Church of Bones

Today, we visited the Kostnice Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, also known as the Church of Bones. This is the place that Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman stopped at, in an episode of Long Way Round.

The church is only an hours drive from Prague, so it was worth a drive to take a look. It is a fascinating place, decorated with the bones from 40,000 skeletons that were buried at the church at one time.

Back in 1278, the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery was sent to Jerusalem and came back with some ‘holy soil’ that was scattered on the church grounds. As a result, people from all around wanted to be buried at Sedlec.

It’s a pretty amazing sight to see chandeliers and coats-of-arms made of human skeletons. It was worth the visit.

Interestingly, I felt no emotion regarding the presence of such a large number of human skeletons. Perhaps because they all died natural deaths and wanted to be buried in this place.  By contrast, had this been a display of the bones of the victims of the Rwandan genocide, I would have been an emotional wreck – just seeing such sights in a movie brought me to tears.

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