From the outside, Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic appears to be a regular place of worship with a gothic design. However, once inside, it becomes clear why this little church receives over 200,000 visitors a year. The building is in fact made from over 40,000 skeletons, with decorative pieces such as bone chandeliers containing at least one of every bone from the human body.
The reason for the rather peculiar architecture of Sedlec Ossuary is to be found in reports from the twelfth century. The abbot of the monastery in Sedlec was sent by the King of Bohemia (the area that is now the Czech Republic) to the Holy Lands in Jerusalem, where he gathered some sacred soil from Golgotha (where Jesus is believed to have been crucified). Upon his return, he sprinkled this soil on the grounds of the cemetery in Sedlec.
As word spread, the cemetery became a desired burial ground for people all over Central Europe, bringing thousands of corpses to this area just outside Prague. At the start of the 15th century, a church was built in the centre of the cemetery and hundreds of graves were unearthed as a result. The skeletons from these graves were rehoused in the ossuary (a vault which contains the bones of the dead) and thereafter, any further skeletons to be exhumed were added to the decoration of the church or stored in the ossuary. As such, there is now a large bone chandelier in the centre of the church, four heaps of bones in the four corners, and piers and monstrances on either side of the altar.
This simultaneously creepy and impressive church just outside of Prague makes the Czech Republic a great destination for this Halloween.Coffin Racing in Colorado Romanian Dracula tour