Bone Church, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

kutna hora bone church
It takes a lot of dead monks to make a chandelier like that.

Don't think the Kutna Hora Bone Church is unique.

For some reason there are several chapels like this in the world of the Catholic Church. (We visited one in Rome in 2000, which strangely was across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe there.) This one is smaller, but you can't beat it for a sense of humor. There's a chandelier made of one of every bone from the human body, set off by garlands of skulls. Memento Mori, indeed.

No special processing here, other than to make a mask of the area on the right, which was lit by daylight through a window, and to change it's color balance to match the rest of the scene, which was lit by incandescent light. I used the Nikon D800E, with ISO 2000, f/2.8 at 1/25 second exposure. I was using the 14-24 f/2.8 lens set at 20 mm, and the short focal length allows the slow shutter speed.

For more info about the equipment and software I use, see this page.

You can buy prints of my photos on my Smugmug page.

5 thoughts on “Bone Church, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic”

  1. Tom,
    While the picture is spectacular, it’s still a little creepy. I’ve never seen a church like this so it’s pretty new to me. But are these really that common? Just curious. Thanks for the interesting post, I really did enjoy it.

  2. There are lots of bone sculptures and paintings, etc. in Catholic iconography. They are called, generally, “memento mori” or “reminder of death.” I think the general message is that death is inevitable, and you’d better be ready. Think of all the medieval and Renaissance paintings that contain skulls. The Mexican “Day of the Dead” and the proliferation of Catrinas come from that tradition, too.


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