The Beinhaus (bone house) in Hallstatt dates back to twelve century AC. There are over 1200 skulls in the charnel, of them 610 have been painted in flowery designs, they are neatly stacked in rows along with next of kin and have the date of decease written on them. Since the cemetery is so small without the possibility to expand and due to the fact that cremations were in former days forbidden there was just not enough space. The graves were opened 10 - 15 years later and the skulls were removed along sometimes with other bones. The skull was cleaned and exposed to the sun and moon light for weeks until they were bleached ivory white. As one would decorate a grave with flowers the skulls were painted symbolically with a crown of flowers. This tradition began in 1720 AD. The last skull to go into the Beinhaus (Bone house) was in 1995. It is directly beside the cross. The woman died 1983; it was her last request to be stored in the Beinhaus (Bone house).
I will post some more places that we visited during our Hallstatt trip in the next coming posts.