Ankle bone's connected to the doorknob.
July 12, 2005 12:42 PM   Subscribe

"An ossuary is a chest, building, well or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains." via Wikipedia.
The one in the Czech Republic town of Sedlec takes the ossuary and turns it into a thing of bony beauty.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies (25 comments total)
i've been there.
it's actually a very nice room, not just morbid.

for a death cult, that is.
posted by Substrata at 12:51 PM on July 12, 2005

The ossuary is ghoulish but beautiful. Kutná hora-- the city that surrounds Sedlec is really worth a trip, or at least a virtual tour. It's a Unesco World heritage site, and definitely worth the short trip from Prague.

Sorry for the commercial links-- the photos are good. Now I gotta go get a blue pepsi...
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 1:00 PM on July 12, 2005

I'm very jealous, I'd love to see it in person. Beautiful indeed.
posted by prostyle at 1:00 PM on July 12, 2005

Previously mentioned a while ago, but I hadn't seen the Wikipedia entries. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman visited it in the bike trip documented in The Long Way Round. Britons can see this series on Sky One at the moment, but I suspect that this episode has been broadcast already. If you do get a chance to see it, though, it does bring the place to life.
posted by nthdegx at 1:01 PM on July 12, 2005

Obviously French in origin.

Boney parts, I'd guess.

BWAAAAAAAA-AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... hahahaha... ha... hee


... erm.

Oh, never mind.
posted by Mike D at 1:14 PM on July 12, 2005

I'd heard of this before from friends, and I'm headed to Prague in September for a few days... have to try to make it out there. Timly FPP, thanks!
posted by gurple at 1:15 PM on July 12, 2005

Been there. Creeped me out, bigtime. It's beautiful, in a gothic sort of way, but it took me quite a while to get over my visit.
posted by veedubya at 1:29 PM on July 12, 2005

This is the greatest thing ever.
posted by jonson at 1:29 PM on July 12, 2005

I was there just this summer. Pretty amazing. The cemetary around it should also be checked out. Lots of nice turn of the century+ tombstones.
posted by RobertFrost at 1:42 PM on July 12, 2005

Wow, that is amazing! Weird and wonderful in an icky kind of way. Always enjoy your links DeepFriedTwinkies.
posted by nickyskye at 1:51 PM on July 12, 2005

There's also the Skull Tower in the city of Niš in Serbia, which was built using the remains of 952 defeated Serbian soldiers. It's not nearly as intricate or as well-preserved as the Sedlec ossuary, but then again it wasn't meant to be anything other than a monument of intimidation.

Unfortunately, besides being exposed to the elements, people kept plucking the skulls out of the wall to bring home as souvenirs, so it's in pretty poor shape today.
posted by Ljubljana at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2005

Do visit the Gift Shop.
"My ancestors skulls and bones are within a beautiful coat of arms of the house of Schwarzenberg ossuary in the Kutna Hora of Sedlec...
and all I got was this fucking T Shirt."
posted by hal9k at 2:14 PM on July 12, 2005

puts the Paris catacombs to shame. amazing, thanks for the link!
posted by killy willy at 3:38 PM on July 12, 2005

Hey, I've been there. I've been to this one too. I don't think those places are creepy much at all. I guess bodies just don't bother me. I think the designs are clever but mostly unattractive. Maybe I play too many violent video games.
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:40 PM on July 12, 2005

While were talking about creepy but fascinating Czech stuff, almost everything by Švankmajer is worth seeing.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:01 PM on July 12, 2005

Killy Willy: Really enjoyed that link to the Parisian catacombs. I've only ever been into some of the ones around Rome, but they were mostly orderly holes in the wall. Not as fabulous, but definitely creepy.

Oh, and while searching for pix of the Roman vaults, I stumbled over this. Who knew that there was a society for this?
posted by ninazer0 at 5:02 PM on July 12, 2005

I was at the Ossuary last November. It truly is beautiful. I'd have liked to check out the church above it, but it was getting late and they were locking up.

I'll also second RobertFrost's suggestion to check out the surrounding cemetery. There are some nice stones and monuments. (It's also the first place other than at a family outing that I've seen my surname on something, but that's neither here nor there.)
posted by aine42 at 6:20 PM on July 12, 2005

there's a couple in portugal too, specifically one in the town of faro, i've been to both this one and the one in sedlec. sedlec and Kutná hora are creepier, for some reason, very cold inside despite the temperature outside, but that may be me being subjective.
posted by spyke23 at 9:22 PM on July 12, 2005

And not to forget Cambodia. This human remains as art stuff is just a little bit too gruesome.
posted by peacay at 9:37 PM on July 12, 2005

Exploring the page lead me to this link regarding "tree skeletons," as it were. Pretty fascinating.
posted by kindle at 6:15 AM on July 13, 2005

If you don't like spiders the creepiest thing in all of Prague is a walk over the Manasuv Must bridge, it's the one over from Charles bridge. The rails of the bridge are an iron latticework, with each and every opening occupied by a grim looking spider. Shudder. In fact I've never seen so many spiders as I saw in Prague, they're everywhere, thick cobwebs over all the lights, creeeeepy.
posted by zeoslap at 6:52 AM on July 13, 2005

Something else really cool to see in Kutna Hora is a medieval silver mine that was discovered something like 50 years ago. It was flooded out hundreds of years ago and forgotten about. You can get a tour through the parts that are unflooded and see the conditions that miners worked in back then. Really cool wall formations, and you can shine your light into the inky green depths of the flooded tunnels. Not for the claustrophobic though, especially when the guide has everyone turn off their lights so they can appreciate what dark really means.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:18 AM on July 13, 2005

Been there, six years ago. Pretty much was planned as the highlight of our entire trip, and it delivered.

Peacay, this isn't even remotely comparable to the killing fields of Cambodia, if that's what you're implying. I'm sure some of the links above explain it.
posted by intermod at 7:21 PM on July 13, 2005

Looks like a place H. R. Giger played as a kid.

Amazing pictures.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 7:04 AM on July 14, 2005

intermod, no. Just bones as display (Cambodian map).
posted by peacay at 7:54 AM on July 14, 2005

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