One of the twelve martyred saints on display in Waldsassen, Bavaria, near the Czech border. They’re known as the Holy Bodies.
The skeletons were exhumed from the Roman catacombs sometime between 1688 and 1765. Then they got all spiffy.
Gucci says, “Burr.”
Image source: Luxe et Vanités.

One of the twelve martyred saints on display in Waldsassen, Bavaria, near the Czech border. They’re known as the Holy Bodies.

The skeletons were exhumed from the Roman catacombs sometime between 1688 and 1765. Then they got all spiffy.

Gucci says, “Burr.”

Image source: Luxe et Vanités.

Another garbed skeleton from Waldsassen Basilica. Source: Morbid Anatomy.

Another garbed skeleton from Waldsassen Basilica. Source: Morbid Anatomy.

These are two of the sharp-dressed skeletons at Waldsassen Basilica in Bavaria. Here is about all that’s really known about these guys, from Atlas Obscura:

Known as the “Holy Bodies,” they are the skeletons of Christian martyrs who were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome between 1688 and 1765. What makes these even more unusual than standard skeletal relics is that these skeletons are dressed in elaborate 1700s garb, covered in jewels, and generally look like royalty. Each year, the church celebrates a Holy-Bodies-Fest celebrating these martyrs, with the idea that we too are “Holy Bodies.”

(I’m not a textile expert, but these outfits look to predate the 1700s by a century or two, but I could be wrong.)
In addition to the article linked above, Atlas Obscura has a first-hand account of a visit to the Basilica, with more pictures!

These are two of the sharp-dressed skeletons at Waldsassen Basilica in Bavaria. Here is about all that’s really known about these guys, from Atlas Obscura:

Known as the “Holy Bodies,” they are the skeletons of Christian martyrs who were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome between 1688 and 1765. What makes these even more unusual than standard skeletal relics is that these skeletons are dressed in elaborate 1700s garb, covered in jewels, and generally look like royalty. Each year, the church celebrates a Holy-Bodies-Fest celebrating these martyrs, with the idea that we too are “Holy Bodies.”

(I’m not a textile expert, but these outfits look to predate the 1700s by a century or two, but I could be wrong.)

In addition to the article linked above, Atlas Obscura has a first-hand account of a visit to the Basilica, with more pictures!

Skeletons, mummies, bog bodies, exhumations. The dead, and what happens to them.

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