Sedlec Ossuary

The Sedlec Ossuary, more popularly known as the Church of Bones, is an eerie place to visit. From the outside the chapel looks quite ordinary. It is the unusual decoration inside the church that draws crowds of people to Kutná Hora – a town about 50 minutes train-ride outside Prague.

I’m interested in the tradition of memento mori – representations of the human skeleton to remind of the transient nature of material life. The entire chapel functions as a memento mori reference. It is quite unnerving.

The attention to detail is astounding. The chandelier hanging in the middle of the chapel is, for instance, made with every kind of bone in the human body. According to the Sedlec Ossuary website, more than 40 000 human skeletons were used to decorate the church. This is surprising, since the chapel is much smaller than expected.


  1. Eerie, indeed! In Portugal there’s a XVI century ‘Chapel of the Bones’. On the main entrance it is written ‘we bones here laying for yours are waiting’ … something like this, quite creepy! It’s curious that there are similar buildings in other places! And if you are interested:

  2. Pingback: Church of Bones « Oreo ab Chao

  3. Madeleine

    Baie baie vreemd… Wie se bene is gebruik of is begraafplase opgegrawe?

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