Articles by Perrin Doniger

Hikers explore fields of California poppies near Antelope Valley in Lancaster, California, Sunday, April 26, 2014.

Photos: Southern California Bursts into Color as California Poppies Take Over Hillsides

This spring's bloom is one of the best in years

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Rio's Giant Christ Statue Damaged by Lightning

Repairs will begin on Christ the Redeemer's fingers and head

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London-to-New York Passenger Captures Spectacular Northern Lights Timelapse Out Airplane Window

Being unable to sleep on a red-eye can have occasional advantages

Watchtower Near Desert View Point on the South Rim.

Rare Look: Spectacular Photos Capture the Grand Canyon Filled With Fog

Weekend visitors witnessed a "once in a decade" weather event

From the road, it would be easy to overlook this small, unassuming chapel located in one of the oldest towns in southwestern Poland. But the wooden doors hide a spectacular, macabre interior. The skulls and leg bones of over 3,000 victims of wars and plagues cover the walls and ceiling, and a crypt below, accessible through a trapdoor, houses over 21,000 additional remains. Between 1776 and 1804, the local priest, Vaclav Tomasek, painstakingly gathered, cleaned and carefully arranged skeletons recovered from numerous, shallow mass graves left by the Thirty Years’ War, Silesian Wars and cholera outbreaks. Modeled off of similar ossuaries and catacombs in Rome, the chapel was intended as a shrine for the dead, as well as a “memento mori” for the living. 

On the church’s altar, Tomasek placed the bones of important figures and curiosities, including the skull of the local mayor, skulls with bullet holes, a skull deformed by syphilis and the bones of a supposed giant. When the chapel's creator passed away in 1804, his skull was placed on the altar as well.

View the photos above or explore the 360° interactive panorama on  Kaplica Czaszek’s official site  (in Polish).

This Beautiful Chapel in Czermna, Poland, Is Constructed Out of Thousands of Human Bones

Shin bones decorate the ceiling, skulls line the walls and over 21,000 bodies are buried in the basement

Shoes worn by Maria Cecilia Benavente on September 11, 2001

Remembering 9/11: Maria Cecilia Benavente's Sandals

Maria Cecilia Benavente escaped Tower Two barefoot; in shock, she held onto her sandals

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Halloween

The Spookiest Photos Submitted By Our Readers

Abandoned mansions, ghostly twins and murders of crows are just a few of the scariest entries from past photo contests

Incredible Halloween Costumes Inspired by Famous Works of Art

Culture-hounds take heart: Halloween doesn't have to be all Honey Boo Boos and internet memes

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