Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Europe 2005 - Czech Republic

Here everyone accepts Euro or Czech crowns so they are a little ahead of Hungry switching over to the Euro.
Kutna Hora- A small little town outside of Prague that has one big site to see, the Sedlec Ossuary. So what do you do with the bones of 40,000 people left over from the Black plague when your remolding the church? Why you use them as decorating media. I don't know if they where trying to be theatrical or build a memorial to those that died. It is just hard to comprehend that there are the bones of the equivalent of a small city all in this small church with you. They built 4 pyramids, chandelier, 4 obelisks, and the family coat of arms then the guy that stacked them signed his name on the wall all formed with various bones. Leslie started to get freaked out since she had to study anatomy so much and was recognizing disarticulated jaw bones, femurs and hip bones in the ceiling decorations. I don't know how to explain it, as I looked at all the skulls I could not help but to think these were all people that if only they could tell their stories. Right as I was thinking this a tourist next to me knocked on one of the skulls to make sure it was real bone. I felt like knocking on his head to see the same. I wonder when these people died if any of them would mind having their jaw bone hold up part of a chandelier? This defiantly gets the most macabre award so far.

Astronomical clock- we ended up walking past it right at 12 so we got to see the little skeleton ring the bell. The crowd of people was large for how little it did. I thought it was cool to see all the men turning their heads and moving their legs in the clock and I'm sure it was breath-taking 700 years ago.
Charles Bridge- all the statues here have turned black with the soot from coal and it gives everything a sinister look. There is a plaque to St. Charles where they threw him over the bridge that if you rub the engraving of him falling in the water he will grant you a wish. If I were a saint I wouldn't be granting wishes if people were rubbing a picture of me dying.
Prague Castle- like most castles it's on a hill, and this one is quite the hill. The entire place is more like a city. Inside the castle walls is the cathedral where you can buy different combination tickets depending on what you want to see. After climbing the hill L. refused to climb any more stairs but I still convinced her to climb the 287 stairs to the main tower of the cathedral where the clock struck 2 while we were in the belfry. The spiral staircase was narrow and was used for up and down traffic so it was very cramped. We would try to go down quickly when no one was coming up but this makes you very dizzy. We ate lunch and then walked through the old palace castle complete with the throne and royal benches surrounding it. There were stores called the golden lane that were built into the castle wall. It was all very cute medieval looking but it seems weird to pay for tickets just to go shopping. They also have museum showing the evolution of armor and weapons which is what you pay for I guess. There are swords with a bullet chamber built into the hilt then this moved to guns with bayonets attached. It caught me off guard to see a real Greek helmet like the ones from the movie "Troy" and it moves through history to just having jousting armor.
We walked down the hill and Leslie bought a marionette since that is what Prague is famous for.
Architecture- Prague is supposed to be famous for their architecture since they didn't get bombed out during W.W.II. There are a lot of cool buildings and it is just mind-boggling to think that all the major cities were like this at one time.

Cynicism- While we are still very much enjoying traveling our humor of what we see has turned much more cynical. I think we may be traveling or seeing to much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.