When I was a little girl I enjoyed the same things that most other little girls enjoyed. I loved to play with dolls of any kind, be it Barbie, Baby or Star Wars. I liked to read Nancy Drew books and I had a ridiculous amount of stuffed toys. The thing is, when I take a look back I realize that my tastes have always run a little to the darker side – even as a kid. At Disneyland my favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean. I LOVED the talking skull and cross bones that warned the unassuming passengers in the boat of the dangers that lie ahead. One of my favorite books growing up was “The Gashly Crumb Tinies” by Edward Gorey. It tells the tale (Alphabetically) of what horrible fates lie in store for little children in beautiful rhyming couplets. “A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is for Clara who wasted away. D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh…” I remember watching old Vincent Price movies and Hammer films and giggling with glee. I have never been afraid of scary stuff. I have passionately loved it.
Whilst reading “The Talisman” by Stephen King in my bed on Saturday morning, I received a phone call from Mike – Ginny Blair’s boyfriend – asking if I would like to join them for a day trip to Kutna Hora. A quick shower later I was on my way.
We boarded the 2:00 train bound for Kutna Hora. I had been wanting to go there since I arrived in Prague. Kutna Hora is home to the famous Bone Ossuary. The chapel was built at the end of the 14th century and its current appearance is the result of Baroque reconstruction carried out by Santini-Aichl in the early 18th century. Unique skeletal decorations of the interior are probably the work of woodcarver František Rint. Remarkable masterpieces include a massive chandelier, a cross, chalices, a monstrance or Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms. According to estimates, bones of approximately 40,000 people were used to decorate the chapel, creating this unique ossuary – a reminder of the transience of human life and the inevitability of death. In other words it is cool as fuck.
So, after a short hour long train ride filed with games and giggles, me, Ginny Blair, T, Mike and his brother Jason arrived in Kutna Hora. We didn’t have a map so we kind of just followed everyone else. This landed us on a bus that would inevitably take us to the town center. We wandered through the streets admiring the architecture and winding streets of the once booming silver mining town. We saw this cool Stone Fountain Stone Fountain, which is called a “wordless tribute to water”. I don’t know what that means exactly but I want someone to make a wordless tribute to me.
We made our way to St. Barbara’s Cathedral. It is a really pretty church on a mountain top. If you require more information than that I urge you to look elsewhere as I don’t know jack about it. But we took some nice pictures in front of, behind and next to it.
The “Bone Church” as it is called was tiny, but wicked cool. Walking in I immediately thought of that scene in “The Goonies” where Andie is forced to play the bones or they all die. The entire place looked like that cool bone organ with one difference: these were REAL BONES. Awesome. All of the bones used were bleached white. The chandelier is said to be made up of every bone found in the human body.
After we were done looking at dead folk, it was almost time to go. We stopped in a little cafe for coffee and then made our way back to the train station. The problem was that we were an hour early for our train. So, being the industrious and fun folks that we are, we played a rousing round of name that tune only to be followed by a full blown round of Charades. YAY! W had the entire train station silently playing along.
Upon return to Prague we had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants – Kozicka (Goat). It has great Czech food and a great atmosphere. Jason and I talked about old movies from the 30’s and we all had a few beers. All in all it was a good time.
So…if you ever come to Prague go to Kutna Hora. Dead folk aren’t so bad. They are just…not very lively.