Bone House in the St. Michaels Chapel
The Bone House is located in the historical city center, at one of the most beautiful vantage points in Hallstatt. The traditional Bone House from the 12th century in the St. Michaels Chapel is one of the most interesting sights in the World Heritage town of Hallstatt.
Steeped in history
The Bone House of Hallstatt in the Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut has been in existence since the 12th century. Kept in here, are 1200 human skulls. 610 of them have been hand-painted and arranged according to individual family groups. The dates of death marked on them. The tradition of recording and painting goes back to the year 1720 AD.
The graveyard in Hallstatt is very small and there is no space to make it larger. In former times, cremation was prohibited, and there was a serious lack of room for new graves to be dug. Ten to fifteen years after a burial graves were re-opened, and the skulls and long bones which took up the most space were removed. The skulls were "cleaned" and then left outside under sun and moon until all that remained of these gruesome skulls was a smooth "ivory" surface. Since the graves are decorated with flowers, the skulls were finally symbolically painted with wreaths of flowers. A snake was symbolically painted on the two skulls under the cross, which is considered a symbol of death and sin (Adam and Eve). Above these two skulls, the cross of redemtion.
The Bone House custom lives on
The most recent addition to the Bone House was in 1995 and this skull has been placed to the right of the cross. A woman who had passed away in 1983 stated her personal wish was to have her skull placed in the Bone House.
Those who wish for their skulls to be placed in the Bone House must state this in their will. Ten years after their burial, the skull will be removed from the grave, chemically cleaned and then painted.
To the 360° Tour through Hallstatt ...
At the moment the Bone House is opened from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1st May to 30th September 2020 daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
1st October to 31st October 2020 daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Closed on 1st and 2nd November.
parking area on P1, P2 and P3
arriving at "train station Hallstatt", take the ferry to Hallstatt, from the pier you walk 20 minutes
you arrive at the busterminal „Hallstatt Lahn“, from there it is a five minute walk
Detailed information on the respective train and bus times can be found at https://www.oebb.at/en/ (train) and https://www.postbus.at/en(bus).
- Parking space: 450
- Bus parking space: 15
From € 4.00 per hour on Fee of coach € 40.00 per day
Please get in touch for more information.
Adults: € 1.50
Children: € 0.50
- All weather
- Suitable for groups
- Suitable for schools
- Suitable for kids (all ages)
- Suitable for teenagers
- Suitable for seniors
- suitable for single travelers
- suitable for friends
- suitable for couples
- suitable for children
A visit with an accompanying guide is available as part of a guided tour of Hallstatt. For details please contact the tourist office in Hallstatt. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org