In October, I spent two weeks exploring Germany and Prague with my boyfriend Gaven. It had completely surpassed my expectations. The site-seeing, shopping, night life, food and lifestyle were absolutely incredible. We met in Berlin (Gaven lives in Texas) and stayed for a few days. (Berlin itself is a city you could spend a month in.)
We rented a car and stayed in Hamburg for a couple nights. We drove to Cologne to meet some friends to watch the Oilers play against Germany (my boyfriend is a die hard fan.. and this was the true reason for the trip). We headed to Munich for a couple nights for Oktoberfest (which was amazing). From Munich we drove to Prague for a few days, then headed to Dresden (both Prague and Dresden are probably the most beautiful cities I have ever seen to date) then we headed back to Berlin for the last couple days of our trip.
One of the highlights of our trip (apart from all the amazing food we ate every single day) was the Sedlec Ossuary. One of my clients had suggested it, and it’s one of the most unique places I have ever been. In a city about an hour outside of Prague called Kutná Hora, there is a Church called the Sedlec Ossuary (also called “the Bone Church”).
The Church is decorated with 60,000 human bones. Upon walking down into the basement of the Ossuary, you immediately see a bone chandelier composed of almost every bone in the human body. There are two large displays of bone chalices, four baroque bone candelabras, six enormous bone pyramids, two bone monstrances (a vessel used to display the Eucharistic host), a family crest, and skull candle holders. Festive chains of bone decorate the ceiling of the church.
The Sedlec Ossuary has a long history, beginning in the 13th century when the Abbot of the Sedlec Monastery (Abbot Henry) brought a handful of earth back from a journey to the Grave of the Lord in Jerusalem. He scattered this “holy soil” across the Sedlec cemetery, securing its place as one of the most desired burial sites for people all over Bohemia and the surrounding countries. Everyone wanted to be buried in that handful of the Holy Land and more than 30,000 were. But it wasn’t long before there simply wasn’t enough room for everyone to rest in peace, and the bodies were moved to a crypt to make room for the newly dead.
In 1870, a local woodcarver, František Rint was employed for the dark task of artistically arranging the thousands of bones. Rint came up with the Bone Church’s stunning chandelier, as well as the amazing Schwarzenberg coat of arms, which includes a raven pecking at the severed head of a Turk–all made of human bone. Rint was responsible for bleaching all of the bones in the ossuary in order to give the room a uniform look. His artist’s signature is still on the wall today–naturally, in his medium of choice, bone. (www.atlasobscura.com)
It certainly is unlike any place I have ever been to. There are so many amazing Churches, Cathedrals and sites to see in Europe, and though the weather was just starting to cool off for their Fall Season, I would absolutely recommend travelling here!