Prague – Part 5

In which we went on a Day Trip.

Kutna Hora. Just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? I have wanted to go to Kutna Hora for years. Ever since I learned that there existed in the world …

The Sedlec Ossuary!

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Impressive, no?

Check this out!

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The story goes that in 1278 an abbot of the monastery was sent off to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage and returned with soil from Golgotha, which was spread around the churchyard, making it THE PLACE to be buried in central Europe.

What with the Black Death in the 14th Century, and the Hussite Wars in the 15th Century, the churchyard had to be radically expanded to accommodate all the new business.

When they were still running out of room, they made the eminently sensible decision to exhume all the old bones (flesh decomposed away) so they could replace them with new bodies. More business!

Of course, when they began drowning in bones, they charged an old and half-blind monk to come up with a decorative way of stacking/storing them. He began with four giant pyramids. One for each corner of course!

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The chandelier in the middle has at least one of every single bone in the human body.

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The crest is of the Schwarzenberg coat of arms. (Note the buzzard pecking the eye out of the Turk in the bottom right corner.) It was put together by the woodworker who was hired by the Schwarzenberg family and he is responsible for most of the current state of the bones.

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There are a guestimated 40-70,000 people’s skeletons in that room. And I can tell you now, the room’s not all that large.

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It was a remarkably humbling experience.

But it was a tour and there was more to see! So we jumped back on the bus and we were off to see St Vitus’ Little sister Cathedral, St Barbara!

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Originally designed by the son of the man who designed St Vitus; the cathedral as it currently stands has a vault of 30m high, is 70m long, 40m wide, and is quite imposing enough thank you very much! In this picture you can see the wooden statues of Christian Virtue. For those of my readers unfamiliar with those they are; Justice, Fortitude, Prudence and Temperance. The statues stand 3.5m high.

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Nope. I don’t know which one’s which either.

Everything in,

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… and about …

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… this church …

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… was just exquisite!

However, time waits for no man, and with a brief tour of the town, we were back in the van for the hour drive back to Prague!

How many churches am I up to? Was that four and five? *shrugs* Onwards!

Paris Part 3, Sunday

Another cold and blustery beginning had us contemplating our options over breakfast. Not hard to do when you consider where we were and just how many options we had at our doorstep!

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So we wandered, but with purpose! Through the Cimetière de Montmartre

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… around all the little alleys and cobbled streets which I love so much. It took me a while to realised one of the things I loved about them was the fact that they were on a slope! (Holland really is that flat)

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This building was particularly spectacular!

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Then it was up the Montmarte Funiculaire

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… and on to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur! Yes I was at a Church, on a Sunday, and the ground did not swallow me down into the fiery pits of Hell! Though, I didn’t tempt fate by going inside!

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The Gargoyles looked just as menacing as they needed too. (Can I take one home with me?)

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For those of you that are familiar with it, Montmartre is also where they filmed the movie Amelie. A scene was filmed up here! I have seen the telescope, I have walked the steps, I have seen the human statues! Check out this view of Paris!

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Though I only went down the steps, not up them …

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… both Himself and I did BOTH ride the two storey carousel! (My horse was the fastest! Inside track will do that for you *winks*)

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To sum up, it was a wonderful weekend! It was harder than I would have thought though to switch from Dutch pleasantries to French ones! It has me completely determined though to learn more languages! I think it is the height of rudeness for me to rely on the fact that so far everyone in Continental Europe speaks English. After all, it’s usually their second or third language! Dutch first though! And thank goodness that Himself speaks French!