Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

Poppy fields on the train ride.

Run down buildlings.

Kutna Hora train station.

During our first week in Prague, we split our time between practice and exploring. One day, a few of us went out to the town of Kunta Hora. It was a short one hour train ride and we were hoping to explore the bone church. It was neat.  I thought it might be a little creepy, but it wasn't. I don't know why. It just worked. I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that the people's remains are so old and so far removed from me.

The center of one of the bone church pyramids.

The family emblem of someone who took over the church for a while and reduced the bone stacks from 6 to 4.

A close up.

These images seemed a little weird side by side.

More bone decorations.

Bone chandelier.

Bone signature.

The bone church goes by many names, including the Kostnice and Sedlec Ossuary. It was once just a regular church that had a very large cemetery due to the Black Plague sweeping through Europe. At some point in the 1400's, the decision was made to shrink the graveyard and 40,000 bodies were uninterred. In 1511, a half blind monk stacked them into six pyramids. Later in 1870, the church was sold to a family who had a wood carver restack the bones, create their family emblem, and decorate the inside of the church.

Sedlec church 

Great wood work. Can we still do this skilled labor?

The rafters.

After a great visit in the bone church, we were off to explore the other town sights, eat a lot, and do our best not to overheat or overuse our legs.  Near the bone church was a UNESCO heritage site, the Sedlec Cathedral. After a few trips to Europe in the past, I'm really hesitant to visit too many religious places and get cathedral overload, but it was neat.  My favorite part was probably the walkway through the ceiling to an overlook from the back of the church because it showed us something we don't normally see.

My own ice tea company.  Who knew?!?!?  If only they spelled my name right.

Pizza place.

Random street.

Old building in town.

Modern meets medieval.

Another old avenue.

This lady was great. Hair dying and smoking and just strolling the streets.

After the Sedlec Cathedral, we went out to eat where I found out that I have my very own ice tea company. I think it was based out of Edinburgh. I'll have to go get some free samples soon.  The rest of the town was a great maze of cobblestone streets. The town was laid out in medievil times so it didn't quite adhere to a particular grid. I loved it. I could spend a fews days just wandering those streets. I felt like the people were friendlier out there too, but isn't that always true of towns in the country versus the cities?

Jesuit college and the Cathedral of St. Barbara.

Too showy for me.

Pagan faces on the church?

Great view.
Our last stop in town was at a Jesuit college and another UNESCO site, the Cathedral of St. Barbara.  I knew I was reaching my limit so I laid in the grass instead of visiting the college. I took a quick peak inside the gothic/baroque cathedral, but it didn't inspire the same way the last one did. I think I love the grandiose buildings, but I don't like the fancy shrines. The second church was decorated a bit over the top for my liking, but that probably has a lot to do with the fact I'm not there for religious reasons.  The outside of the church had some great decorations. However, one of the ones that was most curious to me were animal faces beside human faces.  I don't know my church symbolism, but I didn't that was supposed to happen. Maybe it had to do with most of the builders still being pagan. I don't know. Any ideas?

While we waited to catch a bus back to the train, we found this statue. I don't know anything about Dvorak except that he was responsible for inventing a different typing style from the QWERTY keyboard we normally use. It isn't very popular, but my younger brother, David, loves it. David, this picture is for you. I don't know why he isn't holding a keyboard or at least a typewriter.

Your typing mentor, Dvorak.

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