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In Kutná Hora, you’ll get your fix for the macabre

September 7, 2009

By Dian Hasan | September 6, 2009

Kutná Hora-CZ-sedlec

If you are drawn to unusual experiences during your travels, ones that border macabre. And catacombs, mausoleums, haunted castles and cemeteries, give you excitement instead of goose-bumps, then this gothic church – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic is for you.

Behind the rather unimposing Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec lies what is best described as a cross between a Museum Art Gallery of exquisite work, and its in-house lunatic artist with a penchant for human bones!


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The chandelier is supposedly made with all the bones in the human body.

The chandelier is supposedly made with all the bones in the human body.

An intricate coat of arms made entirely of human bones.

An intricate coat of arms made entirely of human bones.

Bizarre chandeliers, made of human bones. Rare sight indeed!

Bizarre chandeliers, made of human bones. Rare sight indeed!

Kutna Hora-Virgin Mary Assumption Cathedral

Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, home to sights of human bones formed into unusual objects like you've never experienced.

Firstly, a brief geographic lesson: The picturesque medieval town of Kutná Hora, 60km east of Prague, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sources of Kutná Hora’s wealth is the silver mines that were exploited intensively between 14th and 15th centuries. At the time the town rivaled Prague and even London for its importance and commerce. The discovery of silver ore here in the 14th century led to the creation of the Royal Mint and the town became the political, cultural and economic centre of Bohemia.
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Kutná Hora’s most interesting sights include the very gothic Cathedral of St. Barbara, the Patron Saint of miners, the nearby Hrádek building which has a direct relationship with the town’s mining past.

Cathedral of Assumption of Virgin Mary in Sedlec, is where you’ll find the Ossuary (a container for holding the bones of the dead), which contains the most bizarre sights, decorations made of human skeletons. It is estimated that anywhere between 40,000 to 70,000 human skeletons were to decorate the chapel.

As legend has it, in the 13th century the Abbot of the church was sent to the Holy Land. And when he came back, he brought with him a jar of soil from Golgotha and sprinkled it over the abbey cemetery, making it a very desirable ground for burial. during the black plague of the 14th century and later during the Hussite war, thousands of people were buried in the cemetery.
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At the beginning of the 15th century, when a Gothic church was built in the center of the cemetery, thousands of skeletons were unearthed during the construction.
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In 1870, František Rint, a woodcarver was commissioned to put the bones into order… and – as they say – the rest is history. One very creative carpenter indeed! Thank heavens Rint wasn’t associated with Geppetto, who was skilled in bringing wooden puppets to life!
Kutna Hora MAP

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. boschii permalink
    September 7, 2009 7:56 pm

    What a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing.

  2. September 7, 2009 9:53 pm

    Wow, I had just heard about this a few days ago- and then read it last night in Ripley’s, and now here, lol.

  3. September 7, 2009 11:11 pm

    Ya gotta love the architecture.
    http://fiestamovement.com/agents/view/58

    • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
      September 7, 2009 11:59 pm

      Yep, amazing and gory @ d same time!! Thx 4 finding us. B sure 2 check back 4 continuous updates uninteresting travel rid bits! Ciao, dian

  4. September 8, 2009 6:38 am

    wow! very creepy and freaky, but so amazing…

    • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
      September 10, 2009 12:04 am

      Thx for finding us! Stay connected! ciao, dian

  5. September 8, 2009 11:05 am

    I’ve been there! Incredible!!!

  6. September 8, 2009 11:08 am

    ‘Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, home to sights of human bones formed into unusual objects like you’ve never experienced. ‘

    Weel, great pictures (as I sayd) but this is not true… I’ve been there. The bone’s object stays on a little chaple almost outside of the city, in a cemitery.

    • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
      September 10, 2009 12:03 am

      You are right Caio. Muito obrigado! It’s behind the plain looking church, in another smaller church behind it. It’s what’s inside the “crypt” that’s really creepy!! skulls n bones done in elaborate gothic style! Stay connected! ciao, d

  7. September 10, 2009 12:55 am

    Absolutely Gorgeous! Love this blog! Thanks!

    • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
      September 10, 2009 4:14 am

      Hi Oliveit, glad you found us, and gladder still you find us informative and entertaining. Stay posted. ciao, dian

  8. October 1, 2009 5:40 am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  9. Caleb permalink
    October 11, 2009 4:17 pm

    This is so awesome. I’m definitely going to visit this place one day. Thank you for the awesome article. Did you by chance visit the alchemy museum there? The alchemy museum is the main reason why I want to visit Kutna Hora, but now that I know this is there as well, I will “have” to visit.

    Thanks again for the awesome article.

Trackbacks

  1. Gothic tone in human bones ~ Kutná Hora, Czech Republic | Unique Travel Destinations | Adventure & Activities
  2. kutná hora « olive it blog

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