Czech Republic

The Sedlec Ossuary, commonly known as Kostnice in Czech, is a small Roman Catholic chapel located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. Read more

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Visit Kostnice in 2024

The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones have been artistically arranged to form unique decorations and furnishings for the chapel. This one-of-a-kind place of worship attracts tourists and visitors intrigued by its eerie, yet oddly beautiful, interiors.
Kostnice, or the Sedlec Ossuary, is not just another tourist destination but a hauntingly beautiful and unique historical site. For those fascinated by the intersections of history, art, and spirituality, a visit to this extraordinary chapel is an experience that lingers long after one leaves its hallowed, and bone-lined, walls.
The bones were originally gathered during the 13th to 15th centuries, and were arranged decoratively in the 19th century by a woodcarver named František Rint. The ossuary was created as a response to the overwhelming number of bodies that needed to be buried on consecrated ground, particularly after the Black Death and the Hussite Wars. Today, it serves as a macabre reminder of human mortality while simultaneously being a unique form of art.

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The most famous sights
What to do in Kostnice

Chandelier of Bones

Perhaps the most famous artifact in the ossuary is a large chandelier that contains at least one of every bone in the human body.

Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms

One wall of the chapel features the Schwarzenberg family coat of arms, made entirely from human bones.

Four Massive Pyramids of Bones

Four large, bell-shaped mounds of bones are stacked in the corners of the chapel, each containing thousands of skulls and long bones.

Baroque Decorations

In addition to the bone structures, the chapel features other baroque elements such as gold furnishings and beautiful frescoes.

Entrance Inscription

The entrance of the ossuary carries a solemn inscription that reminds visitors of the transience of human life and the inevitability of death.

What else to visit
In and around Kostnice

Kutna hora (1.27 km)

Kutná Hora, a captivating city in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, entices visitors with its unique blend of Gothic architecture and peculiar historical attractions.

Prachovice (25.76 km)

A quiet yet captivating village, located in the Pardubice Region. Known for its lush natural surroundings and a tranquil atmosphere, Prachovice offers visitors a peaceful escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Sazava Monastery (29.5 km)

Sázava Monastery is a Czech National Heritage site and a spiritual refuge steeped in over a millennium of history. As you wander its hallowed grounds, you'll experience a tranquil escape that’s rich in art, culture, and tradition.

Cesky Sternberk (30.31 km)

Along the banks of the Sázava River, Český Šternberk is a small Czech town that exudes medieval charm. Dominated by its namesake castle, this town is a time capsule that lets you step back into history while soaking up stunning river and valley views.

Pardubice (35.32 km)

At the crossroads of rivers and history, Pardubice is a delightful blend of heritage, equestrian tradition, and gingerbread aroma, making it a unique destination within the Czech Republic's tapestry.

Chrudim (36.08 km)

Chrudim, a charming Czech town, marries rich history with modern amenities. Known for its folklore traditions and vibrant cultural scene, Chrudim offers a warm welcome to those seeking both history and natural beauty.

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