On the photo you see the typical view on Hallstatt in summer (Photo: I-Stock)

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Bone House" in the "Michaelschapel

Hallstatt, Oberösterreich, Österreich

Visit the famous and historic bonehouse.

Due to too much snow, the bonehouse is closed at the moment!

Hallstatt's "Bone House" has been in existence since 12 AD. Kept in this charnel house are 1200 human skulls. 610 of them have been hand-painted, have been arranged according to individual family groups, and the dats of death marked on them.
As the grave yard in Hallstatt is very small and there is no space to make it larger. In former times, cremation was not allowed, and there was already a serious lack of space for new graves to be dug. 10 to 15 years after a burial, therefore, graves had to be re-opened, and the skulls and long bones which took up so much space were removed. The skulls were "cleansed" and then left outside in the sun and moonlight until all that remained of these gruesome skulls was a smooth "ivory". The most recent addition to the Bone House was in 1995 and this skull has been placed to the right of the cross. A lady passed away in 1983 and it had been her personal wish to have her skull placed in the Bone House.

Nowadays, those who wish for their skulls to be placed in the Bone House must write this in their Will. 10 years after burial, the skull is removed from the grave, chemically cleaned and then painted. The two skulls under the cross have been symbolically painted with a snake (symbol of death and the sins of Adam and Eve). Above them is the cross of salvation.

Winter opening times:
1st November 2018 to 30th of April 2019
Wednesday to Sunday daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Closed Monday & Tuesday!

Summer/ Autumn opening times 2019
1st of April 2019 to 30th September 2019:
daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

1st of October to 31th of October 2019:
daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Accessibility / arrival

For visiting the catholic church you have to walk on the small hill over stonesteps. Arriving there you have the possibility to visit the church, the historic bonehouse with over 600 painted skulls and an amazing view over the area and the town.
- by car: parking area on P1, P2 and P3
- by train: arriving in Hallstatt you take the ferry to Hallstatt, from the pier you walk 5 minutes
- by bus: you arrive directly on the busterminal, from there it is a walk about 15 minutes

  • Parking space: 450
  • Bus parking space: 15
Parking fees

From € 3,50 per hour Fee of coach € 40,00 per day

Travelling by public transport
Route planner for independent travellers
General price information

Entrance fee for adults: 1,50 Euro
Entrance fee for children: 0,50 Euro

Payment methods
Other discounts

A visit with an accompanying guide is available as part of a guided tour of Hallstatt. For details please contact the Tourist Office in Hakkstatt.

e-mail: hallstatt@inneres-salzkammergut.at

  • All weather
  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for schools
  • Suitable for kids (all ages)
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

Für Informationen beim Kontakt anfragen.

In the charnel house

Hear more about this topic! Also in English available!


Bone House" in the "Michaelschapel
Kirchenweg 40
4830 Hallstatt

+43 6134 8279

Contact person
Mrs Helga Sejka
Katholisches Pfarramt Hallstatt
Kirchenweg 40
4830 Hallstatt

+43 6134 8279

We speak the following languages


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