My Adventures

Sedlec Ossuary: “The Church of Bones”

Although situated in the small village of Kutna Hora (Czech Republic), the Sedleck Ossuary is becoming increasingly popular among tourists.

Some of the old grave sites situated outside of the ossuary

Some of the old grave sites situated outside of the ossuary

The small church is filled with formations that are made completely of human bone. It is an impressive sight, but it begs the question why?

Human bone chalice in the Sedlec Ossuary

Human bone chalice in the Sedlec Ossuary

Well, it all started in 1278 when the abbot of the Sedlec Ossuary retrieved a small portion of earth from Golgotha. Because of this pious deed, the Sedlec Ossuary became a vary desired burial site. During the black plague of the 14th century, the cemetery was expanded to accommodate the burial needs of the time. In 1400, a gothic church was constructed vaulted upper and lower level for the use of an ossuary. It wasn’t until 1870 that the bones were arranged as they are today by František Rint, a woodcarver.

A view from beneath the human bone chandler

A view from beneath the human bone chandler

The interesting history provides an experience that is gaining hype by tourists. I made the trip there, and I am pleased I did. It made for a good day trip away from Prague, and it is something that is a bit different and off the beaten trail (for now!).

Some of the skulls have become some what of a game to tourists, which I find quite disrespectful!

Some of the skulls have become some what of a game to tourists, which I find quite disrespectful!

We took a bus, but be aware that it is a long walk to get to Sedlec Ossuary. The bus station is close enough to walk to the city center. To get to Sedlec Ossuary, which is on the outskirts of the village, it is recommended to take another bus. It is easy enough to get around this small village. For directions we stopped in tiny tourist center next to the St. Barbara Church in the city center (which is an amazing gothic cathedral and a sight in and of itself!)

There is an entrance fee of 50 Czech Koronas (about $2.20). There is a student discount, but if you want to take photos there is an additional charge of 20 Koronas.

So if you are looking for an experience that is a little different than your typical tourist destinations, check out the Sedlec Ossuary!

stacks of skulls in Sedlec Ossuary

stacks of skulls in Sedlec Ossuary

Have you traveled to the Sedlec Ossuary or any other site that is made better by it’s oddities? What did you think?

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