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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: 84 Page: 1 of 4 prev<<<[1234]>>>next
Image for Karner / Charnel house - Hardegg (Waldviertel, Niederösterreich)view gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesKarner / Charnel house - Hardegg (Waldviertel, Niederösterreich)

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Depicted Romanesque Charnel house (Karner), located at parish Church of St. Vitus (Pfarrkirche hl. Veit) in Hardegg, was built in 1150-1160 and is considered the oldest charnel house in Lower Austria.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team

location: Niederösterreich, Austria

date approved: 5/13/2020

last visited: never

Image for Kaple Božího Tela / Corpus Christi Chapel - Kutná Hora (Central Bohemia)view gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesKaple Božího Tela / Corpus Christi Chapel - Kutná Hora (Central Bohemia)

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Corpus Christi Chapel (Kaple Božího Tela), former charnel chapel founded by Corpus Christi confraternity in Kutná Hora in the end of the 14th century, belongs among the most valuable examples of intact high-Gotic architecture in Bohemia.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team

location: Středočeský kraj, Czechia

date approved: 4/15/2020

last visited: 4/21/2015

Image for Monument Ossuaire de la Haute Chevauchée - Lachalade, Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesMonument Ossuaire de la Haute Chevauchée - Lachalade, France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

[EN] The Haute-Chevauchée ossuary is a World War I ossuary surmounted by a memorial, located on the territory of the municipality of Lachalade. [FR] L'ossuaire de la Haute-Chevauchée est un ossuaire de la Première Guerre mondiale surmonté d'un monument commémoratif, situé sur le territoire de la commune de Lachalade.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin

location: Grand-Est, France

date approved: 4/15/2020

last visited: 6/7/2019

Image for Ossuaire, Eglise Notre Dame, Kergrist Moelouview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesOssuaire, Eglise Notre Dame, Kergrist Moelou

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

L'ossuaire de l'église Notre Dame de Bon Secours à Kergrist Moëlou / The ossuary of the Notre Dame de Bon Secours church in Kergrist Moëlou

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Gatinaise

location: Bretagne, France

date approved: 2/13/2020

last visited: 2/13/2020

Image for Ehemalige Beinhauskapelle Hl. Josef - Mörel, VS, Switzerlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesEhemalige Beinhauskapelle Hl. Josef - Mörel, VS, Switzerland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The former ossuary of Mörel next to the parish church.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Valais, Switzerland

date approved: 12/27/2019

last visited: never

Image for Catacombs of the Basilica of San Francisco - Lima, Peruview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCatacombs of the Basilica of San Francisco - Lima, Peru

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Basilica and Convent of San Francisco is located on Jirón Lampa, one block northeast from the Plaza Mayor, Lima.

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben

location: Peru

date approved: 11/10/2019

last visited: never

Image for Santa Maria in Cosmedin - Crypt of Adrian I - Roma, Italyview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesSanta Maria in Cosmedin - Crypt of Adrian I - Roma, Italy

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin is a Catholic place of worship in Rome, located in Piazza della Bocca della Verità, in the Ripa distric; officiated by the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church.

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben

location: Lazio, Italy

date approved: 8/5/2019

last visited: never

Image for Charnier - Charnel House - Grande-Vallée, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier - Charnel House - Grande-Vallée, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Ce charnier est situé dans le cimetière de Saint-Francois-Xavier, à Grande Vallée, au Québec. This charnel house is located in Saint-Francis Xavier cemetery, in Grande Vallée, Québec.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 4/29/2019

last visited: 12/11/2019

Image for Chapelle-funéraire - Charnel Chapel - Trois-Pistoles, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesChapelle-funéraire - Charnel Chapel - Trois-Pistoles, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Cette chapelle-funéraire, construite en 1889 par Hubert Morin, est située à la grève de Fatima, à Trois-Pistoles. This Charnel Chapel, built by Hubert Morin in 1889, is located on Fatima's beach, in Trois-Pistoles.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 3/21/2019

last visited: never

Image for Chapelle-Charnier du cimetière de Sayabec - Charnel Chapel of the Sayabec cemetery - Sayabec, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesChapelle-Charnier du cimetière de Sayabec - Charnel Chapel of the Sayabec cemetery - Sayabec, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

La chapelle-charnier du cimetière de Sayabec, construite en 1956, est située sur la route 132, à Sayabec. The Charnel Chapel of the Sayabec cemetery, built in 1956, is located on Route 132 in Sayabec.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 2/27/2019

last visited: 6/7/2019

Image for Charnier du Cimetière Saint-James - Charnel House - Saint-James Cemetery - Trois-Rivières, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier du Cimetière Saint-James - Charnel House - Saint-James Cemetery - Trois-Rivières, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Ce charnier en métal en forme de prisme triangulaire est situé dans le cimetière Saint-James, à Trois-Rivières. This metal shaped triangular prism charnel house is located in Saint-James Cemetery, in Trois-Rivières.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 1/28/2019

last visited: never

Image for Chapelle-charnier du cimetière Saint-Enfant-Jésus - Montréal, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesChapelle-charnier du cimetière Saint-Enfant-Jésus - Montréal, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

chapelle-charnier située au cimetière de Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montréal, Québec - a charnel chapel located in Pointe-aux-Trembles cemetery, Montreal, Quebec

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member oiseau_ca

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 12/8/2018

last visited: 10/9/2019

Image for Ossuaires du Linge-Orbey- Grand-Est-Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesOssuaires du Linge-Orbey- Grand-Est-France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

2 ossuaries on each side of the cross.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member gemeloj

location: Grand-Est, France

date approved: 10/30/2018

last visited: 10/30/2018

Image for Charnier du cimetière Ste-Rose-de-Lima, Laval, Québecview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier du cimetière Ste-Rose-de-Lima, Laval, Québec

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Le charnier du cimetière Ste-Rose de Lima est situé à Laval, Québec, Canada (1860, rue des Patriotes). This charnel house is located in Ste-Rose-de-Lima cemetary, in Laval, Québec, Canada (1860, rue des Patriotes).

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member machard

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 10/27/2018

last visited: 12/30/2018

Image for The Italian Ossario - Murchison, Australiaview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesThe Italian Ossario - Murchison, Australia

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

An Ossuary in the Murchison Cemetery

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member blingg

location: Victoria, Australia

date approved: 8/30/2018

last visited: never

Image for Former Ossuary at Eglise Saint-Théodule - Cudrefin, VD, Switzerlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesFormer Ossuary at Eglise Saint-Théodule - Cudrefin, VD, Switzerland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The side chapel of the church of Cudrefin was built over an old ossuary.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Vaud, Switzerland

date approved: 8/20/2018

last visited: never

Image for Charnier du cimetière St-Elzéar - Laval, Qcview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesCharnier du cimetière St-Elzéar - Laval, Qc

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Charnier du Cimetière St-Elzéar est situé à Laval, Québec, Canada.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member LadyKarine

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 4/10/2018

last visited: 12/27/2018

Image for Beinhaus St. Joseph-Kirche - Hamburg, Deutschlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesBeinhaus St. Joseph-Kirche - Hamburg, Deutschland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Beinhaus in der Krypta der St. Joseph-Kirche in Hamburg - St. Pauli

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Windschattenwanderer

location: Hamburg, Germany

date approved: 9/2/2017

last visited: 12/18/2017

Image for Eglise Notre Dame de Croaz Batz - Roscoff - Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesEglise Notre Dame de Croaz Batz - Roscoff - France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

Les 2 ossuaires de l'enclos paroissial de Croas-Batz à Roscoff. The two ossuaries of the parish enclosure of Croas-Batz in Roscoff.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine

location: Bretagne, France

date approved: 7/24/2017

last visited: 7/9/2020

Image for Ossuaire du cimetière français - Rancourt-Bouchavesnes, Franceview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesOssuaire du cimetière français - Rancourt-Bouchavesnes, France

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

[EN] The national necropolis of Rancourt is a French military cemetery of the 1st World War located in the commune of Rancourt [FR] La nécropole nationale de Rancourt est un cimetière militaire français de la 1ère Guerre mondiale situé à Rancourt

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin

location: Hauts-de-France, France

date approved: 6/6/2017

last visited: 4/28/2017

Image for Ehemaliges Beinhaus an der Gottesackerkapelle - Rheinfelden, AG, Switzerlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesEhemaliges Beinhaus an der Gottesackerkapelle - Rheinfelden, AG, Switzerland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

A former ossuary in a corner of the city park of Rheinfelden that was a cemetery until 1924.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Aargau, Switzerland

date approved: 2/26/2017

last visited: 9/11/2019

Image for Ehemaliges Beinhaus - Pfeffingen, BL, Switzerlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesEhemaliges Beinhaus - Pfeffingen, BL, Switzerland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The former ossuary in the churchyard cemetery of Pfeffingen.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Basel Landschaft, Switzerland

date approved: 11/4/2016

last visited: never

Image for Ehemaliges Beinhaus beim Friedhof - Hölstein, BL, Switzerlandview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesEhemaliges Beinhaus beim Friedhof - Hölstein, BL, Switzerland

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

The little outbuilding north of the church was used as an ossuary in the Middle Ages.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67

location: Basel Landschaft, Switzerland

date approved: 10/27/2016

last visited: never

Image for Walter Hood Monument - Bendalong, NSWview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesWalter Hood Monument - Bendalong, NSW

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

A monument protecting the skeletal remains of seafarers who drowned when the clipper Walter Hood was wrecked nearby in 1870.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Tuena

location: New South Wales, Australia

date approved: 7/12/2016

last visited: never

Image for Kahi Halia Aloha Burial Mound - Honolulu, Oahu, HIview gallery
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Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and OssuariesKahi Halia Aloha Burial Mound - Honolulu, Oahu, HI

in Charnel Chapels, Charnel Houses and Ossuaries

A burial mound protecting the skeletal remains of 200 Hawaiians displaced by Waikiki construction projects is located at Queen Kapiolani Park, next to the Honolulu Zoo in the Waikiki District of Honolulu, Oahu.

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben

location: Hawaii

date approved: 7/10/2016

last visited: 3/7/2018

Total Records: 84 Page: 1 of 4 prev<<<[1234]>>>next
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