Earlier this year I met my parents in Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic, for a weekend adventure; I flew in from Amsterdam and, given how easy it is to travel between countries in Europe, they drove up from Vienna.
After a weekend exploring the capital we began our 3 and a half hour road trip back to Vienna with a brief detour to a town called Kutná Hora, the home of The Bone Church (a.k.a Sedlec Ossuary).
While some might consider it a bit of a creepy place to check out given the thousands of human bones decorating the Church it is honestly so worth it.
Built in the 14th century, it is a monument that highly reflects the gothic and Baroque aesthetic styles commonly seen throughout the Czech Republic.
It is estimated that bones from 40 – 70,000 skeletons are used in the displays seen within the ossuary.
Some have been decoratively used to create chandeliers like the large scale one hanging from the roof in the middle of the room, there’s a coat of arms and even a signature made from bones at the bottom of the staircase.
Others, particularly a large amount of skulls, can be seen in great big mounds in the corners of the room.
Legend has it that these mounds of skulls were arranged by a half blind monk who’s eyesight was fully restored after completing the arrangements.
MEMENTO MORI – “Remember the death” is the message that is hoped visitors will take away from their visit, “to understand the symbolism of the place and its decoration”.
Rather than it being a gruesome or disturbing walk amongst the thousands of bones that once made up the skeletons of living beings, the organisation behind the Ossuary hopes that people will see it as a “symbol of equality of people in front of the throne of God” rather than a “celebration of death”.
Situated approximately an hour drive from Prague it is open daily all year round except for December 24, and costs 90 CZK (AU$6) for an adult to enter and 60 CZK (AU$4) for kids and students.
Check out more about the history of the Ossuary here.