Do It Collective- Katie


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Inside The Gothic 'Bone Church', Sedlec Ossuary

Inside The Gothic 'Bone Church', Sedlec Ossuary

It's not every day that you can walk around a gothic church, or any church for that matter, made entirely out of human bones. In fact, Sedlec Ossuary (also known as Kostnice Sedlec) is the ornate resting place for 40,000 human skeletons which make up the walls, ceilings and even the decorations. 

Rightly so, you may be interested in how all of the bones came to be a part of this unique architecture. The story dates back to 1278 when the then King of Bohemia sent the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery to Jerusalem. As a gift when the abbot returned to the Monasteryhe did so carrying a jar of 'holy soil' from the Golgotha. As news spread people from far and wide requested to be buried in Sedlec and so the small cemetery area has to go under a massive expansion. This continued until 1870 when Frantisek Rint, a woodcarver, was appointed to place the bones in order, and so the result is the incredible Sedlec Ossuary that you see today. 


My personal two favorite sections of the Ossuary has to be the massive bone chandellier that hangs proudly in the center of the chapel and contains at least one of every bone in the human body. Human heads mark the place where candles would be in a 'regular chandelier' and the crystal droplets on each arm arm replace with small human bones. And sweeping out from this central focus like flower garlands across the ceiling are hundreds of human skulls, all perfectly in line. 


The second most impressive feature in my eyes is the Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms which is, you've guessed it, made entirely of bones. The royal crest features the crown at the highest point and the two halves of the crest, the left side with a feature bone representing fire and on the right side a bird image (made from human bones). 


You may be thinking that this site all sounds a bit macabre but it's actually very peaceful, if you get there early and avoid the school groups that is! Over 200,00 people visit the site every year so I recommend going during a weekday and either early in the morning when it opens or as one of the last groups through the door. 

Getting there

Now I found getting there from Prague a bit difficult but that was because every single site was telling me something different. So, this is the route that I recommend to those of you wishing to travel to the site by public transport. 

Head to the Prague Main Train Station (“Praha Hlavni Nadrazi” abbreviated to “Praha hl.n.”), and look for the train times to Brno. Purchasing a return ticket to your stop "Kutná Hora Město" should cost you only about 171CZK (£5.99). The site is then only a fifteen-minute walk from the station away from the central zone.

Entrance fee to Sedlec Ossuary is 90CZK (£3.15) per adult, or you could do what we did and snuck in with a group of German kids whilst pretending to be one of their teachers. Finally, I found a use for my GCSE German! 





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