Monday, June 4, 2012

Church of Bones...Incredible

OMG...The Sedlec Ossuary is a basement of a Roman Catholic church in Kutna Hata, Czech Republic (about one hour east of Prague). It contains the bones of at least 40,000 people who died of the plague in mid 14th century. As people were dying, the survivors would place bodies near the door to the church and they were subsequently buried. But they ran out of room. According to Wikipedia, in 1511 the bones were exhumed by a monk and piled in the basement. Then in 1870 a woodcarver organized them into 4 pyramids in the corners of the church basement( skull image with coins below) and then did the unthinkable:  used bones to decorate the basement. 
Many were arranged artistically to form a chandelier and this coat of arms (see the skull to get an idea of the scale of this). Sad, fascinating, interesting and I felt the energy. Brings up all kinds of thoughts about whether this is an ethical use of human remains. My perspective --- YES. I'd rather have my bones displayed in an interesting way that provokes thought and emotion then be stuck in the ground forever. Why not? 
WOW. This place is not to be missed.

John Lennon Graffiti Wall

Here I am at the John Lennon Graffiti Wall. It was a blank wall and then in the 1980s people started drawing and writing graffiti that was inspired by Beatles' tunes. During the communist era, authorities would paint over the wall and make it plain and boring again but then immediately hippies would paint love, poetry and peace signs again. According to Malia, it looks very different from the last time she saw it...a work of art in progress.

I added my 2 cents while there...At age 65 is it soooooo much fun to be in the 60's again!!

Fantastic Castle Door

Here I am at a fantastic door in the Prague Castle. This is an example of the ornate and beautiful Prague architecture. My cousin thinks I look like a Catholic school girl in this image...NOT :=D.

Prague Astronomical Clock

This 24 hour clock, in the Old Town Square, was installed in 1410, and according to some it is the only astronomical clock in the world that is still working. It has dials representing the movement of 1) the sun, 2) the earth, and 3) the moon. Figures on the clock represent each month of the year and also the Christian apostles. You can read more about it on Wikipedia and here is an image that explains the dials:

Many tourists line up to hear it strike the hour -- charming figures emerge from the upper windows and a skeleton hits a bell, sounding the top of the hour. Very interesting but I can't say I totally get how it works....gotta study astrology a bit more :-).

Prague, Czech Republic!

Praha (the local city name is about the only word I can say in the complex Czech language)! What an amazing and beautiful city - home to over 1 million residents and beginning in about 200BC. The architecture is incredible because it was not destroyed during the second world war and rebuilt with communist-style cement boxes, like many other European cities (Warsaw in particular). There are plentiful museums, art, theater, castles and so much more. I'm here with daughter Malia enjoying the vibes. Below is an image of the old town square, bustling with tourists - who seem to have dressed in colors to match the buildings!

Check out the rooftops of Prague  - this taken from the Prague castle. Charming, indeed. We visited a fascinating inner castle with lots of old artifacts and art. The family occupying the castle lost everything, first in 1941 during the war and then again when the communists took over. They were able to locate the art and furniture in over 100 places in Prague and reconstruct the interior. We also went to a toy museum with a full floor of Barbie history.
This view overlooks the famous Charles Bridge on the Vltava river, running through the center of the city. The bridge was full of artists with very interesting jewelry, paintings and more.