services they call "Ossuary", but are something different, i.e. Columbariums. They will NOT be accepted. It's the function, not the name, we are looking for.

Pictures from Wikimedia used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license:

  • Douaumont ossuary 2000 by user Alexander Fiebrandt
  • Hartberg Karner 2006 by user Marion Schneider & Christoph Aistleitner
  • Ossuaire de Schorbach (Public Domain)

Instructions for Posting a Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries Waymark:
Identify a Charnel Chapel, Charnel House or Ossuary and record its location as close as it is accessible for the public. Collect as much information as you can get about this place, its architecture and history. We know, that sometimes there is very little around, but at least try it. Sites that have been completely destroyed are eligible if there is sufficient documentation (on-line, plaques, old pictures and so on).

When you use original text from a source for your description (e.g. Wikipedia), please cite your source(s) and mark the citation in an evident way; give credit where credit is due.

Naming Conventions: The name of the waymark MUST follow this format: Name of Site - City, State/Country. If it is not within a city or town, the please use another regional designation - whatever best identifies the location of the site.

Post at least one respectful picture of the building, or the main entrance for underground structures. More pictures are always welcome and strongly encouraged. In those locations where there are still human remains visible to the public, please do NOT use pictures of them as the default picture!

We ask that all activities related to the posting or visiting of Waymarks in this category take place showing the utmost respect for the culture and beliefs of the deceased, their descendants, as well as potential visitors of the site. Always keep in mind that these activities can be a point of great sensitivity among individuals both within and outside of the community. Please act appropriately and responsibly when you are in the area of these final resting places, including observing all posted hours of access.

LANGUAGE NOTE: We recognize waymarking as a global hobby and welcome waymarks from all countries. Because of our international scope, we also acknowledge ENGLISH as our lingua franca. English will create the highest level of accessibility globally. All waymarks must have at least a short description in ENGLISH. We encourage bilingual and multilingual waymarks, but one of the languages must be English.
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
To post a visit log for waymarks in this category, you must have personally visited the waymark location. When logging your visit, please provide a note describing your visit experience, along with any additional information about the waymark or the surrounding area that you think others may find interesting.

We especially encourage you to include any pictures that you took during your visit to the waymark. However, only respectful photographs are allowed.
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Currently displaying Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

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Total Records: 44 Page: 1 of 2 prev<<<[12]>>>next
Image for Catacombes - Paris, Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCatacombes - Paris, France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

[FR] Les catacombes de Paris, place Denfert-Rochereau, 14ème arrondissement. [EN] The Catacombs of Paris, Denfert-Rochereau Place, 14th district.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Al-cab

location: Île-de-France, France

date approved: 4/15/2015

last visited: 4/2/2015

Image for Basilique St-Martin - Tours (37000) - Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesBasilique St-Martin - Tours (37000) - France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

[EN] The basilica of Saint-Martin de Tours is a religious building whose crypt contains the Ossuaries of four saints. [FR] La basilique de Saint-Martin de Tours est un édifice religieux dont la crypte contient les ossuaires de quatre saints.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Itamae

location: Centre-Val-de-Loire, France

date approved: 3/24/2015

last visited: 3/31/2015

Image for Ancienne Chapelle Ossuaire Saint-Jacques - Colmar, Alsace, Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesAncienne Chapelle Ossuaire Saint-Jacques - Colmar, Alsace, France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The former town guard of Colmar is built upon the old ossuary of the cemetery Saint-Martin.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Grand-Est, France

date approved: 2/12/2015

last visited: never

Image for Taber Hill Ossuary, Ontario Canadaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesTaber Hill Ossuary, Ontario Canada

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Taber Hill, located along Bellamy Rd North in the township of Scarborough is the location of an ancient Indian Ossuary of the Iroquois Nation.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Skyecat

location: Ontario, Canada

date approved: 11/3/2014

last visited: 11/1/2014

Image for Chinese Cemetery (Temporary Burial Site) - Kamloops, British Columbiaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesChinese Cemetery (Temporary Burial Site) - Kamloops, British Columbia

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Chinese Cemetery is a most interesting place to visit while in Kamloops. The Chinese Cemetery is listed in Kamloops Heritage Register and Historical Places.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters

location: British Columbia, Canada

date approved: 10/28/2014

last visited: never

Image for Karner - Zellerndorf, Austriaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesKarner - Zellerndorf, Austria

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

This ossuary in Zellerndorf dates back to the second half of the 14th century.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PISA-caching

location: Niederösterreich, Austria

date approved: 10/27/2014

last visited: never

Image for Ossossané Bonepit - Tiny, Ontarioview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesOssossané Bonepit - Tiny, Ontario

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Ossossané ossuary was the setting for the Huron-Wendat Feast of the Dead ceremony in 1636, described by Father Jean de Brebeuf.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bon Echo

location: Ontario, Canada

date approved: 10/23/2014

last visited: never

Image for Charnier du cimetière de Ste-Germaine, Lac-Etchemin, Qc, Canadaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier du cimetière de Ste-Germaine, Lac-Etchemin, Qc, Canada

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Le charnier, tout près du cimetière de Ste-Germaine - The charnel house near Ste-Germaine's cemetery.

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member lyturmel

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 10/18/2014

last visited: never

Image for The ossuary - Kbelnice, Czech Republicview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesThe ossuary - Kbelnice, Czech Republic

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Art Nouveau ossuary in Kbelnice.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ToRo61

location: Královéhradecký kraj, Czechia

date approved: 6/21/2014

last visited: 2/22/2015

Image for Zvonice s kostnicí  - Pocátky, okres Pelhrimov, CZview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesZvonice s kostnicí - Pocátky, okres Pelhrimov, CZ

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The bell tower with the ossuary from 18. century.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Noe1

location: Kraj Vysočina, Czechia

date approved: 4/28/2014

last visited: never

Image for Capela dos Ossos - Pechão - Faro, Portugalview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCapela dos Ossos - Pechão - Faro, Portugal

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

This Bones Chapel is located in Pechão, and was built in 1853

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member tmob

location: Faro, Portugal

date approved: 4/21/2014

last visited: never

Image for The Ossuary - Chlum, Czech Republicview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesThe Ossuary - Chlum, Czech Republic

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The Ossuary beside the central battlefield of Battle of Königgrätz.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ToRo61

location: Královéhradecký kraj, Czechia

date approved: 4/16/2014

last visited: never

Image for Le charnier de Rougemont-Québec,Canadaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesLe charnier de Rougemont-Québec,Canada

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Le charnier de Rougemont! Charnel house of Rougemont

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member gemeloj

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 3/29/2014

last visited: 12/29/2014

Image for Kostnice na hrbitove - Putim, CZview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesKostnice na hrbitove - Putim, CZ

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Kostnice na hrbitove kolem kostela sv. Vavrince / ossuary in the cemetery around the church of St. Lawrence.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Noe1

location: Jihočeský kraj, Czechia

date approved: 1/22/2014

last visited: 3/1/2014

Image for Le charnier du cimetière-Marieville-Québec,Canadaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesLe charnier du cimetière-Marieville-Québec,Canada

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Un charnier dans le village!

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member gemeloj

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 1/22/2014

last visited: 4/5/2015

Image for Capela dos Ossos - Campo Maior, Portalegre, Portugalview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCapela dos Ossos - Campo Maior, Portalegre, Portugal

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

[PT] Anexada à Igreja Matriz de Campo Maior é a segunda maior capela de ossos em Portugal. [EN] Annexed to the Campo Maior Main Church, this is the second largest bone chapel in Portugal.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member paulohercules

location: Portalegre, Portugal

date approved: 1/17/2014

last visited: never

Image for Unknown Dead Monument - San Francisco, Californiaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesUnknown Dead Monument - San Francisco, California

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

In 1934, all unknown remains at the San Francisco National Cemetery were disinterred and reinterred in one plot along with what are believed the remains of early Spanish conquistadores.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK

location: California

date approved: 1/16/2014

last visited: never

Image for Capela dos Ossos - Alcantarilha, Portugalview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCapela dos Ossos - Alcantarilha, Portugal

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

This chapel was originally built in the 16th Century and it's located in Alcantarilha, a village of Algarve, the Southernmost province of Portugal

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Torgut

location: Faro, Portugal

date approved: 12/28/2013

last visited: never

Image for Former Charnel House - St. Josefskapelle - Wertach, Germany, BYview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesFormer Charnel House - St. Josefskapelle - Wertach, Germany, BY

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The so-called 'St. Josefkapelle' (Chapel of St. Joseph) is a small chapel located nearby to the church 'St. Ulrich' at the northern wall of the cemetery in Wertach, Germany, Bayern. It was originally built as a Charnel House for the cemetery.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Tante.Hossi

location: Bayern, Germany

date approved: 12/6/2013

last visited: never

Image for Alamo Defenders Ossuary -- Cathedral San Fernando de Bexar, San Antonio TX USAview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesAlamo Defenders Ossuary -- Cathedral San Fernando de Bexar, San Antonio TX USA

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The bones of the valiant defenders of the Alamo are kept in a small marble ossuary at the entrance to the San Fernando de Bexar Cathedral in downtown San Antonio.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 11/26/2013

last visited: 5/3/2014

Image for Charnier du Cimetière de Saint-André-Avellin - Outaouais, QCview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier du Cimetière de Saint-André-Avellin - Outaouais, QC

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

This stone charnel house is located near the church at the entrance to the first cemetery of the Saint-André-Avellin parish in Saint-André-Avellin, Québec.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member denben

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 11/24/2013

last visited: 10/13/2014

Image for Kaplica Czaszek, Kudowia-Zdroj-Czermna, Polandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesKaplica Czaszek, Kudowia-Zdroj-Czermna, Poland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Skull Chapel (Kaplica Czaszek) in Czermna is a chapel located in Kudowa-Zdrój, Lower Silesian Voivodeship.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Arne1

location: Dolnośląskie, Poland

date approved: 11/21/2013

last visited: 4/6/2015

Image for kaple sv. Jana Krtitele - Staré Mesto u Uherského Hradište, CZview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuarieskaple sv. Jana Krtitele - Staré Mesto u Uherského Hradište, CZ

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Late Romanesque polygonal chapel used as the charnel house to store the bones from the former cemetery of St. Vitus church.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Noe1

location: Zlínský kraj, Czechia

date approved: 11/20/2013

last visited: never

Image for Charnier, Cimetière Notre-Dame de Hull - Gatineau, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier, Cimetière Notre-Dame de Hull - Gatineau, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The cemetery is located at 75 boulevard Fournier, secteur Hull, Gatineau.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member elyob

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 11/19/2013

last visited: 5/10/2014

Image for Beinhaus at St. Arbogast - Muttenz, BL, Switzerlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesBeinhaus at St. Arbogast - Muttenz, BL, Switzerland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The former charnel chapel of the fortified church St. Arbogast in Muttenz.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Switzerland

date approved: 11/19/2013

last visited: never

Total Records: 44 Page: 1 of 2 prev<<<[12]>>>next
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