Sedlec Ossuary (Kostnice Sedlec)
As impressive as it is macabre, Sedlec Ossuary(Kostnice Sedlec) is the peculiar star attraction of the Kutná Hora UNESCO World Heritage Site. The subterranean ossuary lies beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints and is decorated and furnished entirely with human bones and skulls, earning it the nickname the "Chapel of Bones.”
Most travelers opt to visit Sedlec Ossuary on a day trip from nearby Prague. A walking tour is the most popular way to explore Kutná Hora, taking in UNESCO-listed monuments, such as the Church of St. Barbara, the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady at Sedlec, and the 14th-century Church of St. Jacob. It’s also possible to visit one of Kutná Hora’s old silver mines, a throwback to the town’s heyday as a silver mining center.
Full-day tours from Prague typically stop at other attractions, such as the Gothic Zleby Castle along the way, and afford stunning views of the Bohemian countryside.
Things to Know Before You Go
There is an admission charge for visiting Sedlec Ossuary, and combination tickets for other Kutná Hora attractions are available.
Although there is no official dress code, modest attire is recommended when visiting the church and cemetery.
Sedlec Ossuary is wheelchair accessible via an elevator.
How to Get There
Direct trains run to Kutná Hora from Prague and take around an hour; it’s just over an hour’s drive along the D11. From Kutná Hora-Sedlec Station, it’s a 10-minute signposted walk to the Sedlec Ossuary.
When to Get There
The Sedlec Ossuary is open year-round, although opening times vary throughout the year. If you’re visiting in winter (November–February), be aware that the ossuary typically closes for an hour or two over lunchtime.
Architectural Highlights of the Sedlec Ossuary
The bones from more than 40,000 Black Death and Hussite Wars victims, originally buried in the cemetery, makeup Sedlec Ossuary. Czech woodcarver Frantisek Rint created the eerily beautiful ornamentation in 1870, following a commission by the aristocratic Bohemian Schwarzenberg family. Skulls adorn the Gothic pyramids in front of the altar and swathe the walls. Even the nave’s fantastical centerpiece is a chandelier created using every single bone from a man’s skeleton.
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