If you are in Prague and you have an extra day, then Kutna Hora is a must visit. Located around 70 km east from Prague this medieval city will give you a unique experience – an experience for lifetime. Amidst its Baroque-style buildings and medieval churches, lies an attraction that’s definitely not for faint-hearted traveller – The Bone Chapel (The Sedlec Ossuary). It is one of the most unusual chapels you will ever see as it is adorned with around 40,000 human skeletons.
Where is Kutna Hora Bone Chapel?
History of The Bone Chapel (The Sedlec Ossuary):
This Roman Catholic chapel is located beneath the Cemetery church of All Saints. The original cemetery of church is from 1100 and the Gothic church was erected in late 14th century.
It is believed that in 1278 the King of Bohemia sent the abbot of Monastery to Jerusalem and he brought back some sacred soil from the Golgotha to spread across the church cemetery. The news of “Holy Soil” spread on and made the Sedlec cemetery one of the region’s most popular places to be buried. It was greatly expanded during the Black Plague era, when many people in Europe lost their lives. Nearly 30,000 plague victims were buried there. In 1421 the Hussites (Czech Christians) captured Kutna Hora and attacked Sedlec’s church. During the Hussite Wars almost 10,000 of people were buried there.
By the end of 15th century, bones were being moved from cemetery into Ossuary of the church. There is a legend that a half-blind monk began carefully arranging the bones into pyramids and It is believed, he got his sight back after finishing his work.
The original Sedlec monastery was abolished in 1783, but the abbey was purchased by the Schwartzenberg family of Orik, and the Ossuary was maintained by them.
“It is a transcendental place, full of questions. Somebody finds here the peace, somebody anxiety. Everybody is different, but for sure we know, that one day we will be the same as people in the ossuary” – Memento mori
Kutna Hora Bone Chapel (The Sedlec Ossuary):
While the Church of All Saints seems rather unassuming from the outside, lurking underneath is an enthralling tale of mystery and death. Down a small staircase, in the lower chamber of this Roman Catholic church, lies the Sedlec Ossuary. As you enter the Bone Chapel (Ossuary) you will soon realize why it is one of the most amazing and unique churches in the world.
The artistically decorated skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people has created a mystic environment.
One of the most fascinating artistic works inside the Bone Chapel is a big chandelier of bones that lies in the center of Ossuary. The huge chandelier contains at least one of every human bone.
Coat of arms of Schwarzenberg family is another main attraction in the chapel. Many say ghost photos, sightings and strange feelings often overwhelm the visitors to the Chapel. And that makes it one of the creepiest and most haunted places in the world.
Other Atrractions in Kutna Hora :
Though Sedlec Ossuary is the main attraction of Kutna Hora, there are other attractions you can visit during your trip. The city is spread just over 33 sq.km and all-popular attractions are within short distances from each other. So, it is easy to explore them all in a day. Other atrractions are —
1.Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist. The Sedlec Ossuary is just a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral.
2. Iconic St. Barbara’s Cathedral.
3.The Italian Court and the Czech Silver Museum. It will take almost 3hours to explore this museum.
4. Gothic Stone Fountain on Rejsek Square.
How to Reach Kutna Hora from Prague :
You can either buy a direct fast train ticket to Kutna Hora Main train station or choose for a break journey. A Ceske Drahy train from Prague to Kutná Hora takes an average of 51 minutes. However, the fastest trains on direct connections take about 43 minutes to complete the journey, while those that transfer in Kolín take about 1 hour 38 minutes. For details click here.