St. James' Church and Brno Ossuary, Brno

St. James' Church and Brno Ossuary, Brno (must see)

The Brno Ossuary is an underground vault under the Church of Saint James. It is the second-largest ossuary in Europe. The number of people buried here is estimated to exceed 50,000.

The ossuary was founded in the 17th century. The purpose of the space was to find a final resting place for bones while freeing up space in the overly crowded cemetery at the Church of Saint James. It became customary to re-open graves about ten years after burial and have the remains moved into the ossuary.

The reforms introduced by Roman Emperor Joseph II in 1784 resulted in churchyards being closed down for hygienic reasons. The remains from the graves were placed in crypts instead. The headstones at the Saint James Cemetery were removed and used to pave the ground. The ossuary was gradually forgotten.

It was rediscovered in 2001. Brno Ossuary opened to the public in 2012. It is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 AM to 6 PM. Tours last approximately 30 minutes.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Brno. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. James' Church and Brno Ossuary on Map

Sight Name: St. James' Church and Brno Ossuary
Sight Location: Brno, Czech Republic (See walking tours in Brno)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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