I am a fan of the dark and macabre.
So you can imagine my excitement when I was finally able to visit the Sedlec Ossuary(Church Of Bones) in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic.
The 1st time I saw photos of the Church Of Bones was in the 1998 album “Blacken The Angel” from the symphonic black metal band Agathodaimon.
I remember looking through the booklet thinking “there’s no way a place like this still exists.”
After finding out that it did still exist, and it was a place I could actually visit, it became one of the top sites I wanted to see when I planned my 1st trip through Europe.
Kutna Hora is a 1 hour train ride East of Prague, so it makes for a perfect day trip.
As soon as you arrive at the station there are signs that show you exactly how to get to the church.
It’s less than a mile to walk there and only takes about 10 minutes.
Entrance Fees and Rules.
The Sedlec Ossuary charges a small entrance fee of 50 Czech Korunas(about $2.20 or 1.75Euro), or 30Kc for Students and Children.
If you want to take pictures they’ll charge you an additional 30Kc.
So before you enter just have your camera tucked away.
Say you won’t be taking any pictures and then walk down into the Ossuary and take as many pictures as you want.
There’s no one down there checking to see if you have a “Picture Taking Ticket” or not.
However, DO NOT stick your hands through the cages that separate you from the bone stacks.
They have sensors that set off a loud alarm in the whole place and eventually you’ll have someone yelling at you.
When I tell people about this place I am usually asked “What kind of church is it? That sounds like some Satanic stuff.”
Actually it’s quite the opposite:
In 1278, an abbot of a Sedlec monastery was sent to Holy Land by the King of Bohemia.
When he came back he had a jar filled with soil from the hill of Golgotha.
He spread it around the cemetery and many people therefore considered it to be holy ground.
In the 14th Century, when the Black Death was sweeping through Europe, many people wanted to be buried in that cemetery.
So many people went there to die that around the year 1400 the area needed to be expanded.
A Gothic Church was built in the center of the cemetery.
It had a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves that were unearthed during construction.
Sometime after 1511 more of the skeletons were exhumed.
A monk was ordered to stack the bones of 40,000 people in the chapel.
About 300 years later in 1870, the Schwarzenberg family(whose coat-of-arms is designed out of bones on one of the walls) hired a wood carver to put the bone piles in order.
What you see today is what he designed.
PIECE OF ART.
From the outside it looks like any other regular church.
In reality it is anything but regular.
You have entered one of the coolest art pieces you’ll ever see.
I have been there twice already and I’ll probably go back every time I’m in Prague.
It is smaller in person from what I saw in pictures, but it’s still impressive.
I mean seriously, how could someone NOT be impressed by a Chandelier made with every bone in the human body?
Have you ever been to the Church Of Bones?
What did you think of it?
Let me know below.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm an Arizona desert rat in search of the next adrenaline pumping adventure.
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