If you want to see something different, you must visit the town of Kuta Hora and it’s suburb of Sedlec where the main attraction is the Sedlec Ossuary, one of 12 World Heritage sites in the Czech Republic. The Sedlec Ossuary is a Gothic church where the skull and bones of 40,000 dead have been arranged into decorations and a massive chandelier of bones that hangs from the center of the nave. The chandelier is said to be made up of at least one of every bone in the human body.
Some history of the Sedlec Ossuary
How did all these bones come to be displayed in this manner, you might ask. Well, it all started out with a Cisternian abbot who was sent to the Holy Land and brought back a jar of earth from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem near the location where Jesus was crucified. He spread the earth over the cemetary at Sedlec and soon word got out and everyone wanted to be buried on this now Holy ground. Some years later, a Church with an ossuary was built. Eventually in 1870, the task was given to a woodcarver by the name of Frantisek Rindt to arrange the bones in the chapel, and what you see now at the Sedlec Ossuary is his amazing masterpiece !
The Sedlec Ossuary is open generally from 9am – 4pm in autumn and winter, and 8 am – 6pm in the spring and summer. It is closed on December 24th. Entry fees are 90 CZK and there are discounts for students and you will probably need to produce an ID for that. Children under 6 yrs are free. You can buy combined tickets to Catherdral of the Assumption of Our Lady if you plan to visit the 2 sites. There are other ticket combos which you will be offered when you make your purchase.
I visited Kuta Hora the Sedlec Ossuary on a Saturday during winter and the town was deserted. Most shops were closed except for a couple of restaurants and the sites of interest. So if you are travelling in winter and want to go into craft shops, cafes and have more choice of eateries, it’s best that you choose a weekday rather than the weekend, unless of course you don’t want to have anyone in your photos. More details on ticket prices and opening hours.
Getting to Sedlec Ossuary and Kutna Hora
To get to Kutna Hora town and the Sedlec Ossuary, you buy a train ticket for Kutna Hora Mesto train station, not Kutna Hora h.l.n which is the main Kutna Hora train station further away from the town. Trains depart Prague every 2 hours just after the hour. You will get off at Kutna Hora h.l.n. and change to a local train which will pass through Sedlec on the way to Kuta Hora mesto. Alight at Sedlec, visit the Sedlec Ossuary and Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady, then get on the train again to Kuta Hora mesto. On the return trip, simply take the local train back to Kutna Hora h.l.n and transfer to the high speed train back to Prague. If you missed the direct train and the next one isn’t for some time, you may also take a train to Kolin and from there transfer to another train to Prague.