Accompanied by my best friend, the Diana Mini and a new roll of Lady Grey I've been a total tourist this 'summer' in the Czech Republic. One of the most impressive things we've seen was a cemetery in the little town of Kutná Hora, 70km from Prague. I think the Czech love churches anyway, I've seen at least one in every little town we've passed through. But the bone church of Sedlec is extraordinary.
According to legend, around 1200 AD, a little bit of dirt form a holy place got transported to the cemetery of Kutná Hora. Because of this, the cemetery received holy status and a rush on the cemetery (so to speak) started. Everyone wanted this little Czech cemetery to be their final resting place. Not just the Czech, but also Germans, Poles, and Dutch people arranged for their burial in this town. A lot of the graves today are modern. It’s still possible to be buried here and a lot of family graves still exist.
The cemetery of Sedlec has changed a lot in the past centuries. In the dark ages the cemetery had over 30,000 corpses that they had to bury due to the black plague. After that, the Hesuit War in 1500 also added victims to this place.
In the early 1500s there has been a little church built on the cemetery in typical gothic style. The bones that had to be dug up for this temporarily got stored in neighboring churches.
The gothic building eventually became famous for being the ‘Kostnice’ for this area. A Kostnice is an Ossuary. In the 19th century, a royal family bought the cemetery and little church and asked a local woodworker if he could rearrange the bones that where held in the Ossuary.
Frantisek Rint, the woodworker, gave his own interpretation of this and you can see it today in the Ossuary of Kutná Hora.
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