Good for: dark tourism
Not good for: the squeamish
Lonely Planet review for Sedlec Ossuary
When the Schwarzenberg family purchased Sedlec monastery in 1870 they allowed a local woodcarver to get creative with the bones that had been piled in the crypt for centuries. But this was no piddling little heap of bones: it was the remains of no fewer than 40, 000 people. The result was the remarkable ‘bone church’ of Sedlec Ossuary.
Garlands of skulls and femurs are strung from the vaulted ceiling like Addams Family Christmas decorations, while in the centre dangles a vast chandelier containing at least one of each bone in the human body. Four giant pyramids of stacked bones squat in each of the corner chapels, and crosses, chalices and monstrances of bone adorn the altar. There’s even a Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms made from bones – note the crow pecking the eyes from the Turk’s head, a grisly motif of the Schwarzenberg family.
The ossuary is an 800m walk south from Kutná Hora’s main train station.