Sedlec, the Bone Collector

Trip Start Sep 10, 2010
Trip End Oct 03, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Saturday, October 2, 2010

So we decided to do a tour of a town called Kutna Hora today, so we had to be down in the Old Town Square to meet the tour guide at 10am.  Christine and Jordan woke up a bit earlier then me, and headed down for breakfast, I once again passed on breakfast so I could sleep in a bit longer.  Once I finally got up and got showered, we began our trek through the beautiful city of Prague.  The first thing one notices when walking through the city is the shitty way in which the roads are connected to one another.  We had a huge issue just trying to cross one street, often we had to cross three different roads just to get across the street.  Aside from that though, Prague is a pretty city.  Loads of statues litter the buildings all over the place, there are statues almost around every corner, and cool ones to boot.  Once we arrived at the Old Town Square, there were a ton more for us to see.  Also, we got to see the Astronomical clock.  It is a pretty sweet looking clock, that tells the time, the date, what astronomical sign is in at the moment, whether it is dawn, dusk, night or day... and so on.  We met our guide under her green umbrella next to the clock, and she told us to go watch the clock go off at 10am, then come back and find her and the tour would begin.  At 10, all the little statues on the clock started dancing and moving about, similar to the big clock in the Munich main square.  This one however was a lot shorter, therefore was a lot better.  As soon as the little statues stopped moving, some guy with a trumpet at the top of the tower leaned out and played a tune for us.  It was pretty neat.

Now that the show was over, we headed back to find our guide, and the other seven people that would be joining us on the tour.  We found her right where we left her, and once everyone arrived, she called her driver, and we walked over to to the van and were on our way.  As we began the trip, our tour guide began telling us interesting facts about Prague and the various buildings we passed by as we made our way out of town.  I had high hopes about the tour at this point, as it seemed our guide knew her shit.  She was throwing out dates, times, and facts about every little thing without hesitating or missing a beat.  Once we left the city, she told us that she was done talking until Kutna Hora which was about an hour drive away.  So I promptly fell asleep until that time arrived.  As we pulled into the city, our guide again began regaling us with various facts about the city, but before long we had arrived at the first stop in the tour, the Sedlec Ossuary.  If you've never heard of this place, it is also known as the the Bone Church.  Apparently an abbot of a church went down to Palestine to visit, and when he returned, he brought some soil from Golgotha and spread it around the cemetery grounds, and ever since then, people flocked to that cemetery to be buried there.  that was in the 1200's, and it only got more crowded in there after the Black Plague swept through the area.  Eventually they were running out of room, so they built a church on the site, and began artistically arranging the skeletons.  There are between 40,000 to 70,000 people buried there with the bones on display.  It was a site worth seeing, it was interesting, if not a little morbid.  After we had all taken our pictures, the tour guide ushered us back into the van where it drove us to the starting point of the walking tour.

Once the walking tour began, we were again bombarded with information on every old building, statue and fountain we passed.  Kutna Hora was a pretty neat looking city, there was a lot to see, and a lot to learn.  We passed by churches, statues, castles and ancient city walls.  Our guide knew everything there was to know about it all.  Our firs stop in the tour was a large pillar with statues carved around it and on top of it.  We were told that there were bunch of this particular type of statue all around the Czech Republic, and I chuckled when I realized that there was a statue like this back in Cesky Krumlov in the main square.  They were built as a thanksgiving tribute to the end of the Black Plague.  Next we passed by a church, and our guide told us a tale about a priest, who the church was named after, who was drowned under a bridge on the kings orders.  After his, generally agreed, untimely death, citizens said that as the body floated down stream, they saw a crown of 5 stars around his head.  There are a bunch of statues of this priest all over the Czech Republic, and he always has the 5 star crown over his head.  Keep an eye on my statue pics, there are a few of him.  Next stop was an old silver mine, we didn't get to go into it on this tour, but there is a mine shaft that you can go down into and check it out.  The silver mine was the main resource of the town for many years, and it helped put the city on the map back in the day.  After that, we swung by an old castle that was used by a king, then a very cool statue dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War 2.  After that, we moved on to lunch.

We stopped at a restaurant for a 3 course lunch, that consisted of soup, chicken and apple strudel for dessert.  It was pretty decent.  During lunch, we got to know the other people on the tour with us, they were all really nice, and we had a great time.  After lunch, we began the walking tour again.  We went by a few sites, then came to the part I was waiting for.  There was an old Jesuit College, and lining the road that connected the college to the church, was a whole row of large statues.  What an awesome looking street it was.  As we walked along the street, our guide told us about the history of the Jesuit college, and some of the various statues along the road.  Then lastly our tour came to a very large Gothic style cathedral.  It was pretty huge, and it was very beautiful inside, it had a ton of paintings that were painted right onto the wall, most of them were fading already, but you could still see them.  Lots of artifacts as well statues inside as well.  After the church, we all wandered back to the bus, and began the hour long drive back to Prague.  We took a different route back into the city, and were again told about all the significant facts about the buildings on the way.  As I suspected from the get go, it was an excellent tour, we learned a lot, saw a lot and came away from it feeling like it was a good use of our time.  So if you find yourself in Prague sometime, head down to the Astronomical Clock, find the old lady under the green umbrella around 10am, you won't regret it.

After the tour we wandered on back to the hotel to relax for a bit, then decided to head out for some supper.  We stopped at a place called the Pizza Colosseum, it was an old fashioned Pizza/Italian joint.  The pizza was cooked in a stone oven the proper way, and just proves every time I have one of these that the pizza we get in Canada, is barely pizza at all.  But, I mean I still love it.  After supper, Jordan led us off to a place called The Pub.  Both of us had been dying to try one of these types of bars since we heard about them.  They way they work is, there is four taps built into the table, you pour your own beer, and there is a little display above the taps that shows you how many liters of beer your table has consumed.  Then to give it that little bit of added fun, it displays on a TV how much your table has drank compared to all the other tables in the bar.  Its a fun way of throwing in a bit of friendly competition into the night.  However, when we arrived at The Pub, all the tables were full.  So we decided to wait at the bar for a few pints and see if a table would open up for us.  It didn't so we decided to just call it a night.  On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at a corner store, and picked up a few bottles of beer and some snacks.  When we got back to the hotel, we just drank some beer and played some Fluxx.  We called the game at around midnight, and headed for bed.  Stay tuned folks, tomorrow we head off to Pilzen to check out the Pilsner Urquell brewery.  Should be fun.
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