A great new project from Zbooy:
“The catacombs in the crypt under the Reformed Franciscan church are among
some of the most secret places in the city. Unique climatic conditions found
in the basement caused the bodies of the dead to undergo a process of
natural mummification whereby they remain in an excellent state of
preservation. Among them, hidden away since 1667, are the remains of many
monks and members of Polish noble families. Monastic books reveal that in
total almost 1,000 bodies were placed in the catacombs over the years, among
them around 730 lay people and 250 monks. The crypts, now holding only about
a hundred bodies, are now made available for public viewing just once or
twice a year, traditionally on All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), the day after
All Saints’ Day. In the past, the mummies attracted crowds of visitors,
causing adverse climatic challenges.
Seven panoramas and about 50 photographs can be viewed here.
CAUTION: you may find some imagery quite disturbing.
As the monks say in the leaflet: “This is not a museum but a cemetery.
Respect solemnity of this place and say a prayer for the dead.” It’s not
meant to cause sensation but it is a memento to our fragility, reminding us
that after death we are all equal.”