Nobody loves an ossuary more than I do. I spent 3 hours waiting outside the Paris Catacombs, and it was worth every second. I loved it so much, I frantically looked up other ossuaries in Europe I could visit, and The Bone Church (or Sedlec Ossuary) in Kutná Hora very quickly rose to the top of the list.
The final resting place of over 40,000 people, Sedlec Ossuary’s claim to fame is a chandelier that purportedly contains at least one of every bone in the human body. It’s nowhere near as grand as the Paris Catacombs, and there are alarms that go off if anyone gets too close to the bones, which is often and does detract somewhat from the experience.
In the 13th Century, a handful of soil from the Grave of the Lord in Jerusalem was sprinkled around the Church of All Saints, and it became the place to be buried. People were dying to get in there (sorry). When there was no more room, they did the only logical thing – exhumed the corpses, bleached their bones and hired a local woodcarver to decorate the church with them. The artist’s name is František Rint, and you can see his signature (in bones, of course) near the coat of arms of the Schwarzenburg family.
Kutná Hora was an absolute delight – while I knew what I was going to get with Sedlec Ossuary, I wasn’t expecting the beauty of the rest of the town. I spent all day there, and wished I had more time. It was February and lightly snowing when I was there, so I was lucky enough to be one of the only tourists in the area. If you go during summer, you may not be so lucky.
Getting to Kutná Hora from Prague is very simple, I took the train from Prague Central Station. It cost 183 CZK (return) and took just under an hour. There are maps as you leave Kutná Hora station, but if you forget then just walk out of the station and turn left and walk about 15 minutes until you reach the church. Entry to Sedlec Ossuary is 90 CZK.
remember you will die
remember you are alive