Sedlec Ossuary: The Kutná Hora Bone Church

Kutná Hora is about an hour by train from Prague, and is a quaint, quintessential Czech village. It’s also home to the Sedlec Ossuary, a small Catholic chapel decorated entirely of human bones…approximately 40,000 human skeletons to be exact.

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I had heard about this bone church when I studied abroad but never made it out to see it. When Westley, our wonderful Prague ambassador, offered to take us on a trip over there, I immediately jumped on board. A small group of us met at the train station and we were on our way.

As we walked up to the chapel, we all expected to be really creeped out. But to be honest, once inside, you get caught up in the intricate details and how cool it is and forget what the decorations are actually made of.

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In the 1400s, a new church was commissioned over a cemetery, with plans to build an ossuary below it to house the thousands who were buried there after the Black Death and Hussite Wars. The tremendous task of exhuming the skeletons was given to a half-blind monk in the early 1500s but the elaborate bone-arrangements weren’t constructed until the mid-1800s.

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After our exploration of the bone church, we headed into the town center of Kutná Hora. And all I can say is thank goodness we had Westley. It was starting to rain and it was a 30 minute walk but Westley was able to ask the locals about the bus schedule and we were dropped off right in the middle of town. They streets were all but empty and gave us beautiful views of the colorful buildings.

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We enjoyed a Czech lunch at a traditional beer hall…

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…then meandered over to the main town church, which was absolutely HUGE.

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There was a wine festival going on which provided lots of wonderful people watching and the church was set up on a hill so we had gorgeous views of Kutná and the vineyards.

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Everything about Kutná Hora and Sedlec Ossuary makes it well worth the day trip from Prague.

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