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Bone Church in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

August 18th, 2007

How did a church filled with bones happen?

In 1278 the Cistercian abbot of Sedlec went to Palestine and brought some of the soil back to what is now Czech Republic. When he returned he sprinkled it around the local cemetary in his home town.

This made many believe that the cemetary was sacred and caused them to bury their dead there since the ground itself contained soil from the “holy land”. In the 14th century the Black Death Plague hit and soon there were over 30,000 dead bodies resting with the cemetary. They began to run out of space, so they decided to make an ossuary in 1511. They literally began piling the bones on top of one another which in turn made space for new corpses. However, the Black Death was only the first wave of bodies to hit this sacred ground. Throughout the 15th century the Hussite wars raged, and more dead bodies were packed into the grounds.

In search of finding a solution for the vast amount of bones everywhere, Frantisek Rint ( a local sculptor) was hired to arrange them in an artistic way. Of course this sculpture was to be displayed in a church in honor of the holy land upon which it stood, and today we have the Bone Church in Kutna Hora. All Saints Chapel.


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