Sedlec Ossuary
The Church of Bones
 

Sedlec Ossuary History

Historical Facts

The history of Sedlec Ossuary is quite unusual as you may have expected. It all started when Henry, the Cistercian abbot was sent to the Holy Land, in Palestina.

He brought back a jar of earth from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the place where Jesus was crucified at Golgotha.

When he arrived back, he put the earth over the cemetery. The rumor about his act soon spread out all over the place, and thus Sedlec became a desired place to be buried.

Some people even brought their dead relatives to be buried in the Holy Soil of Sedlec.

Soon, in Europe the plague caused the death of many people, and many people went to Sedlec before their death.

In a little amount of time a lot of people were buried in Sedlec, and thus came the idea of creating an ossuary. The task of creating the ossuary was given to a half blind monk who arranged the bones. But only more than 300 years later, the bones were arranged artistically as they are today.

In 1870, a local woodcarver, Frantisek Rindt was given the task to decorate the chapel with the bones. And the amazing result speak for itself. 40.000 human bodies are now arranged and the place is now popularly known as the Church of Bones.

In 1970, 100 years after Rindt made the decoration of the ossuary, a Czech filmmaker, Jan Svankmayer made a small 10 minute documentary about it. Unofrtunately there is no English version, only Czech.

See the video on our page Sedlec Ossuary Facts.

Sedlec Ossuary