In the year 1830, cemetery workers in Cham, Germany unearthed a chamber housing thousands of skeletal remains thought to be from the 13th century. Some of the 5000 skulls discovered can still be viewed in the small ossuary behind the ancient Marienmünster Chammünster Church.
In the Middle Ages, the town of Cham in Germany played an important role in the Christianization of the Bavarian forest and the Bohemian border region. In the 16th century, the town’s chapel and ossuary from the Middle Ages were partially destroyed by Calvinists, but the vaults containing the bones were left largely intact.
In 1830, workers uncovered the chamber, a remnant believed to be from the 13th century. The number of bones in the ossuary is still unknown, but the vaults contain an estimated 5,000 skulls. As you wander through Cham’s peaceful cemetery, take a moment to admire the bones that survived its turbulent past.
Know Before You Go
Behind the church, in the northeast corner of the cemetery is a smaller building. The ossuary is viewed through an arched gate on the right side of the building, a few steps below ground level.