Budapest and Prague – Part 5.

On my last day in Prague, I went to Kutna Hora, a city an hour outside of Prague. Originally, Kutna Hora and Prague were keeping pace with each other in size because Kutna Hora had a large silver ore running under the city. Therefore Kutna Hora was where the money was minted. However, the mines ran dry, there was a fire in 1770 and Kutna Hora fell behind. So now Prague is the capital with 1.5 million people and Kutna Hora has about 23,000. It does, however, have a lovely cathedral and the reason I came to Prague in the first place – The Ossuary of Sedlec.

Before I show you the pictures, let me tell you the backstory: There was monestary. The monestary has a little graveyard. In the 13th century, a monk went to the holy land and when he came back he sprinkled holy land dirt in the graveyard. Suddenly, EVERYBODY wanted to be buried there. During the Black Death thousands of people were buried there. A chapel was built in the center of the graveyard, many graves were exhumed and bones put in the ossuary/basement. In 1870, the Schwartzenburg family, who owned the property, asked Frantisek Rint, a woodcarver, to put the large piles of bones in some kind of order. And hoo boy did he ever.

It’s a small building. You walk in, and there are stairs right in front of you.

The temperature drops dramatically as you go down the fifteen or so steps, so much that you can see your breath. As soon as that happened, I couldn’t not quote The Sixth Sense. I said, “I see dead people”, and it was true. Approximately 40,000 dead people, to be exact.

Is this not the greatest thing EVER? The chandelier is rumored to have at least one of every bone in the body. And that’s the Schwartzenburg family crest. I know this doesn’t look like that many deceased people, and that’s because there are four ginormous piles of bones in each corner of the room. Note my mother laughing at me because I was so ecstatic about being there.

I was in heaven. I wanted to stay there forever. Check it out: Rint even signed his name in bones.

I held up the whole bus because I didn’t want to leave. But there were other things to see in the town. And a lovely town it was.

There was their cathedral that was built during the Great Competition with Prague. This one is called St. Barbara.

St. Barbara wasn’t as high or as breathtaking inside as St. Vitus, but it did have a few beautiful and unique qualities. One was the paintings on the vaulted ceiling.

The other thing I loved about this cathedral was the turn of the century windows. I took pictures of all of them. Here’s a sample.

That pretty much covers my nine-day trip to Prague and Budapest. It was great, really really great.

3 Responses to “Budapest and Prague – Part 5.”

  1. Nina says:

    You know… I thought I loved the catacombs in Paris, but this totally takes the cake. And the funny part is: if they had hired me – this would have been the outcome! Except I might have insisted on using all the remaining bones to decorate the remaining exterior……

  2. snorth says:

    YAY BONE CHURCH!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!

  3. […] the somewhat gloomy goth-like creature that I am (you can review my Ossuary of Sedlec entry if there’s any doubt in your mind) I loved this exhibition. Actually, what’s even […]

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