Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Church of Bones

Our post-Peace Corps European adventure has been amazing so far.  We're on Day 19 of 75. We've been to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia. Highlights include hiking in the Swiss Alps, discovering random castles along the way, strolling through charming towns like Lucerne and Regensburg, and spending time with fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Stephen, Megan and Kevin.

Perhaps the most unique thing we've seen is the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic. It is a Catholic chapel decorated with the skeletons of 40,000 people. The graveyard had been sprinkled with dirt from the Holy Land in 1200s so it was a very popular place to be buried. The current church is from the 1400s. In 1511, a half-blind monk was tasked with exhuming skeletons and stacking the old bones to make room for new burials. This is a fairly common practice in Europe. Then in 1870, a local woodcarver, Frantesek Rindt, was asked by the Shwartzenberg family to arrange the bones. This is what he produced.

Bone pyramid

Bone chandelier using at least one of every bone in the human body

Six foot tall chalice

Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms made of bones Schwarzenberg Coat of Arms

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