Sedlec (Bone Church) Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by illumina
  • Sedlec (Bone Church)
    by illumina
  • The Ossuary windows
    The Ossuary windows
    by balhannah

Sedlec (Bone Church) Highlights

  • Pro
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    GentleSpirit says…

     lots of creatiivity, unusual 

  • Con
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    balhannah says…

     Busy in high season 

  • In a nutshell
    GentleSpirit profile photo

    GentleSpirit says…

     Most bizarre thing I've ever seen 

Sedlec (Bone Church) Things to Do

  • BONE CREATIONS # 3

    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...

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  • BONE CREATIONS # 2

    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...

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  • BONE CREATIONS # 1

    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...

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  • ENTER THE BONE CHAPEL

    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...

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  • THE BONE CHURCH & GRAVES

    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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Ossuaries

    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...

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  • The Sedlec Ossuary- History

    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...

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  • Photo ticket

    When you buy your entry ticket (40Kc in 2007) to the bone church, you'll probably be offered an extra ticket which allows you to take photos inside. BUY IT. It's only 30Kc (again in 2007), and you'll seriously regret it if you don't.

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  • Church of bones

    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...

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  • Details

    Every single detail inside the church is made of bones. Check this picture...In spite of it being really weird and of a doubtful taste, the artist Frantisek Rint did an amazing job here!!! Congratulations!!!

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  • Skulls Decoration

    Frantisek Rint´s creativity should definitely be rewarded!!! How do you decorate anything with skulls???The answer should probably be: You don´t!!!Well, HE DID!!! And that´s f*** bizarre!!!

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  • Big Bone Bells

    On each of the 4 corners of the church there are huge bone bells where most of the bones are stored. The Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms is in front of one of these bells.

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  • Schwarzenberg Family Coat of Arms

    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...

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  • The Bone Chandelier

    Take a look at this huge bone chandelier!!!This is probably one of the things that caught my attention while inside the Bone Church. How bizarre is that???

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  • The Bone Church

    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.

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  • The Church and the Cemetery

    This is the Bone Church seen from the outside. You can see the cemetery, that still exists, surrounding it.

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  • Art Nouveau Architecture

    Art Nouveax Architecture is always a pleasure to see, and right next to the Bone Church and Hotel U Ruse is this wonder of design in the Art Nouveau manner.

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  • In the local area around the Bone Church

    The grave yard has some grat head stones and fallen angels.. Hey I like sort of thing, nothing better than saying hello to the departed..

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  • Ossuary - Bone Church

    This place is great a real treat for the tourist amongst us.. The ghoulish display of bones are the work of a woodcarver called Frank Rint who began this macabre display of art in 1870. The cover charge plus the extra photo charge come to 150 Crowns..

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  • Church of Assumption of Our Lady

    Sadly the Church of Assumption of Our Lady was closed when I visited, but this seems to be a common thing that churches are closed unless a mass or service is taking place due to vandals and thieves sadly to say. From the outside this is an awesome church with fine gothic features...

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Sedlec (Bone Church) Restaurants

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    hhmmmm Chocolate 1 more image

    by Jasen71 Written Feb 23, 2006

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    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?

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    • Historical Travel
    • Trains

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Sedlec (Bone Church) Transportation

  • HOW TO REACH THE BONE CHURCH

    As it happened, we stayed overnight in Kutna Hora, so in the morning we drove our car to the Church.Even if you haven't a car, the Bone Church is easy to reach.Many people make it a day trip from Prague as Kutna Hora is only 70km away.TRAINS arrive at Kutná Hora main station (Kutná Hora hl.n.), then all you have to do is walk 10mins to the Church....

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  • Getting to the Ossuary

    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...

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  • Train plus feet

    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...

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Sedlec (Bone Church) Shopping

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    by GentleSpirit Written Oct 28, 2012

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    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!

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Sedlec (Bone Church) Favorites

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    by GentleSpirit Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    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
    http://www.kapucini.cz
    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:
    • Religious Travel
    • Museum Visits

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