Prague is a place loved by all. It’s frequented by tourists and backpackers alike, looking for cheap beer, amazing architect, beautiful woman, or fun nightlife. Or in my case, all of the above.
What most don’t come to Prague for, or know about, is the near-by, crazy looking church called the Sedlec Ossuary. AKA, The Church of Bones. It’s located not far out of Prague, in a suburb of Kutná Hora. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. Many of the bones are arranged artistically, as decorations and furnishing for the church, including a giant chandelier, which contains at least one of every bone in the body.
The church is built over a cemetery, which was very a popular and sought out place to be buried. The reason it was so popular, was because in 1278, Henry, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, returned from the Holy Land with a pot of holy dirt, and sprinkled it over the cemetery.
In the mid 14th century, during the Black Death, and after the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, many thousands were buried in the abbey cemetery, so it had to be greatly enlarged. Eventually the church was built, and many skeletons had to be removed before construction. They were stacked up, and later on used as decorations that we see today. Pretty crazy looking stuff.
Moral of the story is, that there is much more to see around Prague, then the normal tourist track. Many people come to Czech Republic for the summer, and use Prague as their base while they tour this fascinating country. I did this myself. Hostels are relatively cheap and great fun, or if you fancy finding accommodation that’s a bit more private during your stay in Prague, then it could be a good idea to look for an apartment. Either way, I definitely recommend giving Czech Rep a good amount of time to explore, starting with The Church of Bones!