Travel through the countryside of the Czech Republic during winter and the sweeping valleys and wooded hills are covered in fresh snow, the village churches looking as though they belong in Narnia. Seventy kilometres through the valleys east of Prague is an unassuming 13th-century chapel in a village called Sedlec. And just like the magical world of Narnia, discovered beyond a wardrobe door, step over the chapel's humble threshold and you'll find a place where reality meets fantasy in a morbid yet majestic display of Slavic craftsmanship.
Sedlec is on the outskirts of Kutna Hora, a town that flourished in the 14th century thanks to vast deposits of silver. Sedlec would be similar to hundreds of other Czech villages if it weren't home to the chapel which draws a year-round stream of curious visitors.
Chapels are traditionally places where grief is softened by the quiet faith of believers and the consoling words of priests. But within this sacred place are the bones of 40,000 human skeletons, bright and white and arranged in sculptures that seem to poke fun at the mortality of human beings, who in turn are given to hushed laughter and many a smile of wonderment.