A disturbing discovery was revealed in Belgium. Diggings at Saint Bavo of Ghent cathedral, in the city of Ghent, in Belgium, revealed a partition wall made of human bones and skulls. The images from the site conducted by Janiek De Gryse as project leader, are heart-rending: adult human bones used as bricks and skulls filling the gaps.
The wall is believed to be five hundred years old, and the remains another two hundred years. Archeologists speculate that they were the remains dug from the cathedral former graveyard. They were put to rest in another form of a grave to make room for new ones. “Given that the faithful believed in a resurrection of the body, the bones were considered the most important part,” said Janiek De Gryse.
Saint Bavo Cathedral’s history and the disturbing construction of the wall of human bones
Saint Bavo Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral. It is the seat of the diocese of Ghent, and it was named for Saint Bavo of Ghent, a Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox saint. It is 89-meter-tall, and it hosts a world-famous work of art: the altarpiece painted by Van Eyck.
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. It is considered Van Eyck’s masterpiece and one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance.
The cathedral is built on the site of the former Chapel of St. John the Baptist, which used to be a wooden construction. Construction of the Gothic church began around 1274.
In 1539, as a result of the rebellion against Charles V, who was baptized in the church, the old Abbey of St. Bavo was dissolved. In the summer of 1566, Calvinist iconoclasts visited Catholic churches in the Netherlands and destroyed them, along with artworks they perceived as idolatrous.
Van Eyck’s altarpiece was saved. This is the period archeologists assume the wall made of bones was built. When the Diocese of Ghent was founded in 1559, the church became its cathedral. Construction was considered complete on June 7, 1569.
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