Located in Kutna Hora, a town in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic just a short train ride away from Prague, is the Sedlec Ossuary (Kostnice Sedlec); also known as the Church of Bones. The small chapel was constructed in 1511 to house the bones from abolished graves and is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. Many of the bones have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel.
Arranged by Frantisek Rint in 1870, highlights include an enormous chandelier which includes at least one of every bone in the human body and a crucifix style arrangement near the altar. Even Rint’s signature is executed in bone on the wall near the entrance. The largest collections of bones are arranged in the form of bells in the four corners of the chapel.
Cost: CZK 101 from Prague to Kutna Hora, return ticket
From Prague, take the train to Brno and get down at Kutná Hora hlavní nádraží (main train station) station. Kutná Hora has two train stations and most trains leaving Praha hlavní nádraží to Brno go via this station. If you see a train at Prague going to ‘Kutná Hora Sedlec’, you may want to avoid that. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Kutná Hora hlavní nádraží station.
If you plan to make a day trip to Kutná Hora, or perhaps a few hours to see the Ossuary, then the hlavní nádraží station has a left-baggage counter open from 9am to 5pm. The counter is located at the end of the station on the left side (if you are facing the track), but there are chances that no one will be available there. So just walk up to the ticket counter, request a baggage deposit, pay the fees and the person will ask you to walk back to the drop-off place. The staff does not speak English.
Option 1: Walk out side the station and just follow the directions shown in the map below. It is a 15 minute walk along the sidewalk to reach the Ossuary, by following the signs saying ‘Kostnice Sedlec’.
Option 2: Take the public bus #1 that starts from the station every 15 minutes. It will drop you to the main road leading to the Ossuary. From there it’s a less-than-5-minute walk.
Option 3: Take the “Tourist Bus” parked directly at the ossuary that transports people to the center of Kutna Hora, the church of St. Barbara, or on request from the city’s main train station. Note that the Tourist Bus operates only if there are more than 3 people and costs CZK 35 per person.
Timings & Costs:
November-February 9:00 to 4:00 p.m.
April to September 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Sunday 9:00 to 6:00 p.m.),
October, March 9:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Admission: adults CZK 60, students CZK 40