Logo Nomad Travellers

English Arabic French German Indonesian Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
English Arabic French German Indonesian Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Last Articles

Bird Market in Yogyakarta: the shameful masochism of humanity

Bird Market in Yogyakarta: the...

Birds packed in a small cage in the bird market of Yogyakarta...

The best shooting modes for a hike: an introduction to outdoor photography

The best shooting modes for a...

Hdr and tonemapped image created from 3 bracketed shots. Rhone Valley, Switzerland...

Mount Merapi: an impressive Volcano hike in Indonesia

Mount Merapi: an impressive Vo...

Hikers on the crater of Merapi Volcano, surrounded by dramatic clouds Mount...

Meteora independent photo tour and hiking map: be your own guide

Meteora independent photo tour...

Meteora is an amazing place for photo addicted, where to take outstanding...

Visiting Meteora in Greece, orthodox monasteries and incredible rock formations: our experience and advice

Visiting Meteora in Greece, or...

Oti mesmerized by the rock formations in Meteora, Greece If the Eden...

Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval town in Bulgaria famous for its light show

Veliko Tarnovo: a medieval tow...

Light show in Veliko Tarnovo Veliko Tarnovo (Велико Търново in Bulgarian) is...

Adam and his Happy Nomad Tour: long term travellers weekly interview

Adam and his Happy Nomad Tour:...

Find out how Adam, a long term traveller from Usa, passed from...

A slow traveller in Africa: interwiew with Phil

A slow traveller in Africa: in...

Phil, interviewed for our weekly series,  fell in love with West Africa...

Meet Nancy Sathre-Vogel: a full-time traveller for more than 25 years, now on a family journey cycling the world

Meet Nancy Sathre-Vogel: a ful...

Our world traveller's interview series brings us today to Nancy: a full-time...

The chandelier of the Bone Church in Kutna HoraThe chandelier of the Bone Church in Kutna HoraMacabre art at the Sedlec OssuaryMacabre art at the Sedlec OssuaryThe Bone Church in Kutna Hora, also known as the Sedlec Ossuary from the district of the same name, is something that leaves you speechless: decorated with the bones of over 40 000 human skeletons, it leaves you mixed feelings: it's the guilt of artistically enjoying dead bodies, something that it's usually seen only as pain and suffering, without being scared or disgusted. But actually this crypt is a really an enjoyable and extraordinary piece of macabre art, and quite easy to reach on a day trip from Prague, only 70 km far away by car or train. We were not planning to go there, actually we didn't even know the existence of this place, until some friends during our nomad travel told us about it.

 

The history of the Sedlec OssuarySome of the remains of the unearthed bodiesSome of the remains of the unearthed bodies

The history of the Sedlec Ossuary in a nutshell, is quite interesting. Where nowadays is the Bone Church, it was before a very coveted burial place, that filled up quickly during the 14th century because of the Black Plague first and the Hussite War after. When it was decided to build there a roman catholic church, over 40 000 skeletons had to be unburied, to be deposited later in the lower chapel of the Church, the Ossuary. After a century a half-blind monk was given the duty to organize the remains of the unearthed bodies, that he simply stacked one over the other in the crypt. The masterpiece took shape only after 1870, when Frantisek Rint , a local woodcarver was commissioned the reorganization of the chapel that he transformed in what Decoration of the chandelier Decoration of the chandelier is known nowadays as the Bone Church. The bones were used as a decoration, and only superimposed to the preexisting structure of the Church made of bricks and stone.

 The inteA calm Angel dominating a composition of skullsA calm Angel dominating a composition of skullsrior of the Bone ChurchNice contrasts created by the light castingNice contrasts created by the light casting

The most impressive piece of art is the central chandelier, that is said to be built with at least one piece of every bone present in the human body. Despite the Sedlec Ossuary probably owns it half of its fame, what is striking your attention while visiting are the details: garlands and crosses of skulls, angels and bones put together as if they always were, and a small bird that looks like is pecking a scared skeleton. The other element that is emerging is the light, creating nice contrasts and casting rays of light over the eccentric furnishings.

Further Exploration

Overall, the 3$ required to enter the Bone Church (student discounts and cumulative tickets also available) are definitely worth it, not to consider that there are other interesting landmarks to visit in Kutna Hora, like the Church of St Barbara, a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site. So you are warned,A bony bird pecking a worried skullA bony bird pecking a worried skull if you are planning to visit Prague don't miss a visit also to the Bone Church! And we found out that the Ossuary in Czech Republic is not the only one of this kind in the world: for sure we will not miss the opportunity to visit also the Bone Church in my hometown, Rome, called Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini or Capuchin Crypt. And we have another reason also to go to Portugal, and visit the “Capela dos Ossos” in Evora!

Further Reading

Soon we will upload a new Photo Album with more photos of the Chapel The vault with the chandelier and the garlands of skullsThe vault with the chandelier and the garlands of skullsand of the city. In the meanwhile if you want to find out more details about the history of the Sedlec Ossuary, you can visit Wikipedia, or this oldish but informative website.

A believer in front of a back lit cross in the chapelA believer in front of a back lit cross in the chapel

General view of the Bone ChurchGeneral view of the Bone Church

Davide VadalàDavide Vadalà
I like to say that I'm a gypsy traveller. Some years ago I quit my job to chase my dream of exploring our wonderful planet in a sustainable way. Thanks to my itchy feet, I had a lot of incredible adventures, and I'm just back after an amazing travel of almost 3 years by land, mainly hitchhiking. I love nature, sustainability, outdoor and hiking, and my dream is to become a travel photographer. Content attribution on Google +

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 Oti e Davide Long Avatar We travel as cheap as possible, hitchhiking, and hosted by people. Our only expense is food: if you want you can help us with a free donation. Thank you, Davide & Oti  ♥ Contribute 

Where are we now: Indonesia

Sunset in Kasongan, Indonesia: red explosion

After the previous photo of the day, picturing the sunset in Paragritis beach, this is the sh ...

Sunset in Parangritis beach

Parangritis Beach is just 30 km south of Yogyakarta, a favourite escape for people from the cit ...

Danube Delta in Romania

This shot was taken in the Danube Delta in Romania three years ago. The Danube Delta is world ...

Peanut processing in Indonesia

Local workers in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) separating the peanuts from the plants, and directly ...

Progress vs Tradition in Indonesia

Indonesia is literally invaded by scooters and motorbikes, moving around in a dangeorus vorte ...

Roof of the Golden Hall, Kraton, Yogyakarta

As in many other countries in the world, Indonesia is no difference, and extremes of poverty ...

Siesta time in Indonesia, becak drivers sleeping

In Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Java, it's still really common to spot bicycle ricksha ...

View of the ghost town of Mystras after a rainy day

The ghost town of Mystras, abandoned almost 2 centuries ago, was an unexpected surprise durin ...

Share this page on...

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponReddit

About Us

Davide Vadalà and Otilia Lefter

We are Davide and Otilia, an international couple with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
Read more

Follow us on...

FacebookTwitterRSS FeedNomad Travellers Google+

Popular articles

Traveling jobs: 22 ideas to make money for your trips

Traveling jobs: 22 ideas to ma...

What if inside your backpack, you could pack also your working place,...

Let's go hiking: Cinque Terre and its rural side

Let's go hiking: Cinque Terre...

Riomaggiore and the rocky cliffs diving in the blue sea of Cinque...

Hiking to Les Calanques: Marseille 's hidden fjords

Hiking to Les Calanques: Marse...

Les Calanques, Marseille: teenagers diving into the blue sea at the Calanque...

Our visit to the Capuchin Crypt, the bone church of Rome: experience and history

Our visit to the Capuchin Cryp...

The first chapel of the Capuchin Crypt A bone chandelier in the...

Last Photos