|Aître de St-Maclou, Rouen, France
|This unusual medieval structure with its fascinating macabre carvings recalls the plague of 1348.
The Aître de St-Maclou in Rouen today provides a look at some interesting art and architecture.
But its history tells a different story.
This courtyard (aître, from Latin atrium, means 'churchyard' or 'cemetery') served as a burying ground for plague victims for centuries. The half-timbered buildings with their skull and crossbones decor date from the 16th century.
Graphically illustrating the tools of the grave diggers, the Aître evokes its sad past.
Today the Aître houses the École Regionale des Beaux Arts de Rouen, or Regional School of Fine Arts of Rouen.
The tree filled courtyard is calm and peaceful, but a closer look at the carvings can send a shiver up your spine.
Located on rue Martainville, just around the corner from the Église de St-Maclou, the Aître is open to the public and well worth a visit.