A church made of bones. No, it’s not some 1980’s South American metal band (although I wish it was); it’s even more brutal. It’s exactly as described.
The picturesque Bohemian town of Kutná Hora, situated about 70km east of Prague, is home to three stunning churches; the most fascinating of which is Sedlec Ossuary. The macabre Roman Catholic Chapel contains the artistically arranged bones of more than 40,000 humans, a result of mass graves in the area dating back to the 14th century. It’s a uniquely harrowing experience to visit this strange, eery building in a beautiful small Czech town, and something you will never forget.
We made a half day of it while we were in Prague for New Years Eve.
From Prague the best way to reach Kutná Hora is by train. Trains depart Prague Hlavní Nádraží almost hourly and cost around 100CZK (£2.90) one way for the one hour journey, check the schedules here.
You can choose to arrive in either Kutná Hora město station, which is close to the main town, or Kutná Hora hl.n which is a ten minute walk to Sedlec Ossuary, but a 50 minute walk to the town. We chose the latter and walked straight to the Ossuary.
From the Ossuary you can catch a tourist bus (mini van) from outside the church to the town for around 35CZK (£1), or if you miss it like we did you can catch a normal bus from the main road. I can’t remember exactly, but the public bus costs something like 10CZK (£0.30) for a single journey, so take change.
The other option between Ossuary and town centre is taxi, we used a taxi to get back to the train station and it cost us something like 85CZK (£2.50).
There is also a local train connecting the two stations, but it didn’t seem worth the hassle. Check out this great site for even more detailed information.
Hint – Take taxis, they are cheap, easy and less hassle than the bus.
Sedlec Ossuary is the reason everyone goes to Kutná Hora, and it’s totally worth the trip alone. Entry is 90CZK (£2.60) and I think there might be different levels of tickets depending on if you want to take photos, which you will. It’s a strange experience, one I don’t want to ruin too much by trying to describe it, so you’ll just have to find out for yourself. I will say that it’s more beautiful than scary or gross, and there’s no need to be wary.
Once in Kutná Hora you will probably want lunch. There are quite a few restaurants among the cobbled streets so either look up reviews on Tripadvisor or go with your gut. We found our way to a traditional style Bohemian restaurant called V Ruthardce and had a simple but delicious meal for about £13.50 for the both of us, including mead and beer.
The walk towards St. Barbara’s Church towards the end of the town is worth a visit itself, with striking statues lining a path leading to the stunning building of spires and buttresses. Entry to the church is something like £2.50 (85 CZK) and you can see the beautiful frescoes, stained glass windows and sculptures that decorate both levels.
Kutná Hora is a lovely town and would be a great base to explore the surrounding area if you were so inclined, however we left it there and caught a mid afternoon train back to Prague for the new years celebrations.
Kutná Hora day trip from Prague;
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