Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kutna Hora Bone Church

In the suburb town of Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic, you will find the unique "Bone Church", or the Sedlec Ossuary. This Gothic church was was built in the middle of the cemetery around 1400. After 1511 the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was, according to legend, given to a half-blind monk of the order.

In 1870, FrantiĊĦek Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to organize the massive bone heaps. The darkly decorative result is now a popular attraction for followers of the macabre. Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An elaborate chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vaults. Other arrangements include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, and the signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.

This site had some recent exposure on Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's series "Long Way Round".


Dirgesinger said...

I have been there and it is beyond words. There are broken skulls from the Hussite wars, and that chandelier...the most awesome palce I have ever been to.

Kris Dickinson said...

Unbelieveable! SO interesting. Thanks for sharing! - Kris

Fitzi said...

I visited the church a few years ago (and hoping to make a repeat visit next month). Some may categorise it as 'macabre' but I saw it as a work of art; the imaginative use of bones, especially in the chandelier has to be seen in person. A truly magnificent place.


Related Posts with Thumbnails