The Mystical Ossuary: Discovering Prague’s Bone Church

bone church prague

The Bone Church Prague, a hauntingly beautiful and spiritually perplexing site in the middle of Kutná Hora, defies all expectations. The Bone church Prague, sometimes called the Sedlec Ossuary, is a hypnotic and eerie testament to the delicate interplay between art and death. As we go out on a quest to discover the mysteries of this haunted location, get ready to enter a world where the eerie and beautiful coexist.

While certain churches are decked with gold or magnificent stained glass, a little Gothic church chose a different approach for its interior. While it appears modest from its exterior, what lies within the Sedlec Ossuary is alarming! This extraordinary space for worship, referred to as the Bone Church or Church of Bones, has been adorned with over 40,000 human bones.

The Sedlec Ossuary is situated beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Kutná Hora, not far from Prague. Walking through the seemingly ordinary door, one is greeted by an unnerving sight—a chandelier made entirely of human bones hangs above, throwing an eerie light on the skeletal arrangements that decorate the church. Artfully organized bones cover the walls, weaving a tale of mortality and the unstoppable march of time like a work of art.

What is the history of Sedlec Ossuary, so called the Bone Church of Prague?

bone church prague
Bone church Prague

The origins of the Skull Church or the Sedlec Ossuary Stretch back to the thirteenth century and is inextricably linked to the establishment of the Sedlec Graveyard and the Church of All Saints.

You might be asking how on earth a tiny chapel in the Czech Republic could have stored so many skeletons. This all started in 1278 when Monarch Bohem II of Bohemia ordered the abbot of the Cistercian abbey at Sedlec to go to Jerusalem.

The  Sedlec Cemetery Foundation(13th-century):

The narrative starts in the thirteenth century when the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian abbey came back on a trip to Jerusalem. He returned from his expedition with dirt from Golgotha, the supposed spot of Christ’s crucifixion, and scattered it on the Sedlec cemetery grounds. As a result of this deed, the cemetery became holy and as time went on, people from all around wanted to be laid to rest at Sedlec.

Building the 14th-century Church of All Saints:

The Sedlec Cemetery was the site of the 14th-century Church of All Saints. In addition to being a place of prayer, the diminutive Gothic church also contained a basement chapel that acted as an ossuary.

Dynasties of Exhumation and Expansion (14th–19th Century):

The cemetery encountered problems due to space constraints as its popularity increased. The subterranean chapel of the Church of All Saints was used to hold the excavated bones from earlier graves that had to make room for new interment.

Artistic Arrangement by František Rint (19th century):

The Schwarzenberg family, who owned the Sedlec estate in the nineteenth century, hired the woodcarver František Rint to arrange the many excavated bones in the ossuary. Rint took an artistic approach to the endeavor, crafting elaborate and beautiful sculptures out of human bones.

Mastery of the Gothic Arts:

The strange masterpiece that the ossuary became was František Rint’s work. Bones were strung together to make garlands, skulls were arranged in chandeliers, and even coats of arms were made from skeletons. The most well-known item is the bone chandelier that hangs from the ossuary’s central pole.

What can I see exactly during my visit of the Kostnice Church in Prague?

The Kostnice Church is more than just a tourist attraction; it is also a place of introspection and contemplation. The creative arrangements of bones invite visitors to reflect on the transience of life and the interdependence of all living things.Here’s what you may expect to see when you visit this unusual and intriguing site:

Entrance and Exterior:

The Bone Church Prague outside is somewhat plain, like a normal Gothic church. The entryway may not brace you for the spectacular vistas that lie within.

Bone decorations:

As you enter the church, you will see a stunning collection of human bones organized beautifully. František Rint, a woodcarver, fashioned elaborate patterns using countless bones. Search for chandeliers constructed entirely of bones, skull pyramids, and intricate coats of arms carved from skeletal remnants.

Chandelier of bones:

Among the most easily identifiable features is the chandelier fashioned entirely of bones. František Rint’s horrific artwork hangs from the ceiling, creating a compelling focal point.

Pyramids and Arches:

Examine the room for skull-and-femur pyramids that form arches and other geometric shapes. The precise arrangement of bones produces a bizarre, even hypnotic atmosphere.

Coats of arms:

Explore the coats of arms fashioned from diverse bones, which demonstrate the artistic ability that went into arranging the skeleton parts. The meaning of these creations enriches the experience.

Skeletal Decor:

The stone facade of the Kostnice Church is ornamented with bones, which form decorative patterns and shapes. The entire area is a visual portrayal of mortality, providing a new take on life and death.

Altar Area:

Proceed to the altar area, where you’ll find other bone decorations and artistic displays. The contrast of holy symbols and macabre décor encourages reflection on the interconnectedness of life, death, and spirituality.

Educational Displays:

There may be instructional exhibits that describe the ossuary’s past, the exhumation process, and the artistic aim underlying the bone arrangements. These displays add context and improve the general visitor experience.

Bone Church in Prague: Opening Hours

This Ossuary has specific operating hours and during these hours, you can visit. Bone Church Prague operating hour are: 

April through September Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

September through March: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

November through February: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

On Christmas, the Ossuary is closed.

Please keep in mind that these opening times are subject to alteration, so you ought to constantly visit the official website or call the Sedlec Ossuary directly regarding the most current details, especially if there are any prospective changes, special events, or public holidays.

Also, keep in mind the fact that the Bone Church Prague is a famous tourist destination, so going during peak hours may result in greater crowds. If you want a quieter atmosphere, think about going during the week or at off-peak hours.

Journey to the Ossuary: How to Get There

Planning a trip to the Bone Church Prague but dont know how to get there? From Prague, visiting Kutná Hora’s Sedlec Ossuary is not too difficult. Kutná Hora is just east of Prague, about 70 kilometers (43 miles). A few options for getting there are as follows:

Take the train:

Go to Kutná Hora by boarding a train at Prague’s main station (Praha hlavní nádraží). The duration of the trip ranges from one and a half to two hours by rail. You may view the train timetable on the website of the Czech Railways (České dráhy), and trains run often.


You can also get a bus from Prague to Kutná Hora. It usually takes about 1.5 to 2 hours for the journey. The ČSAD website or alternative bus transportation providers can be accessed to view the schedule.

Adventure Tours:

The Sedlec Ossuary is a popular stop on day tours from Prague offered by several tour companies that take visitors to Kutná Hora. Having transportation and, in many cases, a guide to fill you in on the history of the place taken care of makes this choice quite practical.


Renting a car and heading east on the D1 highway from Prague is an option if you enjoy driving. The trip usually lasts around an hour. Close to the Sedlec Ossuary, you can find parking.

Combined Tours:

Kutná Hora and the Bone Church Prague are both included in combo excursions offered by several Prague travel firms. Because of this, you may visit many of the area’s historical landmarks.

Finding your way around Kutná Hora:

You will find the Sedlec Ossuary in the Sedlec area when you reach Kutná Hora. From Kutná Hora’s main train station, it’s around a 20 to 30-minute walk, or you may take a cab or local transportation.

Enchanting Tour of Prague’s Bone Church

The Bone Church Prague tour is magical and thought-provoking. Located in Kutná Hora, a medieval town near Prague, this ghastly masterpiece offers an unusual combination of history, creativity, and contemplation.

Departure from Prague:

Set out from Prague’s lively streets to start your thrilling journey. A guided tour or an individual trip to Kutná Hora promises a day of historical discovery and unexpected discoveries.

Arrival in Kutná Hora:

Visit Kutná Hora and experience its medieval charm upon arrival. Reach the Sedlec Ossuary via cobblestone streets boasting centuries-old architecture.

See Kutná Hora’s Historic places: 

Before visiting the Bone Church Prague, see other intriguing places in the area. Discover World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO like the Cathedral of St. Barbara as you walk across town. First, learn about the town’s rich history before exploring the Bone Church’s mysteries.

Access to the Sedlec Ossuary: 

The Church of All Saints’ modest exterior may mask its ghastly wonders. Buy your ticket to enter a strange dance between life and death.

Marvel at Artistry in Bone:

Discover the Bone Church, a strange exhibition of morbid art. Admire the chapel’s macabre tapestries illuminated by a human bone chandelier. Enjoy the elaborate skull pyramids, coats of arms, and bone arches.

Capture the Moment: 

Take photos of the Bone Church to remember its enchanting beauty. The strange scenes reveal the mystical dance of life and death.

Return to Prague:

End the visit to the Bone Church and depart to Prague, leaving Kutná Hora’s medieval charm behind. Remember the Sedlec Ossuary’s spooky allure and profound insights as you explore Prague’s distinctive historical treasures.

Unforgettable Kutná Hora: Discover History and Mystery on a Day Trip from Prague

Embark on a mesmerizing journey from Prague to the UNESCO-listed town of Kutná Hora. Just an hour away from the Czech capital, this historic gem offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and intriguing attractions, including the world-renowned Bone Chapel. Certified by GetYourGuide and led by SANDEMANs NEW Europe Ltd, this tour invites you to uncover the mysteries and marvels of Kutná Hora’s past.


  • Discover the rich history of Kutná Hora, a pivotal economic center of the Bohemian Kingdom.
  • Visit the eerie yet fascinating Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the Bone Chapel.
  • Explore the majestic St. Barbara’s Church and admire its Gothic architecture.
  • See the Italian Court, once the royal residence and mint of Bohemian kings.
  • Delve into the history of the Hussite Wars and the town’s silver mining legacy.
  • Enjoy a guided tour through Bohemia’s oldest Cistercian Monastery and other historic sites.


  • Expert guidance by an experienced tour leader.
  • Admission to St. Barbara’s Church and the Sedlec Ossuary.
  • Round-trip train tickets from Prague.
  • Insightful commentary on Kutná Hora’s history and culture.
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