Brno Czech Republic

Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary

a group of skulls in a room

The Catacombs of Paris hold the bones of an estimated 6,000,000 dead. In 2001, the second largest ossuary found in Europe occurred during remodeling of St. James Square/Jakubske namasti in Brno, Czech Republic, where the bones of an estimated 50,000 persons were discovered in chambers beneath the church.

The Brno ossuary was established in the mid-18th century. Plague and cholera epidemics quickly filled the chambers established to hold the bones of the dead. When full, the ossuary was sealed with a stone slab. Reforms in 1784 led to the end of the church cemetery for hygienic purposes. Over the centuries the ossuary had been forgotten.

Brno St James


One of the city’s primary tram lines runs in front of St. James Square/Jakubske namasti. Due to the structural inadequacy of solid ground between street level modern transportation and the underground chambers of the ossuary, after consultation with academics, church leaders, archaeologists, engineers and other stakeholders, the decision was made to remove the bones, clean and study them, then replace the bones in reconstructed and architecturally sound chambers beneath the church and square.

Brno Ossuary under St. James Church is now a museum with three chambers tourists can visit. There are three short corridors into low-lighted chambers. Art pieces and music add additional artistic elements to the displays of skeletal remains.

The ossuary tour is self-guided. Informational displays in Czech and English provide three panels of history and context prior to entering the chambers.

In Paris, the museum tour of the Catacombs covers 1.5km and takes 45 minutes. In Brno, the three chambers cover less than 100 meters and visitors can linger as long as they like. We stayed about 30 minutes to read the lobby displays and view the chambers.

Brno ossuary 2

Brno ossuary-1

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Brno Ossuary

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Brno St. James Church depicted in 1825 painting.

Brno St. James Church 1824

Ticket Price 140 CZK ($6.32 USD) with 50% discount for children 6-15, students and seniors.


July 2017

San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark – Stockholm, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Prague, Czechia – Bratislava, Slovakia – London, England – San Francisco SFO (22 days-6 flights-20 hotel nights-6 bus trips)

My July in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Czechia and Slovakia July 5, 2017

SAS flying over San Francisco

Copenhagen, Denmark: Skt. Petri Copenhagen Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Loyalty Traveler Lost and Found in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre hotel review

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam design for social living

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints

Amsterdam and Prague Hotels: 2 stays earned 1 Free Friday Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam and Park Inn Prague

Prague, Czechia: Pickpocket stole my wallet on Prague Airport Bus

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Prague, Czechia: Best Western Hotel Kinsky Garden Prague truly boutique

Prague, Czechia: Hotel review Clarion Prague City reward stay

Prague, Czechia: Vyšehrad, Prague far from the madding crowd

Pilsen, Czechia: Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay

Pilsen, Czechia: Pilsen Czechia photoessay

Brno, Czechia: Holiday Inn Brno, CZ PointBreaks stay

Brno, Czechia: Brno by beer

Brno, Czechia: Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary

Czechia: Impressions after 9 days in Czech Republic

Bratislava, Slovakia: Review Radisson Blu Bratislava Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Walk to Bratislava Castle Slovakia photo essay

Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava Slovakia photo essay part 2

Bratislava, Slovakia: Category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava Slovakia opens Oct 1, 2017

Bratislava, Slovakia: Trip Report Regiojet Bus Bratislava to Brno Airport

London, UK: Buyer Beware National Express bus London Stansted to London Heathrow

London, UK: Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel review

Hotel Loyalty: Loyalty? Yes! Loyal? Not so much for my hotel travel

Hotel Loyalty: My two Club Carlson Free Friday Nights posted today

Airline Loyalty: Aegean Silver elite and 17,000 miles to Star Alliance Gold

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