Her Skull has Roses, His Have Ivy
August 28, 2007 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Hallstatt, Austria, besides being idylic, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is historically fascinating: A Bronze Age cultural center, with a 2,500-year-old salt mine (the world's first); beautiful ice caves; and a Catholic cemetery so small that the dead were regularly disinterred after a time, their skulls painstakingly identified and decorated and stacked in an ossuary.
posted by bigskyguy (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Beautiful place. Thanks for the links, bigskyguy. The Man in Salt they found in the mine is really interesting. Was he buried in a cave in, or how did he get there?
posted by figment of my conation at 12:29 PM on August 28, 2007

I have seen pictures of other items made of human bone, usually in churches... Does anyone know the criteria for its use? Isn't this disturbing a grave, and unchristian?
posted by Deep Dish at 3:12 PM on August 28, 2007

How weird. A place I actually happened by. Went to take the cable car up the mountain, a few years back. It is beautiful there, no doubt about it, but beauty is easy to come by, given a lake and mountains.
posted by Goofyy at 11:51 PM on August 28, 2007

I've been there, too, when I was studying in Salzburg. Ossuaries are relatively common in that part of the world (there's a huge one in Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic that makes Hallstein look wee, and it's full of bone art).

Guess it's not unchristian, Deep Dish, if they were assigning monks to the task of organizing all the bones...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:41 AM on August 29, 2007

The practice of unearthing the dead stopped there some years ago, now that the Catholic Church has condoned cremation.
posted by bigskyguy at 9:40 AM on August 29, 2007

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