Beinhaus, Karner, Ossuary, Hallstatt

4.3
#5 of 9 in Things to do in Hallstatt
Prepare to be both spooked and awe-inspired with a trip to Beinhaus, Karner, Ossuary, the famous bone house on the ground floor of a 12th-century chapel. The site holds over 1,200 human skulls, 610 of which have been hand-painted in floral designs. In the 18th century the chapel's cemetery became too crowded, and thus the practice emerged of digging up graves 10 to 15 years after death in order to free up a lot. The unearthed skulls were kept, cleaned, and bleached. Following the custom of decorating a grave with flowers, it became a tradition to paint the skulls with flowers. The skulls are grouped by family, with the dates of death written on them. Respectful silence is expected. Put Beinhaus, Karner, Ossuary at the forefront of your travel plans using our Hallstatt trip planner.
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Beinhaus, Karner, Ossuary Reviews
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  • August 17, 2017
    Have seen this several times but visited again this year as we had our grandson with us. The history of the Ossuary is very interesting and hopefully will be of use to my grandson as he progresses to ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    When an existing grave was reused for a new burial, the skull or bones were transferred from the grave to the charnel house or ossuary as part of a second funeral. The identity of the deceased family ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    it's a small room. you pay your 1.5 euros per person and walk into a room lined with bones and skulls as you see in the photos. that's about it. take a few photos and leave a couple of minutes (if tha...  more »
Google
  • May 22, 2017
    We this and learned the story with the most wonderful person in my life. It was a magical time. Thank you, Susanne.
  • December 13, 2015
    Easy stair climb up here. This is where you go to see the skulls. There is a cemetery in the front and then stacks of sun bleached skulls inside.
  • April 15, 2016
    One of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen!
  • February 3, 2016
    It cost 2€ for student, though inside is really small, I'm still finding it really meaningful and I learned some history from them!!
  • May 23, 2016
    Small crypt containing stacks of skulls, painted and labelled.

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Where to stay in Hallstatt

In Hallstatt, a tiny village built creatively around a lake, staying somewhere with a view of the fairy-tale waters is a must. Look for a room high up on the hill to appreciate a view of the lake and valley. Despite its small size, the village boasts various accommodation options, from guesthouses and small inns to exquisite resorts. Before tourism boomed here, visitors used to pay the wealthy families in town to stay in their castles. Today many families have continued this tradition by running cozy bed and breakfasts.
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