Bone Church…A short trip from Prague

Kutna-Hora is a small village located just a few miles east of the Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague.

Kutna-Hora would be a fairly anonymous town were it not for its bizarre, and some might say macabre attraction, THE
BONE CHURCH OF KUTNA-HORA. Built in the 12th Century by monks, the Bone Church, or “Ossuary” had a small cemetary, which over the years, soon ran out of burial space.

The monks’ solution?

Decorate the Church with the bones of deceased parishoners. 
 40,000 human bones–mostly from the plague years in the 14th century–artistically arranged.

Soon, it became a status symbol of sorts to have your bones on display at the Church. Today, visitors climb the winding, craggy hill to view this most unusual of places of worship.

The most interesting creations by Master Rint are the chandelier in the centre of the nave, containing all the bones of the human body , two monstrances beside the main altar and the coat-of arms of the Schwarzenberg noble family on the left-hand side of the chapel.

 GETTING THERE- A  train stops at the town’s Hlavní Nádrazí (main train station); a smaller commuter train will take you onward to local stops. Get off at the first stop, Kutná Hora-Sedlec, and follow the signs to the Kostnice, or ossuary (a 10-minute walk from the main train station).

AFTERWARDS, Back at Kutná Hora-Sedlec, grab another commuter train to the station called Kutná Hora-Mesto, near the old town (or walk–the ossuary is a mile and a half away). Kutná Hora was an ancient center of silver mining and minting. Those riches paid for the stunning Cathedral of St. Barbara, founded in 1388; the flying buttresses and soaring spires make it one of the best examples of late-Gothic architecture in Central Europe.

A three-minute walk down Barborská Street, the Czech Museum of Silver offers tours of the remaining mines and displays of historic coins. When it’s time to recharge, wander over to Dacický Pivnice, where the hearty meat-and-potatoes fare is updated from medieval recipes and the boisterous taproom pours five types of beer–the pilsner is excellent with the buttery roasted trout. Get in a quick game of ninepins in the pub’s backyard before heading over to the creepy Alchemy Museum, devoted to the times when people tried to convert base metals into gold. Finally, for a one-of-a-kind souvenir, pick up a colorful handmade hat by milliners Bára Jelínková and Lucie Franková at the Salon Meluzína. 

More details online.