Visiting Prague – Sedlec Ossuary !WARNING CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES!

Hello Ladies and Gents,

As discussed in my recent post, located <<here>>, I visited Prague for a short weekend away.  Now a bit of backstory for you all; I hadn’t really heard much about Prague before I visited, with the exception that everytime I mentioned I was visiting I was met with the following response:

“Oooh Prague, you going for a messy Stag Weekend away?”

Which immediately made me question what to expect, and also why my parents wanted to visit there. Other than this my knowledge was limited, but I did have a foggy memory of seeing a television show years ago listing a must-see attraction based just outside the capital city (well approx. 1 hour long coach journey). Before I continue to with any more details I feel a warning must be issued;

The rest of this post will contain graphic descriptions/images of real human remains.

So if you are of a nervous disposition or sensitive towards deceased bodies I advise you not continue reading.

I completely understand that this will not be to everyones liking.

 

This macabre and yet intriguing little site is the home to the remains of 40,000 people, now I realise describing the area as small and then following that with such a large number seems like a contradiction but let me explain. Walking up towards the site you would have no idea that there is anything overly fascinating to be seen here. There stands a fairly quaint little church atop some much older foundations, surrounding the church are lots gravestones varying in size, shape, and age.

But it wasn’t the church we were there to see, instead it was what laid beneath it. A better term to use for what is under the church is ‘a burial chamber’. As you walk through the doorway into the foundations of the church above you are greeted with a stunning sight. Surrounding the walls and alcoves are human bones, not anatomically laid out but placed/arranged in an artistic manner.  The first large ‘sculpture’ that caught my eye was the goblet-esque structure nestled into an alcove next to the stairs.  The majority of the structures in the chamber are made entirely of human bones, which I found morbidly fascinating, but this was just the start! As I descended the stairs into the main room, mine and everyone else’s eyes are drawn to what is hung from the centre of the room.  A chandelier made, or so I was informed by the tour-guide, from every bone in the human body. The chamber is only small so it does not take long to look around but I have to admit I spent a while trying to make the most of the experience. There are a few key ‘sculptures’ worth taking note of; in each corner of the room stands a large pyramid almost acting as alters, the aforementioned goblet, the chandelier, and a coat a families coat of arms (including a raven).

Even though I was aware of what they were and the fact every bone in sight was real, I did not feel uneasy being there in fact it is strangely peaceful. I think the fact that it is so surreal my brain didn’t fully appreciate the full impact of what I was surrounded by, that and I was trying to get the best photos I could in quite a short space of time.  I know some may say that this is disrespectful to those that passed away, but once you know the history and the reasoning behind why this was done it actually is pretty amazing. Many of the remains were brought to the site/found at the site due to it being built on sacred soil brought from a holy land.  Most of the people honoured here died either from dreadful plagues or were casualties of the Hussite Wars, therefore were not awarded grand funerals. There is a lot more history behind this amazing place, and I would not be able to do it justice, so if you want to know more simply search ‘Sedlec Ossuary’ for a more detailed account.

I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading/looking at the photos posted here. I tried to capture as much as I could, and give you a feel for what it was like. Again, if you want to read about the rest of my trip and see more photography check it out <<here>>

As always I love getting feedback from you about my posts, be it negative or positive, so please leave a comment.

Catch you later,

Iain

Visiting Prague – Very photo heavy post!

Hello Ladies and Gents, long time no…..type/read I guess would be the right term.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I traveled to Prague for a long weekend holiday with my parents. Okay I know it’s not exactly rock ‘n’ roll for a mid-20s guy to be holidaying with his parents, but you know what I actually had a really good time.  Prague, despite now having a bit of a reputation for being a Stag Party haven, is a beautiful and culturally interesting place.  Now I’m not a travel blogger, I barely managed to pass my GCSEs in Geography/History, so I won’t go into too much detail on the places we visited.  As I knew the city was going to be a mixture of cultures and historical influences I seized the opportunity to dig out my old Olympus E-500 and brush up on my photography skills.  Now, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I used to continually rely on my cameras ‘Scene’ function to best capture a shot; so for this trip I decided to do everything on Manual Mode!

So without further ado, here’s my photography tour round Prague!

Astronomical Clocktower and Old Town Square

St. Charles’ Bridge, St. Barbaras Cathedral

And who can forget the

Range of Beer

So I hope you’ve enjoyed my little whistle-stop tour around the city of Prague. Of course there is lots more to see than I have shown you here, this was just to give you a snapshot of what a weekend in Prague can have in store.  Before I bid you all farewell there is just one more attraction that I consciously did not include in this post.  In the city of Kutna Hora lies a burial chamber known as the Sedlec Ossuary; this fascinating and yet macabre site was one of the places I specifically wanted to visit. Why not include it then?

Here’s were the warning comes in:

If you are squeamish or of a nervous disposition then my upcoming post will not be for you!

The Sedlec Ossuary is a religious site where the remains of 40,000 people are kept. The interesting point, but also the point which may upset some readers, is how these remains are displayed. I have taken some photos of the site, and you can find that post <<here>> (link will be added when the post goes live).

I look forward to hearing what you guys and gals think of some of my photography skills, or lack there of. Any criticism is welcome.

Catch you later,

Iain

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