The cemetary surrounding the church
With all of the over 40,000 bodies inside the ossuary there is still a cemetary surrounding the outside of the church. The cemetary is very well kept. A lot of the tombstones have pictures attached to them.
Another church in Sedlec
There is more than one church in Sedlec. Just a few steps away from the Ossuary you will find this large and attractive church. Monatic Church of the Assumption of Our Lady is the long name of the church. I do not have a lot of information about it because it was closed to the public while I was in Sedlec. At the present time the church is being renovated. I was able to look inside through the windows and could see scaffolding, paint, and other items for renovation. It should be quite beautiful when they complete the work and will be another sight to visit when you go to Sedlec.
Tourist among the bones
When we arrived we were the only people in the chapel. So it was really nice but kind of eerie to walk alone amoung all of the remains. Our solitude was soon ended though. Not long after we arrived a tour bus pulled up and in came the crowds. If you are fortunate enough to get here while there are no large groups you can take your time and see all of the work done here. But like most places, once the crowd arrives you end up moving around and bumping into people as try to explore and take pictures.
Crucifix of Bones
There are many sights to see inside the chapel. Here on the wall you can see a shield or crest design made of bones with a crucifix in the center. Its interesting to see the heads of the skeletons in place forming the crucifix. All of the imagery of death and life, religion, war, and human frailty all make for a fascinating study.
On the Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms there is a raven plucking out the eye of a Turk. I am not sure what kind of bones the raven is made of although I assume they are human. You just can not help but be fascinated by the imagery of the chapel.
The Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms
How many Coat of Arms are really made out of human arms? I think that is a good question. Here I am standing by the Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms that hangs in the chapel. In 1870 the Schwarzenberg family bought the Sedlec monastery and employed the artist Frantisek Rint to create the decorations in the bone church.
Candles and Bones
Walking into the chapel one of the first things you will see is this haunting chandelier. If you have researched your trip or have looked at this VT page you will know what to expect when you visit the ossuary. Even though I knew what to expect I was still astounded. It is said that the chandelier contains one of every bone in the human body.
Face to Face with a Skeleton
I know I tend to be a bit macbre at times. A good horror story always interests me. So discovering this ossuary was fascinating to me. The other guy in the hat, Jim, thought it was all almost too macbre. But as you can see from this picture I was really enjoying myself. It is important to remember though, that these are the real remains of actual people and not just some Disney type haunted attraction. So its important to be respectful and appreciative of the remains.
At some point the ossuary of the local church got pretty full of bones ,inlcuding casualties of the Hussite wars and a monk then local craftsman decided to make the bones into varoius coats of arms , chandeliers etc. This place is a kind of sick joke about human mortality and they leave the door open so the chandeliers swing and rattle
well, DUH - the bone church :-)
it's a small church - from what i remember of the history i've read and been told, there's holy soil on the ground around this church by way of Jordan river water or whatever that some monk or priest brought to the church. so, everyone and their dog wanted to be buried on this holy ground, naturally. there were so many bodies, they didn't have enough room so an architect was hired to do something with the bones, and WAH-LAH, there you have the bone church, ossuary, or whatever you'd like to call it.
- Historical Travel
The Virgin Mary watches over the Bone Church
There is a statue of the Virgin Mary over the roof of the Ossuary and surprisingly its not made from bones.
Larry and the chalice of bones
This is a huge chalice made of bones that I am standing under. I kept saying "Take a picture of me here." all through the ossuary. I was really caught up in the experience.