The Empire of Death and Jewelry

AlexHistory, Photography





Well-known expert on ancient graves, “Hunter” a treasure of the past Paul Koudounaris, named Indiana Bones found a creepy collection of “inlaid” jewels skeletons resting in churches throughout Europe for four hundred years.

Historian and critic Paul Koudounaris found and photographed dozens of frightening skeletons in the most closed Catholic churches and monasteries. Incredibly, some of these amazing skeletons in the decoration of which took up to five years, were stored in safes or other similar containers. All of these photos included in the book of Paul, in which he sheds light on a forgotten world embellished with jewels power.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
1. This Saint Benedict received the Church of St. Michael in Munich. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

Well-known expert on ancient graves, art Paul Koudounaris, which is similar to the Indiana Jones often called Indiana Bones (Eng. bone – bone), presented the results of their latest research. Kudunaris gained access to the dungeons of the old European churches, in which the relics of the early Christians to hide from the public eye for nearly four centuries, and photographed them.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
2. Hand Valentine’s Bad Schussenried, Germany. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

In the 16th century, thousands of skeletons were found in the catacombs of Rome and the Vatican on the orders put on public display in various cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Human remains were divided between Catholic churches and monasteries to replace the power that were destroyed as a result of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
3. Holy Felix in Sursee, Switzerland. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

Adopted over the remains of the early Christian martyrs, those terrible relics, known as the catacomb saints, shrines were reminiscent of the spiritual values ??of the afterlife. They also have become symbols of the Catholic Church, now once again influence in Protestant regions.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
4. Holy Friedrich in the Benedictine Abbey in Melk, Austria. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

Before being installed in the niches of the church, one of the skeletons has been carefully decorated with gold, silver and precious stones worth many thousands. On the decoration of some of the relics took up to five years.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
5. St. Vincent’s ribs are decorated with gold leaf, Stams, Austria. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

It was announced that the skeletons belong to a saint, although none of them matched this project in accordance with the strict rules of the Catholic Church, which requires that the saints were canonized. But back to the 19th century, they became a painful reminder of the dark past, so many have been deprived of their regalia and dumped as useless.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
6. This skull called Deodato, because the identity of which he belonged, and has not been established. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

A new book by Mr. Kudunarisa “Sacred Body: Treasures of the cult of the saints and the amazing catacombs” – is the first printed reference to the notorious skeletons.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
7. Holy Deodato in Rheinau, Switzerland. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

Mr. Kudunaris, who lives in Los Angeles, said: “I was working on another book, examining the various crypts, when he found the existence of these skeletons.

The more I learned about them, the more insistent became my desire to tell this fascinating story to the public. Once they were found in the catacombs of Rome, the Vatican authorities signed certificates declaring them martyrs. Then the bones were stacked in crates and shipped off to the north, where the skeletons were dressed in robes and adorned with precious stones, gold and silver. Doing it, mostly nuns.

These could be admitted only those who took the sacred oath of the church: because they were considered martyrs, they were not able to deal with simple laymen. These skeletons have become symbols of the all-conquering faith, and have been declared saints in the municipalities.

The importance of the church for their spiritual merit was determined not to have been quite questionable, but social value. They were considered miraculous and strengthen people’s connection to their city. It also strengthened the prestige of the city. ”

The Empire of Death and Jewelry

8. Albert in the church of St. George in Burgrayne, Germany. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
9. Holy Munditsiya in the church of St. Peter in Munich. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
10. Valentine’s Valdzassene. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
11. Luciana in the monastery of the Holy Hayligkroytstal, Germany. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

“It is impossible to appreciate the significance of this finding,” – says Kudunaris.

The Empire of Death and Jewelry
12. Repose of gold and jewelry – St. Valery in Weyarn. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris / BNPS)

And he adds: “Going through all of these places, in fact, making a pilgrimage to all these churches on the relics, I constantly felt one feeling – a feeling of absolute timelessness. Timelessness and unity. Here I stand and look at the past – and at the same time I look in the future. All that was, and all that is yet to come – all connected in some unbreakable cycle. “

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