Sedlec Ossuary: This will wake you up!

Hopefully you have not tired of bones, because here comes the most remarkable site on our grand ossuary tour: the Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic (just one hour east of Prague). This crypt, containing the remains of 40,000 people,      IMG_20150411_100203433     is no ordinary ossuary (if indeed an ossuary could ever be considered ordinary), it is an extraordinary work of art, an eccentric work of creative genius by the 19th woodworker, Frantisek Rint, who was given free reign to organize the 16th century ossuary bones that had been originally stacked  by a half-blind monk in 1511.      Rint  had a field day arranging  the old, artlessly stacked bones into all manner of sculpture and wall drawings:                                  IMG_20150411_092522634

IMG_20150411_092601885                     He created this magnificent coat of arms of the Schwarzenberg family, Rint’s employer.

IMG_20150411_094147389    and chalices,

IMG_20150411_094136265    IMG_1515

and writing (above right: the artist’s signature)

IMG_20150411_094157751

IMG_20150411_093655142                     and even a hanging chandelier

comprised of at least one of every type of human bone.           IMG_20150411_101054038

It is hard to find words to do justice to the Sedlec Ossuary. Monumental, magical, and oddly, not morbid, or at least not morbid in the way I used to think of that word before this trip.

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