© Panorama of Gosau in Winter (Photo: www.360perspektiven.at)
Panorama of Gosau in Winter (Photo: www.360perspektiven.at)

Holiday Region
Dachstein Salzkammergut


Bone House (ossuary) in the St. Michaels Chapel

Hallstatt, Oberösterreich, Österreich
  • All weather
  • Suitable for groups

  Open again on the 11th of February. 

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 ...

Regular opening hours

03.11. - 30.04.
Wednesday - Sunday (Mo, Tue closing day)
11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

01.05. - 30.09.

Monday - Sunday
10:00 a. m. - 6:00 p. m.

01.10. - 31.10.
Monday - Sunday
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

May be closed in case of bad weather!

Closing day
  • Monday
  • Tuesday

511 m

Accessibility / arrival

by car
from Salzburg:
Exit Thalgau via federal road B158 towards Bad Ischl, in Bad Ischl drive onto Salzkammergut Street B145 towards Bad Goisern, in Bad Goisern turn right onto B166, at the Gosaumühle junction turn left towards Hallstatt
from Linz:
Exit Regau via federal road Salzkammergut street B145 towards Gmunden and Bad Ischl to Bad Goisern, in Bad Goisern turn right onto B166, at the Gosaumühle junction turn left towards Hallstatt
from Vienna/Graz:
Exit Liezen via federal road B320, in Trautenfels drive onto Salzkammergut street B145 towards Bad Aussee, turn onto Koppen street via Obertraun to Hallstatt
from Villach:
Tauern motorway to exit "Eben im Pongau", via B166 Pass Gschütt federal road through Gosau, at the Gosaumühle junction turn towards Hallstatt
by train
Attnang-Puchheim – Stainach-Irdning lines
arriving at "train station Hallstatt", take the ferry to Hallstatt

by bus
bus 542/543
arriving at bus stop “Hallstatt Lahn”
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
Parking fees

P1/P2/P3/P4 Short term tariffs 15 minutes free 1 hour: 4.00 Euro 2 hours: 7.00 Euro 3-4 hours: 9.00 Euro 5-6 hours: 9.50 Euro 7-12 hours 10.00 Euro From the 13th hour: daily tariff 15.00 Euro Lost ticket: € 30 Bus fee: € 80.00 per day

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

Adults: € 2,00
€ 0,50 until 15 years

Payment methods
Other payment methods
Cash payment
  • 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
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

Please get in touch for more information.

In the charnel house

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Bone House (ossuary) in the St. Michaels Chapel
Kirchenweg 40
4830 Hallstatt

Phone +43 6134 8279

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

Phone +43 6134 8279

We speak the following languages


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