Image by DEA / M. BORCHI Getty Images
When the Schwarzenbergs purchased Sedlec monastery (2.5km northeast of the town centre) in 1870 they allowed local woodcarver František Rint to get creative with the bones piled in the crypt (the remains of around 40,000 people), resulting in this remarkable ‘bone church’. 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 the corner chapels, and crosses, chalices and monstrances of bone adorn the altar. There’s even a Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms made from bones, and Rint signed his name in bones at the foot of the stairs.