If you think you have seen it all…. The Sedlec Ossuary
If you think you have seen it all….The Sedlec Ossuary will definitely make you think again. We still have
a while to go before Halloween, but the history of this Czech Roman Catholic chapel will make for a very
In the Sedlec suburb of Kutna Hora, in the Czech Republic, lies one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Also known as the Bones Chapel, it is an artfully (though a bit gorily) decorated room containing the bones and skulls of some 40.000 human bodies. The chapel is thus furnished with an imposing chandelier of bones hanging from the ceiling, garlands of skulls by the altar and various bone decorations ornating the walls.
So who was the artisan of all this… ingenious creation? In 1870, Frantisek Rint, a woodcarver, was asked to order the bones of an old cemetery ossuary. But actually the story goes back centuries before, to the year 1278, when the Bohemian King sent the Sedlec Abbot on a missionary trip to Jerusalem. He in turn returned with a bit of earth from the Golgotha in the Holy Lands. So pious people from all over the realm soon embraced Sedlec as their final resting place. Obviously, the cemetery in town expanded a lot and at a certain point, the bodies began to be excavated.
In the 15th century, there was a Gothic church built near the graveyard and its basements were employed as ossuary. So the bones stayed there quietly until the late 19th century, where the woodcarver artist stepped in.
Today, the Sedlec Ossuary is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Czech Republic, welcoming over 200.000 people to its chilly confines. From the capital city, you can opt for a Prague airport transfer to take you to this unique destination.