The Scary Or Peaceful Sedlec Ossuary?

Here I was at Kutna Hora!

I was joined by a friend from uni (the one who nag about going to Vietnam for our gathering. Back then, it hadn’t happened yet) and an acquaintance who wanted to tag along. The two seemed to get a long quite well which was good. BUT, I was like a tour guide looking after both of them. I will never go travelling with anyone without backpacking experience and common sense.

Backpacking is an art that requires a lot of planning, scheduling, budgeting and networking. With all these skills, one could set up a company. Unfortunately, many employers don’t treasure these skills because they have never done any backpacking themselves and they take the literal meaning of backpacking thinking that those who carry a large backpack are backpackers (at least, this is what employers in Asia think. In fact, the acquaintance who joined me also thought that way… so, you can imagine what life was like for me during those days in Czech Republic and later in Budapest… I am shaking my head. I will go to that part of the world again…).

Sedlec Ossuary was highly recommended by the receptionist at the hostel. Being described as ‘tragically beautiful’ by National Geographic, this bone church is the home of 40,000 corpses.

We were near Sedlec Ossuary, the bone church.
The cemetery outside the church. This was a very popular burial site in the past.
We were first greeted by these bones at the entrance of the church.
These human bones were intricately arranged in various forms to decorate the church. These people died because of Black Death.
I approached the interior of the church.
I felt peace instead of fear.

I felt peace instead of fear. I felt pain in my heart too. However, my friend from uni said she found it very eerie and felt really uncomfortable so she stayed there for a brief moment and left. But if you look at the whole thing from a different perspective, you will find that it’s actually not creepy at all. Even after these people died, they could still contribute something to the church or even to the world. They used their bones to narrate a story for us. It may not be a good bedtime story but it is a good story. They, including the infants, all have contributed something. (Among these bones, you can see some really small skulls.) If you believe in reincarnation, they could now be living somewhere in this world. If you don’t believe in reincarnation, they could be in Heaven resting in peace.

A stack of bones. May you all rest in peace.

Imagine the number of deaths back in those days. COVID-19 is now recorded in history and may be compared with Black Death by some historians. However, I think we all have to learn to live with the virus. We all need to move around. As long as we are disciplined and keep washing our hands, we should be fine. This virus is to test if we are disciplined.

Decades ago, doctors didn’t know they had to sanitise their hands after a surgery so the hospitals became the ‘dirtiest’ place in the community. The medical professionals thought washing hands, this simple solution, could not help stop the spread of diseases. Some even laughed at that idea. However, some hospitals started experimenting it and gradually saw the relationship between the two and started to believe that this simple action could really solve the problem. Now, doctors all sanitise their hands after a surgery or after they examine a patient. Sometimes, the solution to complicated issues can be very simple. People just like to complicate things.

So, wash your hands frequently. That’s the key.

Oh, and of course, wear a face mask too.

The ‘chandelier’
The coat of arms. It is so beautiful!
We then walked to the church nearby.
A corner of the church
Here is the map of Kutna Hora where we were in and where the bone church is.
We walked around the town and I saw this. Love it.
This is indeed a beautiful town.
Following the map, we went up to this church.
Here was the church.
The interior
Another impressive church
It looked like the painting had just been unearthed.
More paintings. I wonder if the people living in that era really dressed like this. Look at the shoes.
The view from the church

My friend from uni said, ‘why don’t you take a photo of me?’ she then looked at my camera. ‘Using my camera?’ I asked. ‘Yes.’ I rolled my eyes up and said, ‘You have a nice DSLR camera too! Why do you want to use mine?’ ‘Just take a few photos of me!’ Ok. I did. And she demanded more. ‘How about taking a photo of your acquaintance?’ ‘Using my camera again?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Why? He has a nice DSLR camera too.’ ‘Why don’t you take a photo of him then?’ She demanded, ‘Just do it.’ I rolled my eyes again. Ok. And I did. I now have a few photos of her and the acquaintance in my files. I sent them the photos after this trip. I still have no idea why she demanded this. I had a feeling that she liked my acquaintance but she denied. Instead, she said I liked him. I rolled my eyes again and shook my head. Sometimes, you just don’t want to waste time on reasoning with a stubborn person. Mind you, she was not a child. Thinking back now, I shouldn’t have spoiled her that much. I haven’t contacted her since the Vietnam incident and I don’t intend to contact her. Likewise, she hasn’t reached out to me since then.

The view from the church
Streets in Kutna Hora
Can you see the smoking pipe on the right of this photo? This is so cute!

It is indeed a very nice little town. I like little towns more than cities. If you have read my previous blogs, you’d know I’m not a city person.

Prague is like little Europe. Wherever you go, you can find a beautiful building that looks like another one somewhere in Europe. I don’t mind going there again as I said, by myself or with experienced backpackers, and if so, I’d visit their neighbouring countries like Slovenia, Slovakia, etc. oh, I heard they are really beautiful. The Slovenian guy I met in Xinjiang told me so many things about his country. It was so tempting. My feet are itchy now. 😊

On the following day, we’d go to a very photogenic place in Czech Republic. Stay tuned. 😊

2 April 2012

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