27. 06. 12. - 17:28
China admits leaving out the bone house
Welcome to the 'Bone House', or 'Beinhaus' - something which the Chinese seem to have forgotten to copy when they rebuilt the Austrian village of Hallstatt.
Home to an estimated 1,200 skulls it lies at the centre of the UNESCO world Heritage village.
Many of the skulls located inside the tiny room have been painted with symbolic floral crowns and the name of the deceased before being placed inside.
The Bone House came into being in the 12th century because the lakeside village's cemetery was too small to hold all the dead from the surrounding area.
They would then be left out in the sun and moonlight until they were bleached ivory white and then stacked in rows in the charnel.
The last skull to go into the Beinhaus was interred in 1995. It belonged to a woman who died in 1983 and her dying wish was to have her skull placed in the vault.
Arguably the best one dates from 1510 and shows saints Barbara and Katharina, with Mary in the middle.
Under the rules of the cemetery there are no family graves, and a plot can be re-occupied after ten years.
The dead are buried horizontally with the grave verge covering only a small part of the buried.
The church was Protestant for a short time following a religious argument, and is close to heart to many salt miners and wealthy salt mine lords from Salzburg.