“Poveglia is a small island floating in the lagoons of Venice. In stark contrast to the beauty of its surroundings, the island is a festering blemish. The waves reluctantly lapping its darkened shores will often carry away the polished remains of human bones. When the first outbreak of bubonic plague swept through Europe, the number of dead and dying in the city of Venice became unbearable. The bodies were piling up, the stench was oppressive, and something had to be done. The local authorities decided to use Poveglia as a dumping ground for the diseased bodies.
The dead were hauled to the island and dumped in large pits or burned on huge bonfires. As the plague tightened its grip, people panicked, and those showing the slightest symptoms of the Black Death were dragged screaming from their homes. These living victims, including children and babies, were taken to the island and thrown into the pits of rotting corpses, where they were left to die in agony. As many as 160,00 tormented bodies were disposed of over the years.”
(via Phunk U)