Photo tour of the creepiest churches on earth

Courtesy tirch/Flickr
The Crypt of the Three Skeletons at the Capuchin Crypt in Rome, Italy. See more photos.

Not every place we love always makes it into a story. The reasons are varied—a magazine page can only hold so many words, an online story can only be so long, and sometimes, even though one Budget Travel editor loves an idea, others don't agree, and it gets outvoted.

It's a treat, then, when we get to feature some of these eliminated—though worthy—spots in another venue, like our blog!

In an online story coming out next week (just in time for Easter!), we're celebrating the world's most beautiful churches in a feature story and photo slideshow. Our writer Terry Ward did a great job reporting it and came up with more than a dozen gorgeous nominations for us to consider.

One in particular, the Capuchin Crypts stood out—not so much for its beauty, but for its can't-turn-away creepiness.

The crypts are spread across a series of small chapels beneath a relatively non-descript church called the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, in Rome, Italy.

But what makes them spine-tingling is that they're constructed from—and decorated with—the skeletal remains of 4,000 friars, who died in the 17th century. The bones are nailed to the walls and ceiling in intricate sculptural patterns, piled high in corners, and hung from the ceiling as light fixtures.

Yikes, right?

The photos of the Capuchin Crypts are incredible—but beautiful? Not necessarily. So when it came time to narrow the nominations down and select a list of the top ten most beautiful churches, the Capuchin Crypts didn't make the cut.

Instead, we thought we'd share photos of the crypts with you here. We also included photos of another creepy church of bones, the Kutná Hora, near Prague, Czech Republic.

Enjoy this peek inside both of them via our slideshow—and be sure to look out next week for a view of the flipside, when we debut our story and slideshow of the most beautiful churches in the world!


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