Ossuary Chapel – Bone Church, Sedlec, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

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Church of Bones (Ossuary) is located in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora in Czech Republic. The church built around 1400 has two levels. Top one is a normal chapel. The famous Church of Bones is located in the lower level All Saints’ Chapel.

The chapel is still surrounded by a functioning graveyard. The Ossuary itself dates from 1511. The graveyard was so “popular” the monks had to make space for new graves all the time and thus they have given a task to half-blind monk to gather the bones from the abolished graves and putting them in the crypt. This was the reason behind gathering the bones and it gave someone an idea of creating the decorations out of these bones.

Three centuries later the monks have hired a woodcarver to decorate
the inside of the Chapel with the human bones. At that stage the crypt contained remains of 40 000 people.

The sight is gruesome and awe inspiring at the same time. It is a major tourist attraction often eclipsing other destinations in Kutna Hora. Follow this link to see my photo gallery of Sedlec Ossuary.

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

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The town of Kutna Hora is about 70km from Prague in Czech Republic. It is listed on UNESCO world heritage list. During the Middle Ages, thanks to the profits from its silver mines became the richest and most powerful town in the Czech lands. At the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, Kutná Hora became the seat of King Václav IV. It is said it produced 2000 silver coins an hour for almost 4 centuries.

Things to see in Kutana Hora: The Gothic St. James’ Church (pictured above) and the St. Barbara’s Cathedral, devoted to the patroness of miners. Please note: photography is normally not permitted in the cathedral. Among other points of interest is the former mint – Italian Court, and several patrician houses. Many of the buildings in the town look neglected but then again the 14th century fountain looks like it was build yesterday.

Visit to the silver mine is also worthwhile but is certainly is not for claustrophobic people. I would also discourage anyone who is too “big” to try the squeeze in the passages. The mine shafts are really narrow and low. Not all guides speak English so inquire first. View my Kutna Hora Photo Gallery here.