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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
I hadn't really thought of it before. But it turns out that ossuaries are not at all uncommon throughout the world. They differ somewhat in the different religious traditions. Really, an ossuary is set up for a very practical reason, lack of space to bury the dead and keep all those bones and coffins. So, they gather the bones together and put them...more
How did this ossuary come to be? Well, the ossuary was built in the Sedlec suburb of the town of Kutna Hora. Now remember, at the time, Kutna Hora was one of the more important cities in the Czech Lands because of the wealth generated by the silver mines. Perhaps the single most important factor was the fact that Sedlec became a very popular place...more
A very popular tourist site and somewhat more unusual one, is the Sedlec Ossuary located in a suburb of Kutna Hora. The Chapel is located beneath All Saints Church. In the 13th century, the Abbot of the monastery in Sedlec was sent by the Czech king on a mission to Jerusalem, and he returned with a handful of earth from Golgotha, which he sprinkled...more
The Schwarzenberg Family is one of the oldest noble families in Bohemia. Everywhere you go, you hear something about them. Frantisek Rint, the artist of Sedlec´s Kostnice, probably reproduced their Coat of Arms to please them or did it at their own request or something like that...Note the raven picking the eye of a turk. This is the real...more
The Bone Church is more a chapel than a church as it is rather small. You can perfectly visit it in 15 minutes.As you enter the church, you´ll be given a free brochure that quickly explains what you will see and the history of the place. This brochure must be returned as you leave the church.more
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..
Favorite Dish: the chocolate thing in the photo for rather different reasons?
You would take the train from Prague to Kutna Hora hlavni nadrazi, the main station.From there you can take the tourist bus, which costs 35 CK.Otherwise take city bus #1 which will drop you off around the corner from the ossuary.Otherwise, you can walk, it is 2.5 kilometres and shouldn't take more than a half hour.to get backany of the...more
Easiest way is by train to Kutna Hora from Prague's Hvladni Nadrazi station.Ticket office staff (it's a very swish ticket office!) speak enough English to organise a return ticket for you (very cheap).Train takes around an hour and, usefully, your ticket will list intervening stations so you don't need to worry about getting off at the wrong...more
It's pretty easy to get to Sedlec from Prague - just get the train to Kutna Hora main station (hlavní nádraží), and then have a quick look at the tourist info map in the underpass in the station, this will show you where to go. It's probably a ten minute walk. There are buses from the station as well, but it's so easy to walk, why bother? You might...more
What to buy:
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 skull model!!! Don't worry, it's made of plaster ! Now would that be something to explain to the customs man when you're coming home, or even your curious friends or relatives?
What to pay: for the bargain price of 350 korunas (about $15 US dollars at the time of my visit)
this skull could be yours!
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.)