Going to Prague? Check Out Kutná Hora and The Bone Church!!

The Bone Church Exterior Skull and Cross Bones

The wall surrounding The Kostnice Ossuary, aka The Bone Church

Kutná Hora is home to The Bone Church, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage City, with a few World Heritage Sites. While researching which cities to visit during my Fall European Tour, I came across a piece on The Bone Church, located just outside of Prague. My thoughts were if I’m in Prague a church full of bones is not to be missed. And, since we were going to be in Prague on October 31st, what better day to visit than on Halloween.

There were several options available to see the church. I settled on a tour of the town o Kutná Hora. It was easier to do the tour, versus public transportation which involved a few transfers between the train and bus, which I was 100% not up for.

I boarded a small mini tour bus, with our tour guide, who I swear sounded just like Borat. Which was hilarious!! On the drive out, he shared with us tidbits about the history of the city, which was cool. I enjoy getting out of the city. It gives me the opportunity to see a part of the country I may not have seen otherwise.

Cemetery Church of All Saints

The Cemetery Church of All Saints

When we arrived at the church, I learned it served as a cemetery as well. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I like to visit cemeteries, especially those that are old or ornamental. The church is a small Roman Catholic chapel, and beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints is the Kostnice Ossuary. It is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones have been artistically arranged to form decorations, candelabras, chandeliers, chalices, and a coat of arms. It was crazy but intriguing. There were bones, bones, everywhere!

The Bone Church Cross of Bones

This Cross of Bones is the first thing that greets you when you walk into the Ossuary.

The Bone Church Bones Tunnel

This bone “tunnel” goes deep into the wall with skulls marking the path.

The Bone Church 1870 Sign

Signage marking the year in which František Rint, a woodcarver, was commissioned to make something of the bones.

The Bone Church Ceiling and Chandelier

As you descend the stairs from the entry way, you enter this room with a huge chandelier made of bones.

The Bone Church Coat of Arms

A Coat of Arms (and probably some arm bones).

The tour continued into the city of Kutná Hora. I’m glad I decided to include the city as opposed to just going to the church and ossuary. The travel time from Prague to Kutná Hora was about an hour. I could not justify traveling that far for only one attraction when there were several others in proximity. Though seeing something as unique as The Bone Church in person is a unique experience in itself, I’m glad I got to see more of the town.

The Italian Court Exterior

Approaching the Italian Court

Our next stop was the Italian Court. The Italian Court received its name in honor of specialists from Florence Italy as the forefront of minting reform. The Italian Court was the center of the economic power of the country for centuries. Mined silver ore was stored here from the end of the 13th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries, Kutná Hora accounted for ⅓ of the European production of silver. Thanks to the riches of the silver mines, Kutná Hora was the second most important town in the kingdom, competing directly with Prague. The mint closed down in 1727.

The Italian Court Interior Courtyard

The Courtyard at The Italian Court.

The Italian Court Keys to the Mint

The tour guide came out with these huge keys to open the doors. She was unlocking the doors to tour the mint.

The Italian Court Silver Coin Minting Stool

This is the stand that was used to press coins. A person would sit on the stool, put a ball of silver on the metal mold, and hammer it down until it was coin.

The Italian Court Silver Coin Mold

A close up of the metal mold.

The Italian Court Silver Coins Václav II

The coin of Wenceslaus II Přemyslid (Václav II). He was King of Bohemia, Duke of Cracow, and King of Poland.

The Italian Court Silver Coins Maxmilián II

Coins from Maximilian II. He was king of Bohemia and king in Germany from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death. He was a member of the House of Habsburg

From The Italian Court, we strolled the small cobblestoned streets to The Church of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners. Our walk to the cathedral-styled church took us through the old town center. The walkway leading to The Church is lined with statues reminiscent of Saint Charles bridge in Prague, and takes you past the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, and the Baroque Jesuit College.

Kutná Hora The Road To St Barbara Church

Kutná Hora on the road To St Barbara’s Church

The View fron St. James Church

The View fron St. James Church

 

The Cobblestone Streets of Kutná Hora

The cobblestoned streets of Kutná Hora

The Cobblestone Walkway Statue Silouettes to St Barbara

The cobblestones walkway with silouettes of statues on our way to St Barbara’s Church

Construction of the church started in 1388. I always find it amazing how they were able to build something so beautiful with such detail during this time period, when it seems the only thing we can build today are metal and glass monstrosities.

The Interior of St Barbara's Church

The Interior of St Barbara’s Church

Statue in upper interior of St Barbara's Church

Statue in upper interior of St Barbara’s Church

The Ceiling of St Barbara's Church

The ceiling of St Barbara’s Church

St. Barbara's Cathedral Kutná Hora

St. Barbara’s Cathedral

The view from the hillside behind St Barbara's Church

The view from the hillside behind St Barbara’s Church

Map of Kutná Hora in front of St Barbara's Church

Map of Kutná Hora in front of St Barbara’s Church. See that little red dot, near the tip of my shoe? That’s the “you are here” mark.

So, there you have it, my day in Kutná Hora. Considering that I started out just wanting to see the bones, the day was full of pleasant surprises. I will have to sum this up as the most unusual thing that I’ve ever seen while traveling. What is the most unusual thing you seen?

 

 

"Subscribe to the blog!!"
"Don't miss any updates!!" Sign up for: ✈ Travel Inspiration ✈ Destination Information ✈ Travel Tips ✈
About Terri Lundberg

Terri Lundberg is an American expat currently residing with her husband in Saudi Arabia, but she calls Seattle and San Diego home. She’s a travel writer, an avid photographer and is a resource and cross cultural trainer to expats relocating to Saudi Arabia. She's been to 100 destinations, 26 countries, and counting.

Trackbacks

  1. […] were only in Prague for 2.5 days, and we spent one day on a day trip to Kutná Hora to check out The Bone Church. When you have such a short time in a location, I recommend just hanging out, walking around, and […]