Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kunta Hora, the bone church

On a final day in Czech Republic, I decided to take a train ride with my hostel mates to the small town of Kunta Hora, famous for its "bone church." Historically this church became famous as a result of the hundred years war, were thousands of lives were lost in masses. The gravesite surrounding the small church was quickly full and overwhelmed with the amount of human remains that still existed. The construction of the bone church was said to have begun with one single Monk who began carrying the bones of the deceased into the church one by one, stacking them in a pyramid form. This display of human causalities continued and today the church holds the remains of over 40,000 people.  

Arriving at the church on the far end of town, we entered into the cemetery of the church before heading inside to see what exactly a "bone church" truly was. Stepping inside I was shocked instantly by the amount of human remains that were staring back at me within the first few feet of the church. Along the walls of the corridor leading into the center alter, there were dozens of skulls stacked one on top of another, lining the arches of the doorways. Other human bone parts had been arranged in an artistic manor to display letters, or symbols relating to the the beliefs within the church. Stepping down into the main room the first thing that draws your attention is the giant chandelier hanging in the center of the room, made entirely of human bones. The chandelier, both eerie and magnificent, consists of ever single bone in the human body for it's construction. Turning the the side chambers, there is a mountain of bones with more skulls lining the front rows all sides of the church. The skulls are turned slightly upwards, towards a large golden crown hanging about the pile of bones. This display is to represent the lives lost looking up to God for the salvation that will come to them in the afterlife. 

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