Sedlec Ossuary, also known as Bone Church, is a small chapel located in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. The Bone Church is famous for its unique decoration, you’ll see coat of arms, made from bones, as well as gran chalice, bone candelabras. Over 40,000 human bones were used to create decorations in the church.
Check this ultimate first timers guide to Sedlec Ossuary – famous Bone Church in Kutna Hora and get up-to-date information about how to get there from Prague, best day tours to join, what to do and see, entrance fees and other useful details.
Sedlec Ossuary General Information
- Address: Zámecká, 284 03 Kutná Hora, Czechia
- Opening Hours:
- 9 AM – 6 PM Mon – Sun, from March till October
- 10 AM – 4 PM, Tue – Sun, From November till February
- Ossuary is closed on December 24 (Christmas Day)
- Phone: +420 326 551 049
- Kutná Hora Bone Church Official Website: https://www.sedlec.info/en/ossuary/
- Ticket Prices:
- Ossuary Sedlec and Cathedral Sedlec:
- Adult – 160 CZK,
- Students and Seniors (over 65 years) – 120 CZK,
- Children (6-15 years) and people with disabilities – 50 CZK,
- Children under 6 years old – free.
Please check valid prices and ticket option on official webiste.
History of Sedlec Ossuary (Bone Church) in Kutna Hora
The Bone Church in Czech Republic has a long history. It was originally built in the 13th century and became a part of Cistercian abbey. But it wasn’t decorated with human bone until the 15th century.
The story goes that a monk from Sedlec Abbey went to the Holy Land of Jerusalem and brought back some holy soil from Golgotha, where Jesus Christ was crucified. This soil was scaterred over abbey cemetery.
This blessing made Sedlec cemetery very popular – so popular that it became known as “The Bohemian St. Peter’s” and Kutná Hora bone church became the most desired place to be buried, not only among Czech lands citizens, but from nearby countries as well.
In the 14th century, the Black Death killed many people in Europe, and local cemetery was filled to capacity. In order to make room for more burials, the bodies were exhumed and old bones were stored in the ossuary.
Hussite wars also contributed to the increase in the number of remains of buried in Kutná hora bone church.
Tens of thousands of people became the victims of these events that took place in Middle ages.
After that, during the time of construction of new Sedlec monastery it was decided to dig up the remains and store them in ossuary beneath Sedlec cathedral.
In 15th century, abbot Henry, a half-blind monk, took over the decoration of the church of bones in Kutná hora. He used bones and skulls to create art and decorations throughout Czech church. It was his idea to create pyramids from many bones and skulls.
Enormous chandelier, made from at least one of every bone in the human body, Schwarzenberg coat of arms and many other items made from bones appeared in Kutná hora bone church later, almost in 19th century.
Today, Sedlec Ossuary is a popular tourist attraction. If you’re visiting Kutna Hora, Bone Church is definitely worth a visit. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Sedlec Ossuary.
How to Get to Kutná Hora Bone Church from Prague
There are 3 options to get to Sedlec Ossuary from Prague:
About 83 km drive from Prague (will take approximately 1 hour).
It will cost you about 100 -130$ to get from Prague to Kutna Hora.
The most popular taxi services are:
- Taxi-Prague (official website ictaxi.cz)
- Taxi Praha (official webiste taxi-praha.cz)
- Prague Taxi (official website prague-taxi.feliks.cz)
By Public transport (Train)
If you don’t want to rent a car or take a taxi, the most prefferable option is to take a train from Main Station in Prague to Kutná Hora Sedlec station. From there, it’s a short walk to Bone Church.
Once you’re done exploring cathedral you can visit Kutna Hora town, which is about 2.5 km from bones church.
Train goes every 2 hours, ticket cost is from 4$ to 7$.
How to Visit Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora Town
There are several ways to explore Bone Church in Czech Republic: you can buy tickets online or visit Sedlec Ossuary with a group as a part of guided tour.
Or you can simply walk around the church and small suburb of Kutna Hora town or purchase tickets at the information centre.
This place in Czech republic is deserved to be visited, but you’ll not require entire day to enjoy it. As, anyway you have to travel from Prague for the whole day, the best option is to join day trip.
Day trip may include visit to Kutná Hora town and its main landmarks, like St Barbara Cathedral, Church of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John.
As with other popular tourist places not only in Kutná Hora, the main issue while visiting the place can be tourists crowds. To avoid them try to arrive as early as possible.
Inside Sedlec Ossuary Chapel
In 1784 Schwarzenberg family bought Ossuary chapel. This purchase was accompanied with very weird idea – use bones and skulls to create different types of art compositions.
To realize such “creative” ideas there were spent up to 70000 skulls and bones of different sizes and shapes. Except of bones pyramids, there are really outstanding things to pay attention to, like coat of arms.
Schwarzenberg coat of arms with severed head and raven causes contradicted feelings. On one hand, such massive composition made from bones causes astonishment, while realizing how many human body bones were used for the creation of coat of arms can make you feel a bit uncomfortable.
Raise your head up and you will see huge chandelier which is also made from bones and skulls. Also, pay attention to giant chalice which is… yes, you’re right, again was made from skulls and bones.
Tips and Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Bone Church
Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Bone Church in Kutná Hora and common questions visitors have:
What to wear at Bone Church?
Given the somber nature of the Sedlec Ossuary, it is important to dress respectfully when visiting this unique church building.
Women should wear skirts or dresses that cover their knees, and men should avoid shorts or other clothing that would be considered disrespectful in a traditional church setting.
In addition, all visitors should remember to remove their hats before entering the Sedlec Ossuary. There’s no heating at Chapel, so don’t forget to take warm clothes with you if your visit is planned during cold season.
Is it allowed to take photos at Sedlec Ossuary?
Photography is not allowed at Bone Church. The reason is that Seldec Ossuary in Czech Republic became very popular and crowded place and some tourists treated with disrespect for the remains of the dead while taking selphies and photos.
How much time should I spend at the Cemetery Church of All Saints?
Plan to spend about 1-2 hours to explore the Church of bones and enjoy amiring architecture.
What is the best time to visit Sedlec Ossuary?
Best time to visit Sedlec Ossuary to avoid crowds is early in the morning or in the afternoon. The busiest season is from May till September.
Is Sedlec Ossuary wheelchair-accessible?
People with disabilities can enter Lower Chapel as there is wheelchair ramp on stairs outside and a lift inside. The Upper Chapel is non wheelchair-friendly.
Also keep in mind:
- It’s prohibited to eat, drink or smoke on the territory of Sedlec Ossuary (in Church and at Cemetery).
- Large bags and motorcycle helmets are also prohibited. So please leave your luggage at storage boxes at Information Centre.
- You can enter lower Chapel building at the Church of All Saints by purchasing a ticket at the Information Centre, located at Zámecká street, 279 or online.
Get more information about visting Sedlec Ossuary and check rules for visitors on official website.
Is Sedlec Ossuary Worth Visiting?
Sedlec Ossuary is one of the few remaining ossuaries in Europe, and it is considered to be one of the most unique attractions in the Czech Republic.
While some people may find Sedlec Ossuary to be frightening, others are fascinated by its history and its unusual bones decoration. Whether you find Sedlec Ossuary to be creepy or fascinating, it is definitely worth visiting if you are ever in Kutná Hora.