In 1278, a monk returned from the Holy Land with some soil and sprinkled it over the abbey's cemetery. Thereafter, the place became a popular burial place all over Europe, and they ran out of space after the Plague swept through. "There are stories to suggest that partially blind monks entrusted with the care of the chapel were the first to begin piling the bones into geometric shapes" in the 16th century. The eerily beautiful decorations were created by "a woodcarver named František Rint. In 1870, he was commissioned by the landowners of the time, the Schwarzenberg family, to decorate the chapel with the bones and create a reminder of the impermanence of human life and inescapable death." If you look at closely at the Schwarzenberg coat of arms (pic #4), the bottom-right is a raven picking out a human's eye. Creepy...but quite beautiful, no?