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I imagine it must be pretty peaceful at night when the doors are closed and the lights are off and the line of tourists has ebbed and gone but it doesn't strike me as much of a RESTING place, despite the fact that it's estimated that the remains of more than 40,000 people are interred here.

We left Prague on Wednesday morning and headed toward Vienna with a little detour in mind: the suburb of Sedlec in the town of Kutná Hora. The Ossuary Chapel attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. The bones date all the way back to the 14th century and the decorations using them were the work of one man, a woodcarver, who was employed to put the bones in some kind of order. That he certainly did!

The reason there were so many bodies buried here, apart from the Black Death and the victims of the Hussite Wars, was because the cemetery was considered a very desirable place to be buried due to the fact the Abbot in 1278 had brought back earth from Golgotha in the Holy Land and sprinkled it here. I wonder if they would think it so desirable if they could see it now.

Various adjectives bandied about during our visit: morbid, macabre, creepy, depressing, freaky, dark, ghoulish, abnormal, gruesome, melancholy, somber, sad. But with all that, it was still a weird and wonderful look at the ways humans deal with death, dying, afterlife, religion, and our own remains.

It was rather sobering to realize during the course of the visit that all the heads of the people craning to look closer at the decorations contained the exact same thing as what they were looking at. Not surprisingly, some of the decorations are gone now, destroyed by time and "insensitive tourists", but what remains (ha! see what I did there) is fascinating as well as gruesome and macabre.

Welcome to the Bone Church!

I promise the photobomber in the window is a tourist, not a ghost


No one wants to swing from THIS one

The Crest of the House of Schwarzenberg ...but wait, what is UP with that image in the corner??

Are those ...RIB BONES sticking out of the skull? Hrmmm...

There are 4 of these huge bone pyramids in each corner.

Photo credits: Copyright 2015 Anders Ek, Elizabeth Slaughter-Ek
mood: calm
music: MS MR—Bones


That is a whole new level of creepy.

that is not creepy in the LEAST...haha! Very interesting!

From Megsie

I have never heard of this place! It is fascinating! And yes, creepy. But I cannot stop studying the sculptures. I certainly wouldn't want to visit at night, but it is kind of cool and would be fun to see in real life. Even if it does provide you with a funny feeling of dread, or maybe I am just grossed out?

Re: From Megsie

It was dreadful and fascinating in equal parts!

Fantastic pictures! I have always wanted to visit that chapel and cemetary.


The guy who organized it -was artistic in a strange sense. Noe sure I would really enjoy it. Love, Lizardmom

Okay, we definitely have to put that place on our list of must-see things.

That's just...I mean...I am speechless.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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