We’ve done a lot of walking and a lot of driving on this trip. Both of us were pretty tired last night, so we decided to take our time getting up and having breakfast. Our mission on this trip was to visit the town of Kutna Hora.
Kutna Hora is a UNESCO world heritage site, 44 miles east of Prague. The town probably boasts of it’s 10 centuries of architecture that run the gamut from Gothic to cubism. I tried to get some photos , but it’s overwhelming…the sheer volume of ornate architecture. It was a silver mining town, with a silver mining museum which we did not go see.
The Kostnice (The Bone Church) is one of the Czech Republic’s most famous sites. It’s easy to see why.
Bones from about 60,000 people have been arranged in the chapel.
It was built in the 16th century, when the building of the church forced the movement of a nearby graveyard. Monks from the nearby monastery decided to use the displaced cemetery bones to decorate the church.
After parking almost directly across the street from the bone chapel we found out that we had to buy tickets about a block down the road. So we walked to the Information Office and bought tickets to The Bone Church as well as the big cathedral. There is another option which includes Saint Barbara’s down in the center of town but we decided not to do that. So we walked across the street and did a tour of the cathedral.
One of the novel aspect of touring the cathedral is that you could climb up a set of circular stairs and walk among the rafters right below the roof line. We were able to see the brick masonry work of the alcoves in the church.
A 30 minute walk into the center of town, we found a café where we could sit outside and have a bite to eat. Stephen joyed a club sandwich and I had my first sausage in the Czech republic. It was delicious.
We walked back to the Bone Church. Pictures don’t do it justice. Whoever the monk was that decided to take all of the bones out of the graveyard and decorate the church was certainly an outside the box kind of thinker. As I looked around there were a lot of candle stands, without candles in them. I tried to imagine what it must’ve looked like back before electricity when the entire chapel was lit by flickering candle light. Stone walls ,skeletons and skulls lit by candle light. It must’ve been a very macabre scene. It is very macabre in broad daylight. I could imagine it as a vampire church for The Vampire Lestat from one of Anne Rice’s novels.
On the other hand, if we are God’s creation, then skeletons are a representation of His work. Why not honor that with decorating a chapel? Like I said, real outside the box thinking.
Our tour over we drove back into Prague we parked the car and walked back to the hotel.
A few blocks from the hotel we found a restaurant U Bullini. It had a very unique steampunk type decor. It was probably the best restaurant meal of the trip for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my flank steak with a cream sauce and salad. We had a first course of pig knuckle in aspic with horseradish cream and red onion. Wonderful.
Tomorrow we leave Prague and will drive through Austria into Slovenia.
I have to say Prague has been my favorite city in Europe, including London and Paris. I lobe the architecture, the people, the relative ease of getting around. Of course I’m probably biased because of the hospitality of Lawrence and Lyuba and the special experiences we had with them.
May 26 2019