Near the small city of Kutná Hora about an hour from Prague in the Czech Republic sits an average looking medieval church. However, as with many things, it’s what’s on the inside that matters.
Step inside the Sedlec Ossuary and you will find that it is actually one of the most unusual churches that you will ever see. Also known as the ‘Church of Bones’ or ‘Bone Church,’ the Sedlec Ossuary boasts an extraordinary interior design aesthetic. It is tastefully decorated with the remains of more than 40,000 people.
Among the most creative of the pieces found inside made are a fantastic chandelier and coat of arms – made entirely of human bones.
To get to the bottom of why this place exists, you have to travel back to 13th century Jerusalem. A local abbot brought back a jar full of ‘holy soil’ that he sprinkled on the graveyard of this local church.
As one might imagine, it became the hippest place to get buried for miles.
As the black death raged through Europe, remains piled up and eventually had to be stored in the basement. They served as a reminder that this life is transitory and that the flesh eventually ends.
Centuries later, in the late 1800s, local woodcarver Frantisek Rint was hired to arrange the bones, and his artistic influence is what we see today. (We hope he was paid well for such intricate, impressive and shocking work!)
Atlas Obscura has created this morbid video, giving you an intricate history of this creepy church, as well other ossuaries around Europe.