Church of Bones

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
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Trip End Nov 15, 2007


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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Friday, July 14, 2006

14.7.06
Kutna Hora
CZ
The pair of white swans swam up with their 3 cygnets in time to quack us goodbye. The drake was lucky enough to score a biscuit from our neighbour but the cygnets stayed in the river copying their mother who was teaching them to pick and eat at the reeds. It was a peaceful scene as the drizzling rain fell quietly on the water.

We stopped at the CP office to ask for directions to the Church of bones. After much confusion and trying to make myself understood by getting down on my knees and blessing myself, I got the message across about what a church was. "Ah, yes, Church OK, which one, we have hundreds in Praha" Trying to explain a bone was another story, so a diagram of a femur and a skull made everything clear and after being taken outside, in the rain, to the big map on the wall, and being shouted at for 10 minutes, (I guess my instructor thought I would understand more easily if she raised her voice), I left fully equipped with loud, slow directions.

The first Church we visited was the Church of St Barbara. It was extremely high vaulted and spectacular. UNESCO is assisting with the restoration of this magnificent church. The painted windows were the best part for me, but of course the timberwork was beautiful too.

The Ossuary, Church of bones in Sedlec, Kutna Hora was our last stop in this attractive little village. The church was commenced in the 13th century with just a small cemetery, but because a man went to Jerusalem and brought back some soil and sprinkled it on the ground of the cemetery, many people wanted to be buried there. During the Black Plague, 13,000 people were buried there in one year. In 1511 a half blind monk resurrected many of the bones and started to pile them into pyramids. It was Jan Santini who, in the 18th century made designs and decorations with the bones. It's a fascinating place worth a look on the web http://www.kotnice.cz I'm sure the Church of St Barbara will be on there too, and others.

We asked in Tabor at the local police station if we could park around the back overnight, but it was 'Verboten' and we all know what that means.

Kemp Country Becice was the lucky site to receive our presence for the night, and as usual we had an audience as we put up the camper. It was cheap at just 180 Cesky Korun for both cars and 4 people (including toilet use!). The exchange rate is approx. 15.50 CK to one of our Ozzie dollars.

The showers were interesting. There were no hooks, no benches, no soap dishes, no doors, and the curtain rails were too high to hang your clothes on. They took 10CK coin and had a long list of instructions which amounted to 'You get 2 minutes, organize yourself'. The pressure was so great it blew your shoes across the room and stung the sensitive parts of the body. It was difficult deciding which part of the body should get the attention within 2 minutes. If you weren't finished rinsing and had no more coin, it was a cold splash in the hand basin. Ah, the joys of traveling.
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