Saturday, 25 February 2012

Snapshots: The Ossuary in Kutna Ora

It is hard to believe only a couple of weeks ago, we were heading for Prague where we would contemplate snow and one of the weirdest "temple" ever made by man; giving a whole new meaning to the expression "man made".

Prior to Prague, we had decided on an overnight stay in Kutná Hora. A small provincial town, eastward from the capital, reached within an hour by train. It is easy to see why it is refered to as the little Prague. The historical center has lovely bonbon box facades, churches, cathedral or in proper touristic terms " an architectonic jewel of the European significance".  Like Paris intra-muros, it has its own vineyard.


In the morning, we headed for the Ossuary, a bus-ride away. Settle in your armchair here is a precis: in Seldec, in the mid 10th century there was a cisterician monastery. 100 years later the King sent Henry the abbot of Seldec to Jerusalem. Henry came back with a handful of earth from Golgotha which he sprinkled over the cemetery of Seldec.

The cemetery became famous and people from all over Europe wished to be buried there. Around 1400 space became sparce, therefore the current abbot had a church build with a chapel designed to host the bones from abolished graves. Seldec's fame and few wars meant that 40 000 squelettons had to be dealt with.

Cut a long story short, we are now, in 1870, enters a wood carver Frantisek Rint who somehow was given free reins to arrange the bones the way he saw fit and here is what he did:
Let's start the visit:


The fragility of life is put in perspective 


Left of the main altar and the coat of arms of a noble family


The Pièce de résistance is the chandelier.

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