"The Bone Church"

The Sedlec Ossuary or more commonly known as "The Bone Church" was the destination I chose for a spontaneous trip to The Czech Republic last weekend.  Brandon and I had initially thought we'd be pub crawling in Prague which sounds equally awesome, but we decided to do something a little less conventional and hit up Kutna Hora, Czech Republic for the night.

The Bone Church is located in Sedlec which is a suburb of Kutna Hora and it had been a place I was extremely interested in visiting since I had heard about it here and there.  We stayed in a hotel called Hotel U Kata which was right in town and only 60 USD for the night.  They even had a restaurant, bar, and a spa and pool.  This is a very cheap town to visit and find activities.  Though the actual town of Kutna Hora isn't very good looking, there is a lot of history, a lot of churches to visit, and good food, yes I said I have found good food in Czech, but I'll get to that later.  It's also only an hour from Prague so you could visit as a day trip from Prague.

The Bone Church cemetery was a destination where a lot of people from Czech wanted to be buried because of the abbot, Henry, who had sprinkled some sacred soil from Golgotha on the burial grounds in the 1200's.  As a result, the cemetery had reached it's maximum capacity.  This combined with the overwhelming deaths from the Black Plaque resulted in an overflow of bodies.  In the 1400's the church was built in the middle of the cemetery and by 1870 the actual organization of bones and designs that fill the church were constructed.  It is an immediate chilling reminder of the human form and its inevitable conclusion.







The church isn't that big, but it is filled with so many bone-filled designs. There is even a huge bone chandelier in the center of the church.  How many bones are in the church?  Over 40,000!







Below, the coat of arms of the Schwarzenberg family













The cemetery around the church




Below, the Gothic exterior of the the back side of the church and the front side



There are really a lot of churches to visit in this area.  Below, Cathedral of Our Lady, is another example which is only a block away from this one.  You can also purchase some fine Bohemian crystal from one of the many shops that line the streets by the church.


Unfortunately we didn't swing  by and visit the huge Santa Barbara Cathedral in Kutna Hora, but I suggest you take a look.  A picture of the church below:

source



What else did we do in Kutna Hora?  I had searched to find what the best restaurant in Kutna Hora was and it directed me to this place, Dacicky Pivnice, which was only a few blocks from our hotel.  What drew me in to this restaurant was the medieval vibe it boasted and everyone else in our party was excited as well.  I was hopeful but not expecting much, considering I hadn't had too many great experience with Czech food.  But we were all pleasantly surprised with the menu, decor, and friendliness of the staff.  

They boasted a menu of traditional Czech and Bohemian foods such as meat on swords, goulash in a pot over a candle, potato pancakes, cheese spreads, and many other delicious dishes.  Their beer and wine list was extensive and they even had mead.  We literally spent the next three hours at this restaurant having dinner, drinking, and having a great time.  We even went back later in the night to drink again.  Everyone in our party agreed that they would make the 3 hour  drive just to go back to this restaurant, it was so much fun.

Kutna Hora was a great little trip for us and definitely off the beaten path.  Would you visit The Bone Church or would you be too freaked out?




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47 comments :

  1. Hi Brittany, we visited this church with our son and dear friends about 20 years ago. It was a "shocker" for us, but definitely worth seeing. Thanks for the great photos and reminding me of our trip of long ago. Linda @Wetcreek Blog (www.wetcreek.blogspot.com)

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    1. Linda, glad I could take you down memory lane. It was a good time!

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  2. that sounds so awesome :D thank you for the tip :D I wanna go to Czech Rep too :)

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  3. We were in Kutna Hora a couple of months ago and really enjoyed our visit on a day trip from Prague. It was surprising to see how small the bone church was but I loved all the details. It really was creativity to a whole new level. My kids were too creeped out with all the skeletons 'staring' at them though. They only stayed for a few minutes. We did go to Santa Barbara Cathedral and its interior was absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Yes it was small than I had anticipated but awesome nevertheless. I wish I had gone to the Santa Barbara Church but noone else in our party was interested ugh.. What did the inside look like?

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  4. You are way braver than me. That is super creepy!

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  5. Oh how I wish I had known about this church when we were in Prague last year!!!

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  6. Wow, it's got a small creepy vibe, but as a lover of opposites attract...it's beautiful in a ethereal kind of way....great post, thanks so much for sharing it!

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  7. It is sad in a way because all those skulls were once a living human. Creepy but fascinating!

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  8. I would be way too freaked out to walk in there...Just wanted to let you know I love reading your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Award… You can find the link on my blog - just posted it today - and the directions for what to do.... Have a great day!

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    1. Awesome Suzie! Thanks for the nomination! I'm glad you like following along on my travels!

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  9. Thank you for showing this church. It was very interesting.

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  10. Interesting and yet kind of creepy! Thanks for sharing with us! I can't wait for the next trip!

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    1. Thanks, I'll be posting soon about my trip to the Nurnberg Tremplemarkt.

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  11. Awesome, creepy but I would have to go see it. It is strange when you think of them as people once upon a time and what we all come down to in the end. I would love to see the catacombs too a morbid curiosity I suppose. I love creepy.
    Janice

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    1. I tried to see the Catacombs too in July when I was in Paris but we were too late!!!

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  12. Wow that place is amazing. I'm so drawn to all the details and the art of it all. I will definitely have to go visit to see it for myself and read up more on the history of this bone church. I really enjoyed looking through all your photographs. Thank you for linking up for Travel Tuesday, hope to see you next week!

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose - an expat lifestyle blog

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    1. Thanks Bonnie! It was a really cool experience.

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  13. Fascinating! Is that bone-church a functioning church or is it just the building? I find it ironic seeing as Jesus referred to the church as a body... what a good reminder of that! ;)

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    1. Hm that's a good questions actually. I think it might just be a tourist church now because you can literally do tours everyday. You can even do like a night tour which I thought was pretty cool.

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  14. Oh my goodness, this looks like something straight out of a Halloween movie! How chilling and oddly beautiful, especially the way the bones are used to highlight architectural details. This seems like one of those places that would just keep me thinking for days and days!

    Amy | Club Narwhal

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  15. Not going to lie: The title alone already made me click on this link! This is such an eerie place - I'm fascinated, but at the same time I'm also a bit repelled. Kind of looks like it was taken from a Gothic Horror novel - but I mean that in the best way possible. It's definitely a unique place, though, and if I was in the area, I'd definitely visit it.

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    1. lol I bet it would look super creepy at night. I think there are even some movies that it was featured on too.

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  16. Unreal, and sort of freaky but so interesting. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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  17. Wow, that is intensely amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing, I never knew anything like this existed!

    <3 from your newest GFC follower via Chain Linky CLIMB @ http://juliaspuellaaeterna.blogspot.com/

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  18. This is amazing. I read a lot and watch a lot of foreign movies but had never heard of this place. I will look for it in other places now. Beautiful presentation of an amazing place.
    Peggy

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  19. You've given me serious wanderlust with this post! I'm dying to hit Prague before I leave Europe and it's nice to know there's a few random trips to take along the way... especially ones with good food ;)

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    1. O yes, that food was fantastic and so much fun. My husband asked the waitress if he could keep the sword. haha She obviously said no.

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  20. Brittany, This reminded me of a monastery we visited in France. They also made decorative pieces from the bones of deceased monks. It was amazing how detailed the pieces were. I made my husband promise to not have me made into a lamp when I passed away! That chandelier is amazing. Thanks for sharing at the Open House party.
    xx,
    Sherry

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    1. Wow, decorative pieces made out of bones, I don't know if I'd want those in my house lol. Thanks for reading!

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  21. Whoa - this is kind of creepy but it would definitely be interesting to see firsthand. Are services still held at the church? Thanks again for linking up!

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    1. I'm not sure, but because of the daily tours, I don't think they still have services, but don't quote me.

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  22. This is probably the closest I'll get to the Bone Church. Creepy for sure!

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    1. Haha it's okay, they even have tours at night.

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  23. No bones about it (pun intended)! You've posted a most interesting post!! Love it - run it again for Halloween!

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    1. Thanks Jackie and Joel, I know, I thought about saving it for Halloween!

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  24. As an ex-forensic anthropologist, I think the church would be extremely overwhelming for me; I wouldn't be able to stop identifying defects/bones. The designs, however, are very lovely.

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    1. Sharlene, thanks for stopping by and leaving your nice comment.

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  25. Absolutely fascinating! I must plan to make a side trip next time I am in Austria. Thank you for the education!

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  26. That's amazing. . . and creepy. I always have a hard time with human remains, because half of me starts thinking very very serious thoughts about how we'll all eventually just be decaying bits of bone, and the other half wants to not think about it at all and start cracking Hamlet jokes.

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    1. I get the same way. I don't like to think about it too hard! Hamlet is a better way to think about it. I saw that you are an archaeologist. That's so cool. I used to be obsessed with wanting to be one when I was little and then I had a rude awakening haha

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  27. I remember seeing this on some kind of tv show, but your photos and information are really amazing, very bizarre to say the least. thanks for the travel tips, too!

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  28. I don't. Know if I would enjoy this? What were they thinking when they used the bones? My husband ans I may stay in Prague for a month and might have to visit Thanks for the article and info about the other church and restaurant!

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I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth