Am I still frustrated here?  Perhaps.  But on to bigger and better things.  Well, more macabre things, anyway.

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Something that I regret about my time here so far is not traveling more in the Czech Republic.  There are a lot of beautiful smallHPIM2244 towns that I’d like to see, and I just haven’t gotten it together yet to leave Prague, except for one small side trip.  About an hour outside of Prague is a town called Kutna Hora, and Kutna Hora’s claim to fame is its ossuary.  In a small church behind Kutna Hora’s grand, gothic cathedral, the bones of at least 40,000 people have been used to decorate the walls.

The church came into being during the 14th century; it was built on a graveyard that had at one point been a mass dumping ground for victims of the plague, and when the church was constructed, the bones were taken from the graveyard to decorate the ossuary.  Supposedly the task of exhuming the bones and stacking them in the church was given to a half-blind HPIM2250monk who lived there.  In 1870, a woodcarver was hired to arrange the bones, which he apparently took to quite well.

The church is full of bone “statues.”  There are crests, patterns, and a huge chandelier, all made out of various human bones.  It’s not actually that weird to be in the church–I didn’t think so, anyway.  While it’s a reminder of a frightening time in human history, the skeletons weren’t from people who had been killed by the church or anything like that.  Now hundreds of tourists come every day to a small town that probably wouldn’t see any if the ossuary weren’t located there.

I wish I had gotten to see more of Kutna Hora itself.  Maybe I’ll try to make it a point to go back there some weekend.

My film class starts tomorrow–let’s hope it’s good.

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