On the outside, the "Sedlec Ossuary" just looks like your average little gothic chapel in Sedlec, in the suburbs of Kutna Hora, in the Czech Republic, but step inside and you'll discover that it's one of the most unique, albeit somewhat eerie, churches in the world. It's decorated with the bona fide bones of more than 40,000 human skeletons. And here are the photos to prove it.
It's more fondly known as the Church of Bones and features numerous works of art made out of human bones. The big chandelier of bones is the centerpiece and apparently contains at least one of every human bone. Then there's the coat of arms of the Schwarzenberg family that was also constructed entirely of human bones.
The history of the place dates back to 1278 when the King of Bohemia sent the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery to Jerusalem. The abbot returned with a jar of soil from the Golgotha that was considered “Holy Soil”. Subsequently people in the area all desired to be buried in Sedlec with the sacred soil and so the cemetery had to be expanded. In the 15th century a Gothic church was built near the cemetery and its basement was used as an ossuary. The bones stayed there for centuries until 1870 when an artistic woodcarver named Frantisek Rint was appointed to arrange the bones. He got creative and decorated the entire chapel with the old bones and they're still intact today.
Looking at the photos, there's something macabrely beautiful about the bone installations, don't you think? I'd be curious to see them for real. I'm not sure I'd like to go there at night though. I have visions of the skeletons coming to life as the clock strikes midnight.
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