Sedlec Ossuary: Where Dead People Chill… Artfully.

The Czech Republic, home to one of my favorite haunted cities, Prague, is also home to another great place: Sedlec Ossuary. Also known as the Church of Bones, the ossuary in the beginning was just a plain ol’ church in Kutna Hora, about one hour outside of Prague. In 1278, the King of Bohemia sent the abbot of the Sedlec Monastery to the Holy Land, and when the dude returned, he brought the gift that kept giving: soil. He sprinkled the holy soil on the land surrounding the chapel which made such land prime real estate for the soon-to-be or already-dead people.

Soon after, the bubonic plague spread and knocked-off a solid chunk of the population. Business was booming at the cemetery…. so much that there was no room left for those who have moved on to greener pastures, so old bodies were exhumed and the bones were stored inside the chapel.

Now, there are different stories of what happened. Some say that there was a partially blind monk that began stacking the bones in different shapes; others say there were a group of monks that went mad and did all sorts of weird things with the bones. All that is certain is that the owner of the land, the Schwarzenberg Family, hired a guy named Frantisek Rint who was an artist and wood-carver, to transform the mess of bones into something unique and amazing.

There’s about 40,000 bodies spread about through the Ossuary in artful ways. A Schwarzenberg coat of arms was built out of bones, there are display cases with skulls containing fatal wounds from medieval weapons to gaze at and my personal favorite, the chandelier made out of every single bone in a human body!

After visiting places such as the Sedlec Ossuary and Le Catacombes, one begins to realize the incredible, unescapable links between life and death; the thought that no matter what paths we take in life, we are all the same in the afterlife. When it comes down to it, we are all just an assemblage of bones.

Zamecka 127 Kutna Hora-Sedlec, 284 03

About The Roaming Bean (109 Articles)
You're probably wondering what the heck is a "Roaming Bean"... Given that I am clearly not a Bean, and my name is Jen, what gives with this Bean thing, right? A friend of mine called me JenBean as a child, and it kinda stuck. Actually, it really stuck... even my license plate says Jenbean. And seeing as I have this grand lust to wander the world, The Roaming Bean seemed suitable. I've changed my career path more times than I have my underwear (minus all the times I've gone commando).... from animating, to forensic pathology, to international business, to fashion marketing and even to my wonderful and favorite of the bunch, degree in culinary arts, nothing kept my attention. Nothing was fun enough to do every day for the rest of my life. I mean, even though I cooked for celebrities in the heart of Hollywood, CA, why the hell would I want to sweat my ass off in a ridiculously HOT kitchen for most of the day and go home smelling like beef and onions? And the chef hat?? Do you know what that did to my hair?? Enter traveling.... The rainy day I descended down the tower of Notre Dame in Paris, gripping on to the railing for dear life so not to slip and tumble to an early death from the torrential down pour that was causing a small flood in the stairwell, my life changed. When I safely made it to the ground, legs shaky from an apparent lack of fitness it requires to walk up and down 387 steep stairs, I realized my hands were stained a delightful copper color from the rusted hand rail I had so dearly clung to. Desperate to get the icky stuff off my supple hands, and no running water in sight, I did what any other hopeless idiot would have done: I washed my hands in the nearest Parisian gutter. It was that moment that changed my life... I threw away my hair dryer, my rolling luggage and my dignity. I let my hair go natural, I bought a back pack and I CAMPED through Europe for a month and a half. Yes my friends, I crossed over into a savage traveling beast. Ok, a lot of people travel that way. But I didn't. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that rainy day in Paris that made me realize the world is a pretty sweet place. That realization led me on a quest; a quest to get out there, see things, soak up some local culture and eat my way around the world (with minimal food-related illnesses, such as but not limited to raging diarrhea).

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