Photo Gallery: The Bone Church – Sedlec Ossuary

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary

I first visited this little church in Sedlec (next to Kutna Hora) on a Czech Republic trip back in 1999. I had a Pentax K-1000 and a limited amount of film. The first shot is from that trip. The rest here are from May 2013. The “residents” haven’t changed much, but the number of tourists has gone up significantly. It was lonely and quiet in there back in 1999. Now I even see large groups of school children parading through. It’s still worth visiting. (Read more about it in my Bone Church article)

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-020

It’s a rather unassuming little Roman Catholic church in the center of a cemetery. There are two main sections: the upper front section where you buy your ticket, and then the lower area down the stairs where you will find most of the bones and a small chapel.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-003

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-002

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-004

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-014

The skulls in four corners are stacked in a bell shape and a metal crown hangs above each.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-006

It’s a bit like something out of a surreal movie or nightmare.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-007

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-008

You can get right up in the faces of the dead, many of whom were sent here by the Plague or 15th century wars. The disturbing fact is you can see the polished areas where curious visitors just felt compelled to touch the skulls.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-018

The man who arranged these bones many years later is František Rint. He put his name on it… “written” in bones.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-012

The family that paid for this work is the Schwarzenbergs and Rint fashioned their family crest.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-011

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-021

Skull designs have been worked into the grounds outside, a sort of “skull and crossbones” marks the spot.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-022

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-009

Visitors still light candles or say prayers here, so it is not a complete circus sideshow. I’m not sentimental, but it is weird to see cheery tourists in shorts making themselves look pretty next to a pile of skulls before a photo.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-019

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-015

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-010

But the star of the show is the central chandelier of bones, using at least one of every bone in the human body.

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-017

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-016

bone-church-sedlec-ossuary-013

You can read more about Sedlec Ossuary and get directions on how to get there here on The Mad Traveler.

Follow The Mad Traveler on Facebook or Subscribe to The Mad Traveler Blog

See more of The Mad Traveler’s Photo Galleries

4 thoughts on “Photo Gallery: The Bone Church – Sedlec Ossuary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *