Sedlec (Bone Church) Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by illumina
  • Sedlec (Bone Church)
    by illumina
  • Cemetery church of All Saints
    Cemetery church of All Saints
    by balhannah

Sedlec (Bone Church) Things to Do

  • The raven picking out the eye of the...

    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...

  • huge chalices made of bones

    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...

  • 4 big bells made of bones

    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...

  • lovely sculptures

    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...

  • all kinds of human bones are in the...

    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...

  • The coat of arms of the Schwarzenberk...

    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...

  • The cemetery dates back to 1278

    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...

  • A paradise for the serious...

    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...

  • Bones galore in the Bone-church

    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...


    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...


    THE CHANDELIERHow 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...


    The House of Schwarzenberg Coat of ArmsBones, 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...


    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...


    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...

  • Church of St Barbara

    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...

  • Schwartzenberg Family Crest

    In tribute to his patrons, František Rint created a replica of the Schwartzenberg family crest, made entirely of human bones from the ossuary! It is a large display, certainly one of the centerpieces, and I had to wonder whether the family really objected to this at all. (Apparently not, it's still there after all these years!)One of my photos...

  • The Sedlec Ossuary Transformation

    The ossuary that had existed since late Middle Ages probably would have been of no particular interest to anyone except relatives of the dead buried there, However, the Sedlec Ossuary that you see today is the result of a fateful decision by the House of Schwartzenberg, the noble family that controlled the area. In 1870, a woodcarver/carpenter...

  • The Chandelier

    A chandelier made of human bones? Cmon! This chandelier is, in fact, made of human bones. The story says that it makes use of every bone in the human body! It uses hands from the nave with rows of human skulls adoring the vault. I didn't really look at it closely enough to wonder..hey where are the bones of the toe or something like that. Guess you...


Sedlec (Bone Church) Restaurants

  • A great & cheap restaurant close to...

    This restaurant is just a few steps from the monastery church of Sedlec, and you have a large parking in front.They also serve in a shady garden and prices are really cheap !! Pivovar Kutna Hora - is a local brewery since 1573, and at many restaurants of the area you may taste this great beer. Better hurry up tasting all the different sorts of...

  • Shop and Restaurant

    Whilst waiting for the bone church to re-open after lunch. I popped into this shop to but a cup of coffee and a sweet... They sold most things from batteries to postcards.. the chocolate thing in the photo for rather different reasons?

  • Sedlec (Bone Church) Hotels

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Sedlec (Bone Church) Transportation

  • Get to Sedlec by car & search for...

    Get to Sedlec by car & search for KOSTNICE !!It certainly makes sense to hire a car or get to Sedlec with your own car, especially when you intend to visit some other places of interest in the same area like Chrudim / Hradec Kralove / Pardubice and Litomisl.When arriving by car you will find plenty of good places to park your vehicle, and perfect...

  • Rent a car in Sedlec and Kutna Hora

    There is absolutely no need to rent a car in order to explore just Sedlec & Kutna Hora, BUT when you plan to spend some days in that area around Sedlec and Kutna Hora it might make sense to rent a car in Kutna Hora instead of Prague in order to avoid the heavy trafic around Prague !--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---...

  • Tours to the Bone-church from Prague /...

    How to get there in case you are based in Prague / Prag:Each tourbus-company in Prague offers halfday- or fullday excursions to Kutna Hora & the famous Bone-church in Sedlec. They will cost around 900 Kronen and you will visit mainly the St.Barbara cathedral in Kutna Hora and the bone-church in Sedlec.It is a bit more expensive than going on your...


Sedlec (Bone Church) Shopping

  • Souvenirs at the cashier

    Inside the bone-church, directely at the ticket-office you may get a small collection of postcards and booklets about Kutna Hora, Sedlec and the famous bone-church.These ladies are always busy with a big crowd of people waiting to buy their tickets and somehow I am always happy , when beeing able to get into the church, and never cared a lot for...

  • Souvenir of the Bone Church

    For the determined tourist who needs to have a little souvenir of every place they have visited, Sedlec offers you a very unique reminder of the time you passed here. Sure, you could get a postcard or key ring, no doubt one that would feature skulls and bones. But, maybe the discerning tourist might want to walk away with their very own....a...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Sedlec (Bone Church) Local Customs

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    November 1st - "All Saints Day" in the...

    by globetrott Written Jan 7, 2015

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Once every year on November 1st - "All Saints Day" - there is a churchservice inside the bonechurch with only the candles burning.
    I am not sure, if this is open for tourists, as the space is quite limited and plenty of local people certainly might considder it a religious service and NO attraction for tourists.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

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Sedlec (Bone Church) Off The Beaten Path

  • Places nearby Sedlec : Hradec Kralove

    Places nearby Sedlec : Hradec Kralove Hradec Kralove is the Czech name for "Königgrätz" , where 1866 the Habsburg-family lost the so called "Battle of Königgrätz".The battlefield can be visited outside the town - but the town also looks great inside, with a lovely main square and several big churches .Hradec Kralove has about 100.000 inhabitants...

  • Places nearby Sedlec : Chrudim

    Places nearby Sedlec : Chrudim Chrudim is the birthplace of Josef Ressel ( 1793-1857) - the inventor of the ship-screw. You will see his statue in front of the local museum.I mainly enjoyed the great town-square with the baroque town hall, a museum of Marionettes and lovely door-handles made by sculptures fishes...You can get to Chrudim by train or...

  • 40 Km east of Sedlec : Pardubice /...

    40 Km east of Sedlec : Pardubice / Pardubitz Pardubice is a small town, 40 Km east of Sedlec.The townsquare consists only of houses built around 1500 A.D. , only the townhall is a bit younger, from 1894.There is a great castle and an Art Nouveau theatre.It might be the best to get there in the afternoon, when the market is over and it is much...


Sedlec (Bone Church) Favorites

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Other Ossuaries around the world

    by GentleSpirit Updated Mar 29, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Other Ossuaries:
    Capela dos Ossos- Evora, Portugal
    built in the 16th century, this ossuary houses the bones of about 5,000 Fransiscan monks.

    Kaplica Czaszek- St Barthlomew's Church- Czermna, Poland
    from the late 1700's this houses about 25,000 skeletons. Interestingly, it was arranged by a Czech priest. Mostly from victims of the 7 Years War, 30 Years War and cholera epidemics.

    St Peter and Pauls Church- Melnik, Czech Republic (near Prague)
    Na Vyhlídce 18, Melník, 27601, Czech Republic
    Mostly the result of overburial during one of the outbreaks of the Plague. This ossuary contains about 15,000 skeletons.

    Capuchin Church- Brno, Czech Republic
    Kapucinske namesti 5, Brno, 602 00, Czech Republic
    24 monks like perfectly preserved, mummified, Thought to be due to the dry air and the nature of the soil.

    Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary- Křtiny, Czech Republic
    This ossuary has the some of the skulls painted, in what appeared to be practice in Austria at the time (see Halstatt house) This is a small ossuary, only about 1,000 skeletons

    San Bernardino alla Ossa- Milan, Italy (Skull Chapel and Chapel of Bones)
    originally created in the 13th century, this chapel has lovely frescoes on the ceiling.

    Capuchin Crypt- Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, Rome, Italy
    this ossuary has 5 chapels containing the bones of about 5,000 capuchin monks buried from the mid 1500s through 1800's.

    Monastery of San Fransisco- Lima, Peru
    catacombs thought to house up to 70,000. Interestingly, the Monastery itself is on the Unesco World Heritage list (though for other reasons.)

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Religious Travel

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