One of our very first big trips as a family here in Europe was to Prague. We absolutely fell in love with a stunningly beautiful city. So as we were planning our summer road trip we knew that we wanted to explore the Czech Republic more. In fact, I think Eastern Europe has become a favorite for us travel wise. It is an area that is less polluted with tourists, much more cost effective, and full of beautiful little gems. We ended up staying in a home in a little town called Kridla. It was out in the middle of nowhere, but the views were simply breath taking.
The majority of our time spent driving was on little winding country roads. And by little, I really mean little! Here is a picture of an example of a two lane road we drove on:
Anyways, one of the big destinations we knew we just had to visit while in the Czech Republic was Sedlec Ossuary (also known as Kutna Hora as it is in a suburb of that city.) From the first time we ever heard about Sedlec Ossuary we knew it was a match made in heaven for our family. I mean, hello, Mister is a Radiology Tech. Bones are kind of his thing. Bug is also equally obsessed with bones!
The ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel located among the cemetery of All Saints in Sedlec. The cemetery itself was considered a prestigious place to be buried because in the 1200’s the abbot of the monastery brought back some soil from Golgotha (where Christ was crucified) and sprinkled it among the cemetery. It is estimated that there are between 40,000 and 70,000 skeletons within the ossuary!
The chandelier in the center is composed of at least one of each bone of the human body.
Many of the skeletons were fatalities of the Black Death in the 1300’s that had been buried in mass graves at this location. In the 1500’s, when they decided to build the chapel itself, it was decided to arrange the skeletons in a decorative manner. This task was given to a monk who was partially blind. He stacked the bones into pyramid shapes in the four corners of the chapel.
It is claimed that after working on these pyramids the monk’s sight was restored so his work is considered ‘blessed.’
I have to admit that it was all kind of pretty and yet extremely creepy all at the same time.
Another famous feature is the coat of arms of the House of Schwarz composed out of bones:
I think that the absolute best part was getting to go through with my smarty pants husband and have him identifying all the different bones that made up the various parts of the designs. He knows his bones!
It was such a great start off to our Czech Republic portion of our road trip! I cannot wait to share the rest of our time there with you all. Stay tuned!
Until then, if you would like to see more pictures from Sedlec Ossuary you can view those HERE on our photo share site! Enjoy!