bizarre, body, bone, bones, cemetary, chandelier, cherubs, church, creepy, Czech Republic, death, dry, exhumed, frightening, grave, graveyard, horror, Kutna Hora, mad monks, monks, ossuary, remains, skeleton
A few weeks ago I arrived in the Czech Republic for a few days. After spending the morning having a coffee and a catch up chat with my friend Em, who is currently living in Prague, we went to Kutná Hora. It’s about a hours drive outside of Prague. It’s a pretty town, but the main attraction is the ‘Ossuary’ or ‘Kostnice’ as it is in Czech.
The Ossuary is also known as the ‘Bone Church,’ and from the moment you step inside any questions you may have had about why it’s called that are immediately answered.
The story is that the cemetery became overcrowded and so the older remains were exhumed to make room for the more recent. They placed the older remains inside the church, about 40,000 people, or should that be former people?
In each corner of the church there are piles of skulls and bones, about 3 metres, (almost 10 feet), high I think, and in the centre there’s a huge chandelier that’s made of every bone in the human body. The chandelier is then surrounded by four , as I called them ‘skull trees.’ They reminded me of Christmas trees, topped by creepy looking Cherubs. The skulls that hang from the walls and ceiling remind me of popcorn garlands, I’ll bet you’ll not see garlands in the same light ever again.
How did all these bones wound up in the various decorations, well there are various stories of blind, and/or mad monks making things from the bones. The landowners of the time commissioned a local man to decorate the church with the bones to remind people of how short life is and that death is inescapable. So it’s a place of happiness and cheer then?
Actually, once you get past the shock (?) of seeing that, yes there really are human bones everywhere you look, you’ll soon come to the conclusion that it isn’t all that creepy or frightening, just a bit bizarre. But me, being me, I had to seek out something of horror.
This photo reminds of a horror film, which one I can’t recall, but the people I’ve shown this photo to have all said the same thing.
So, if you are in the area I can recommend a visit. Unless you’re looking for it, it really isn’t frightening, bizarre yes, but nightmare inducing? No. After all what do you have to fear from the long dead? Aside from zombies, vampires, and vengeful ghosts, you have more to fear from the living.