Sedlec (Bone Church) Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by illumina
  • Cemetery church of All Saints
    Cemetery church of All Saints
    by balhannah
  • Entrance to the cemetery
    Entrance to the cemetery
    by balhannah

Most Recent Things to Do in Sedlec (Bone Church)

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    The raven picking out the eye of the Turque

    by globetrott Updated Jan 10, 2015

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    The coat of arms of the Schwarzenberg family includes a raven, that picks out the eye of a Turque ( as one of the leaders of the Schwarzenberg-family once had expelled the turkish troups from Czechia )
    I am not sure, whether this raven has the skeleton of a bird or human bones were carved that way by Frantisek Rint.
    This raven , picking out the eye of the turque can be seen in many places, all over Czechia.
    In Hluboka nad Vltavou you will see it as a door-handle
    In Trebon it is on top of a fountain.

    the door-handle in HLUBOKA nad Vltavu the door-handle in HLUBOKA nad Vltavu
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    huge chalices made of bones

    by globetrott Updated Jan 10, 2015

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    Two huge three-dimensional chalices/ (germ: Kelche) were arranged by bones and set up in side-niches at the entrance of the bone-church and even sourrounded by dozens of head-bones.

    It was the intention of Frantisek Rint to show the visitors how short life will be, and that they should make the best out of it.
    And that even those people, who - some centuries ago - fighted in a battle against each other are arranged now next to each other and cannot help it, but giving up all hatred...

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    4 big bells made of bones

    by globetrott Updated Jan 10, 2015

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    4 big bells made of bones

    4 big bells made of bones are arranged inside the 4 corners of the church, simply in order to use the biggest part of the bones and leave a tiny rest for the special decorations.
    These bone-bells have a fence around them and at some places these iron-fences hold bones again, like the coat of arm of the Schwazenberg family.
    And in my last picture: Frantisek Rindt even signed his name by bones in the church !

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    lovely sculptures

    by globetrott Updated Jan 10, 2015

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    Don't miss the rather few great sculptures and paintings NOT made of bones that you will see inside the bone-church as well.They are close to the main altar and while I missed them myself in 2003 I saw them in 2004 , as they were especially lighted.
    Obviously there is also some more or less silent re-construction going on, and hopefully next time the wall behind this sculpture is restored already.
    The sculpture is obviously Saint Nepomuk, the national saint of Czechia, the patron for bridges and mills

    ----------------------------------------
    b.t.w. there are some other places in Europe
    with similar bone.churches and my favorite one so far
    was in EVORA / Portugal, quite close to Lisbon !

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    all kinds of human bones are in the chandelier

    by globetrott Updated Jan 7, 2015

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    all kinds of human bones are in the chandelier

    The big bone-chandelier in the middle of the church is the biggest of all these works of art, and the chandelier still uses candles, while the rest of the church has electric light of course.
    I may imagine, it gives you a strange feeling to see these head-bones staring at you from the chandelier, when there is no electic light, but just the candles on the bone-chandelier !
    In my guidebooks I read that at least 1 of each and every type of bone in the human body was used in order to construct the big chandelier in the very centre of the bone-church.
    Doctors might want to click on my picture and take a closer look, students of medicine might find a great opportunity to study the human body in a different way...
    The big bone-chandelier

    For ordinary tourists it is sometimes not easy to accept that this is mainly a serious place and you see them posing in strange ways, when having pictures taken by their friends, and once I even saw someone, having a picknick...

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    The coat of arms of the Schwarzenberk family

    by globetrott Updated Jan 7, 2015

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    The Coat of Arms of the Schwarzenberg family is anotherone of the larger works of art inside the bone-church.In the 4 corners of the church you will see a huge heap of bones behind a fence and one of theses fences is decorated with that coat of arms.
    Just click on my picture and take a closer look. in the church you may get rather close to it too and may almost touch the bones ( BUT in fact nobody does...)
    The Schwarzenberg family is one of the oldest noble families in Czechia. Even today Fürst Schwarzenberg is a wellknown politician and former minister of the Czech Government. And his family is the owner of one of the most beautiful hotels in Vienna :
    Hotel im Palais Schwarzenberg in Vienna"
    it is between the Belvedere-garden and Schwarzenbergplatz with the monument of the russian soldiers.

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    The cemetery dates back to 1278

    by globetrott Updated Jan 7, 2015

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    The foundation of the old cemetery of Sedlec dates back to the year 1278, when the abbot of the monastery made a journey to Jerusalem and brought back some sacred soil from the Holy Land. He spread it over the cemetery, that had quite a big dimension at that time, beeing the only cemetery for the whole area.
    Because of the sacred soil even people from abroad (mainly Belgium, Poland and Bavaria ) wanted to get buried in Sedlec. At the same time plenty of people had to be buried after the big plagues (1318) and after religious wars with the Hussites.

    In the 16th century the cemetery was made a lot smaller and the bones of 40000 people were unburied and stored in the bone-church.In 1870 these bones were sorted by Frantisek Rint.

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    A paradise for the serious bone-fetishist

    by globetrott Updated Jan 7, 2015

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    Frantisek Rint bleached the bones first by some chemicals and finally he arranged all of the bones and skulls in a funny way and with some sort of the typical strange kind of humor you may find all over Czechia in art, literature and even in the way they treated the Russian occupants for several decades...
    Each and every kind of bones was used for these decorations and today the bone-church is one of the major tourist-attactions in the region and maybe even the whole country.
    -----------------------------
    Sedlec Bonechurch is open for visitors:
    April 1st - Sep. 30th: 08.00am - 06.00pm
    October: 09.00am - 12.00 + 01.00-05.00pm
    November 1st - March 31st: 09.00-12.00 + 01.00-04.00pm
    last entry is always latest at 20minutes before closingtime !

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    Bones galore in the Bone-church

    by globetrott Updated Jan 7, 2015

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    40.000 people were buried over the centuries on the small cemetery of Sedlec - 3 Km off the town-centre of Kutna Hora.The cemetery was part of the nearby Monastery St.Mary and had to be reduced in space in the year 1870.Thousands of Skeletons had to be undug and stored inside the church and a woodcarver named Frantisek Rint had an idea, how to arrange these bones in a very special, artistic way .

    ----------------------------
    Sedlec Bonechurch is open for visitors:
    April 1st - Sep. 30th: 08.00am - 06.00pm
    October: 09.00am - 12.00 + 01.00-05.00pm
    November 1st - March 31st: 09.00-12.00 + 01.00-04.00pm
    last entry is always latest at 20minutes before closingtime !

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    BONE CREATIONS # 3

    by balhannah Updated Jan 8, 2014

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    Of course there is a lot more to see in the Bone Chapel.

    Another wonderful piece, is the bone Chalice. Looking at it, I doubt if it would hold wine!
    In each of the four corners of the Chapel are enormous bell-shaped mounds of skulls, how many - I have no idea, I do know, this is the largest amount of skulls I have ever seen in one place!
    Other pieces are garlands and crosses of skulls, angels and bones. Skulls are even peering down at you from the top floor.
    The Artist has also signed his name in bones.

    As you can see, it is worth paying the extra to buy a photo ticket to take the photos inside this unusual Ossuary. The Chapel is only small.

    Bone Chalice Bone Chalice Ossuary entrance Bell of bones More Bones
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    BONE CREATIONS # 2

    by balhannah Updated Jan 8, 2014

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    THE CHANDELIER

    How about a chandelier of bones hanging in your house, that would make a good talking point!

    Even here in the Ossuary, the Chandelier in my opinion is the finest piece and my favourite. It is huge, and said to be made from three skeletons and includes every bone in a persons body.
    Imagine this too. Every year, since "all souls day" in 1999, the candles on the chandelier have been lit and kept clean of wax, what a job that would be!

    What a work of art this is!

    Chandelier Chandelier
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    BONE CREATIONS # 1

    by balhannah Updated Jan 7, 2014

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    The House of Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms

    Bones, bones and more bones, what to do with them all?
    Well, in 1870, the Schwarzenberg family employed wood carver, "František Rint," to do something with them!

    Create he did, marvelous creations made out of human bones that are still there today for us to see.

    One of his famous creations is of the Schwarzenberg Family coat of arms. Take a close look at the photo and on the RH side you will see a head of a Turk, his eyes being pecked out by a raven - I loved it! Can you see the three golden sheaves, of course you can see the Princes crown above the coat-of-arms symbolizing the Prince's title.
    I really need to see the real coat of arms and then compare!

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    ENTER THE BONE CHAPEL

    by balhannah Written Jan 7, 2014

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    The Bone Chapel is actually a Charnel House from the 14th century with two floors, I was going to the bottom floor.
    Time to go inside! As we entered, to our left was where we had to pay our admittance fee and a CAMERA FEE.
    I was so glad it wasn't high season, as this small chapel sees more than 250 thousand visitors annually! In April, there may have been a half a dozen including us - very pleasant!

    I guess straight away I was in awe of what I was seeing. I just stood there looking around me, not wanting to move!
    This underground Chapel is quite similar to an underground chapel in Jerusalem (Hakeldama field), where the dead were buried pilgrims. Sedlec also saw many pilgrims and Christians who wanted to be buried here. As there were 30,000 people who perished through black death and many Hussites, along with the local corpses, there was no shortage of bones.
    In the 16th century, they started using the bones as a decoration.

    Time to move down some steps and to the main part of the Chapel

    The Sedlec Ossuary is located in the suburbs of Kutna Hora, about 70 km distance from Prague.

    OPENING HOURS
    April and September 8 - 6PM
    October and March 9:00 to 12:00 & 1 - 5PM
    November and February 9:00 to 12:00 & 1-4PM
    The Ossuary is closed for Christmas.

    ADMISSION FEES
    Adults 90,- CZK Students 60,- CZK

    Group discounts (8 persons and more): adults 75,- CZ students 50,- CZK

    Family discounts:
    2 adults + 1-4 children 240,- CZK
    2 adults + 5-8 children 300,- CZK

    Combined discounted ticket for the Ossuary and the Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist:
    Adults 110,- CZK
    students 70,- CZK

    Combined discounted ticket for the Ossuary, the Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist and the Church of St. Barbara:
    adults 160,- CZK
    students 110,- CZK

    Combined discounted ticket for the Ossuary, the Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist, the Church of St. Barbara and the GASK (The Gallery of Central Bohemia):
    adults 280,- CZK
    students 190,- CZK

    Sedlec Ossuary
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    THE BONE CHURCH & GRAVES

    by balhannah Written Jan 7, 2014

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    We will begin with the Church first, whose proper name is "Cemetery Church of All Saints." The area where it is built, was originally part of a Cistercian abbey that was founded here in the year 1142. The Monks had to cultivate and look after the grounds and lands around the monastery. In 1278, King Otakar II of Bohemia, sent Henry the abbot of Sedlec, on a diplomatic mission to the Holy Land and as you know, the rest is history!
    The handful of soil he brought home and sprinkled over the cemetery of Sedlec monastery, became famous.
    In the year 1400, the Roman Catholic church of All -Saints was built in Gothic style in the middle of the cemetery, with a chapel [Ossuary] in the basement for the over full cemetery.

    So, take a walk with me around the old cemetery, looking at the graves, many are quite newish. On the outside, you can see the windows that give light to the Ossuary.

    Next, we will venture inside.

    Cemetery church of All Saints Entrance to the cemetery Bone Church cemetery The Ossuary windows
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    Church of St Barbara

    by GentleSpirit Written Jan 12, 2013

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    Most people come to Sedlec to just see the Ossuary. Frankly, it would be a mistake to come and skip the magnificent Church of St Barbara in Kutna Hora, just a short walk from the Ossuary. Sedlec is a suburb of Kutna Hora, though in reality, both were controlled by the Cistercian Monastery since the original silver deposits were found on land belonging to the Monastery.

    The Church itself is a masterpiece of design, perhaps even more so because of its colorful history.
    Take a look especially at the flying buttresses, the beautiful carved altarpiece and a very pretty Gothic church.

    Please visit my Kutna Hora pages here

    Church of St Barbara
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