Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

I met my mom and sister for lunch today and mom brought me a page from the travel section of the Houston Chronicle. There is a write-up about the Ossuary in Kutna Hora...

Two summers ago, I got on a train, heading 40 miles east of Prague, en route to Kutna Hora to see the "Bone Church". It was my 3rd day in the country, I was staying in the hostel and classes at the TEFL school had not yet begun. I was down for anything.

After a train ride, a stop at a pub in Kolin for a few beers and a very warm bus ride, we arrived in Kutna Hora. We walked for a while, trying to decipher Czech directions and made it to the church.

From the outside it looks like your average medieval eastern European church, until you go inside. "You want English guide? Here". Its absolutely jaw-dropping... bones everywhere, "welded" into the most elaborate sculptures. Its absolutely shocking, and you know that you'll never see anything like that in your life again. I do it no justice by describing it, but as I was looking around, all i could think was "These were real people.. with moms and best friends..." and you feel sad because you're essentially surrounded by approximately 40,000 real people who died in the 14th c of the Plague.

"The chapel was built at the end of the 14th century and its current appearance is the result of Baroque Reconstruction carried out by Santini-Aichl in the early 18th century. Unique skeletal decorations of the interior are probably the work of woodcarver František Rint. Remarkable masterpieces include a massive chandelier, a cross, chalices, a monstrance or Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms. According to estimates, bones of approximately 40,000 people were used to decorate the chapel, creating this unique ossuary – a reminder of the transience of human life and the inevitability of death."

So then I went digging for the photos I took that day:

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