Ossuaries & Charnels

Eggenburg, Austria charnel (Beinhaus)

Eggenburg, Austria charnel (Beinhaus)

Eggenburg, Austria charnel (Beinhaus)

Simply magnificent construction in bones mentioned in the last chapter of the book. It is a shame that this spectacular charnel is almost completely unknown, which I attribute to the fact that the Eggenburg tourism office makes no real effort to promote it (I have gotten a sense that the city might even be a bit embarrassed by it), and also because it cannot be entered: it is at the bottom of a pit, and the full display can only be viewed from the top, through a sheet of filthy plexiglass which is permanently installed. The latter fact also makes it extremely difficult to photograph properly, since not only is the plexiglass dirty and in some places clouded, it also picks up reflections. I got decent photos here only by coming at 2 am on a completely overcast night, so there would be no reflection. I found the most promising area I could on the plexiglass, and then cleaned it further with Windex. Because it was high on the plexiglass, I had to suspended the camera upside down by a hook, the front of the lens resting directly on the plexiglass. I then had to climb upward on the doorway around it to operate the camera. For this, I was detained by the local police, who spotted me and found my behavior suspicious and wondered if I might be trying to break into the charnel. In they end, they concluded that I was just an obsessive nut and let me go.
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