vendredi 7 septembre 2007

Kutná Hora Ossuary

Near Prague, Czech Republic, in the city of Kutná Hora, is one of the strangest and most macabre building I have ever visited, and heard of. It takes a long bus ride to go there, and the whole trip will take you half a day, but it's worth it.

In 1278, a local priest travelled to Holy Land and came back with some holy earth from Golgotha that he threw on the ground of Sedlec cemetery, therefore making it... a holy cemetary ! So when Black Death stroke, thirty years later, this was a place of choice to bury the masses of victims. Thirty thousand people, actually. One century later, after the bloody Hussite Wars, many new occupants would come to seek rest in the already crowded holy place.

What do you do when your cemetary is so full of corpses that there's not enough ground left to bury more ? Well, you just dig out the thousands of bones, and you build an ossuary out of them. That's at least what an half-blind monk of Kutná Hora did, according to the legend. It's later, in 1870, that these human bones would be artisticaly rearanged to create the absolutely amazing place you can visit today.

Four piles of skulls were made, huge beyond imagination, along with several pieces of twisted art, so beautifully macabre. The most famous is the great chandelier, made with at least one of every bone of the human body. There is also an incredible coat-of-arms, words on the wall written in bones, and several other impressive ornamentations. If you start to think of all these skulls not as objects, but as people, their number just gives dizziness...

Recently, some skulls showing signs of violent death (victims of the Hussite Wars) are also presented.

This astonishing place is a glorious example of Memento Mori, and gives good ideas of things to do if you find out someday that your garden used to be a medieval graveyard.

5 commentaires:

Djörll de Torkadreuz a dit…

j'ai fait un tombé de machoire en lisant ton article!

Quentin a dit…

Le plus drôle, c'est que l'excellent blog "Curious Expeditions" a fait un article sur la même chose le lendemain, c'est hallucinant ! Ils ont plus approfondit le sujet ceci-dit, donc si ça t'intéresse :

Elizabeth a dit…

Et moi qui trouvait déjà que les calvaires faits en crânes dans les catacombes étaient un manque de respect envers les ossements de gens... J'ai pas du tout envie de finir en déco post macabre... Ceci dit sur la photo c'est plus vos regards qui foutent la trouille que le décor! lol

Quentin a dit…

mouahaha ! nous allons manger ton âââme !!! ;)

Anonyme a dit…

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