The awe-inspiring, fascinating, and peaceful Sedlec Ossuary. Tucked away in the town of Kutná Hora, the Ossuary looks like any ordinary church on the outside, however unknowing visitors are up for a huge surprise once they peer inside. Within the company of 40,000-70,000 human skeletons, it is truly a wonder how such an Ossuary came into existence.
The story goes, around 1278, Henry the Abbot from the Sedlec Monastery was sent to the Holy Land by the King of Bohemia. When the Abbot returned to the Monastery, he supposedly brought back a jar of soil from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem…the sight where Jesus was crucified at Golgotha. Since “Holy Soil” was now in Sedlec, people from everywhere wanted to be buried there. In the 14th century, when the Plague erupted throughout Europe, around 30,000 bodies were added to the cemetery. In the 15th century, the Gothic Church was built near the cemetery and more bodies were added into the basement. (Apparently, a half-blind monk began to stack these bones into decorative pyramid formations.)
The bones remained untouched for a few hundred years until the 1870’s when a woodcarver, Francis Rint, was hired by the church to arrange the bones even further. He created chains of skulls to decorate the archways, assembled bones into the Schwarzenberg coat of arms, and constructed an incredible chandelier that features every bone in the human body!
Adults- 90 Czech Korunas
Kids and Students- 60 CZK
How to get to the Sedlec Ossuary from Prague
- Kutná Hora is around 1 hour from Prague by train.
- The app I highly recommend downloading for your trip to Prague (and the regional towns around it) is called “PID Lítačka” . It is a green and white app for iPhone users.
- Assuming you are leaving from Prague, in the search bar type in “Praha hl.n” (Prague Main Station) as your departure location and “Kutná Hora hl.n” (Kutná Hora Main Station). I found this location easier to walk to Sedlec Ossuary than “Kutná Hota Mesto”. A one way ticket for me costed around 84 CZK, which is roughly 4 USD. Trains run nearly every hour and it only takes around 1 hour to get there! While you are on the train, an attendant will scan the barcode of your online ticket, so remember to be honest and buy your ticket, ok? 😉
- From Kutná Hora hl.n, it is only around a 15 minute walk to the Ossuary. (Say hello to Google Maps, and/or follow the crowd! Chances are, there will be a good number of people walking towards the Bone Church as well.)
- Please Note: The ticket office is a separate building from the Ossuary itself. It is on the way to the Ossuary, so look for the signs!
- The Sedlec Ossuary is modest in size, so chances are you will spend around 20 minutes inside. I would recommend visiting the other churches in Kutná Hora if you have time, but keep this in mind for buying your return ticket in advance! Or you can be like me, and go to a random stone circle overlooking the town… according to the Kutná Hora website it is called “Menhir- A Stone Circle with Vibrant Earth Energy”. My friends and I took a nice scenic hike up to the hills (and a neighborhood) to get there but the view didn’t disappoint!
All information regarding the Sedlec Ossuary I gathered from my visit there as well as the Sedlec Ossuary website. All photos are my own, so please ask for permission to use them.
The Bone Church had been on my bucket list and I’m incredibly grateful I was able to see it with my own two eyes! The trip to Kutná Hora was incredibly affordable and a perfect day trip outside of Prague.
Have you visited the Sedlec Ossuary? How was your experience? And if not, would you like to visit? Let me know down below.