Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

Bones….Bones everywhere!

On our penultimate day we had the chance to visit a place around 40mins from Prague, a place called Kutna Hora.  Again, another UNESCO heritage town full of amazing architecture.  However, this place has a fairly normal looking church but it isn’t until you get inside that things are a little different.  Well, a LOT different!

Some 40,000 human bones have been used to decorate the inside of the church (Sedlec Ossuary).  Yes, decorate….and i don’t mean from B&Q and a 2-4-1 on Dulux Emulsion.  Instead, there’s hundreds and thousands of bones.  You can get right up close to the skulls and if you want, touch them.  I didn’t as it just didn’t seem right.  Some poor man/woman who has died years ago been poked by some pasty Brit on his hols.

The most amazing part to it was a glass cabinet which housed some rather unique looking skulls.  It wasn’t until I read the little cards as to how shocking it was….these skulls from many moons ago has survived (yes you read correctly) some horrific battle wounds.

One started off with an arrow in the head which I already thought that individual was a lucky person.  As I moved along the next had a piece of skull missing about the size of your palm.  Upon reading and looking close, this individual has survived too.  The edge of the bone could be seen to have regrowth.  What this man/woman had gone through must have been intense pain.  It wasn’t until the last skull which had most of their right side of their face gone. When i say gone, i mean no right jaw bone, cheek nor eye socket.  The eye brow was just noticeable and the part around the temple.  Again, this person had survive as the bone regrowth was clear. I can’t even begin to imagine how this person lived, yet along ate, drank or even breathed!  In today’s modern world there’s a vast array of painkillers and reconstructive surgery.  Centuries ago….well, I dread to think.

At 90CK (around £3) for the entrance fee it is really worth seeing.  On top of that, the grounds are being excavated to sort out the foundations.  This was an epic site seeing real life archaeology happening there and then.  I like Time Team (a British archaeology TV series) so seeing archaeologists carefully digging up bones was fascinating.  One skeleton you could see his legs, toes and knee caps…..The company who laid the pip over the skeleton mustn’t have been too bothered.


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