A REVIEW| Kutna Hora Bone Church

Kutna Hora Travel Blog

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There is a small town outside of Prague (Czech Republic), reachable by train, called "Kutná Hora." At one point in its history, this small neighbor competed with Prague economically. Still part of "Bohemia" and now the Czech Republic, this lesser famous town is only worth the visit if you've got the time. I certainly wouldn't recommend missing part of Prague in order to see it.

The main reason to visit this quaint little town is that it has some amazing photo opportunities. In November, which is when I visited, the streets were deserted. It felt like a ghost town, but the absence of humans made the layers of fog and chill seem more crisp and made the glossy streets and multi-colored trees seem like a painting you were magically given permission to walk through.

The site I particularly came to see was the Sedlec Ostuary, called Kostnice Sedlec in Czech. For our part, we call it "The Bone Church." With an exciting history that includes ties to "Black Death" and thousands of graves, If you're not freaked out by piles of bones, then this place is a spooky yet fascinating display for you to see.

Church workers infamously constructed piles of bones from the many bodies originally buried in the area as well as a family coat of arms (ironic?) and a chandelier. This leaves the place looking like permanent Halloween art installation.

Just a short walk from the train station you arrive at, you'll need to ask one of the station staff for a small map to tell you how to get to the Church. It's about a mile or so walk, with small town charm to feast your eyes on as you stroll. The train to get back to Prague comes every two hours, and since you don't need a reservation to ride in either direction, you can peruse at your leisure.

If I'm being honest, I will say that the church is much smaller than you think it would be. The information cards they give you (translated into many languages) are not particularly well-written or informative, but give you some context for what you're looking at. The tell-tale souvenir skulls that you can purchase as well as the "flatten a penny" machines made the church feel less than holy. But the pictures you get... they can't be beat.

The surrounding graveyard is also rather picturesque as it is quite small and surrounded by fields of colorful trees. I was impressed by the local devotion to making sure that no grave was flowerless or forgotten.

Overall, I enjoyed (but was underwhelmed by) my extremely brief visit to the small town of Kutná Hora. It was a cheap & fast train (about 1 hour & US $20 from Prague), an extremely picturesque view along the way, and a wonderful treat for my camera's lens when I arrived. I was lucky enough to have plenty of free time, otherwise I would have passed.

To see more pictures from this interesting locale, check out my FlickR page: HERE
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Kutna Hora
photo by: Stevie_Wes