Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sedlec Ossuary.

Hello Frightners!!!

Well tonight I have a pretty kick ass post. I've been digging around for something cool to post and I am pretty excited to share this post about the Sedlec Ossuary tonight.

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, many of whom have had their bones artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel.

History - 

Henry, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, was sent to the Palestine by King Otakar the second of Bohemia in 1278. When he returned, he brought with him a small amount of earth he had removed from Golgotha and sprinkled it over the abbey cemetery. The word of this pious act soon spread and the cemetery in Sedlec became a desirable burial site throughout Central Europe. During the Black Death in the mid 14th century, and after the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, many thousands were buried there and the cemetery had to be greatly enlarged.

Around 1400 a Gothic church was built in the center of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves unearthed during construction, or simply slated for demolition to make room for new burials. 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.

Between 1703 and 1710 a new entrance was constructed to support the front wall, which was leaning outward, and the upper chapel was rebuilt. This work, in the Czech Baroque style, was designed by Jan Santini Aichel.

In 1870, Frantisek Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberd family to put the bone heaps into order. The macabre result of his effort speaks for itself. Four enourmous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous 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 vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, and signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.

When I saw these pictures I was truly taken back by the artistry of all the bones pieced together to form an entire room along with all types of other works. I guess you can say Frantisek Rint was one of the earliest haunters alive!

Stay Frightful,


Credit goes to Jim Hardiman for the pictures.
For more information on the Ossuary go to:


The Frog Queen said...

Cool post. Have not been yet, but it has been on our "must see" travel list for a while. Maybe next trip :)

Thanks for sharing.


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