Day 4: Them Bones...
Kutna Hora Travel Blog› entry 4 of 11 › view all entries
We had gotten up a bit earlier because we had the 9:45am train to catch at Prague's Hlavni Nadrazi station. We waited with about 200 other people in the main hall, looking at the board for a platform number to appear next to our train with destination Brno. And then it was off to the furthest platform, where we waited for about 10 minutes before an old and dirty train rolled into the station.
We got on and found seats in an empty compartment, where we waited for the train to depart. It was punctual, but it was difficult to really enjoy the ride, as the windows were so damn dirty. It felt like we were driving through soup. We only made 1 stop in Kolin and about 10 minutes later got off at Kutna Hora's main station, an old and dirty place with broken windows and exploded garbage bins.
Using the toilets was a bit problematic. The door was locked and there was a sign, which we couldn't read, but when we saw '20 CZK' written on it, we figured we needed to find a key and pay 20 CZK. Inside, at the ticket desk, Isabelle had a very strange conversation in mainly sign language where she got the key and paid 20 CZK. When she later returned the key, she got her money back. Key deposit... strange.
But now we were on our way to the Sedlec Ossuary, or bone chapel as it's also known. A friend of mine had been there years ago and had shown me pictures. When we decided to go to Prague, I knew we had to come here as well, since we were this close.
However, the chapel has become more popular. My friend was there on her own, all those years ago, but now, the place was crawling with tourists.
For those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is a small Roman Catholic Chapel, in the middle of a little cemetery, which has been decorated with the bones of some 40.000 people who fell victim of the plague and Hussite Wars in the 14th and 15th century. In 1870, the Schwarzenberg family, who presumably owned the land, ordered woodcarver Fratisek Rint to decorate the chapel with the bones. The result is quite eerie.
Most people wander back to the train station after their visit, but for us it was a day trip, so we walked for about 2.
We visited the Italian Court and then walked along Barborska with its baroque statues towards the Cathedral of Saint Barbara, which ofcourse was undergoing renovation work. It seems like wherever I go, they're working on the place.
We explored the city some more, located the Stone House, the Stone Fountain, the Marble House, the Plague Column and the Ursuline Convent and church.
Having completed our walk, we sat down at a sidewalk cafe and had a nice cold one.
Afterwards, we walked to the Kutna Hora Namesti train station, which was a bit surreal. The station was nicer than the main station where we had gotten off the train. They had made an effort to keep the place clean and had even added flowers. Local people were sitting on benches, waiting for the train. A dog was sleeping at their feet.
There was one carriage waiting on the rails, with 'Kutna Hora Hl.n.' written on it. We thought this was our train, but waited to see what happened. The whole thing was weird. We half expected a train conductor to come out of the station, chase the goats from the tracks and then call out to everyone to get on the train.
A 2 carriage train suddenly appeared and everyone got up, crossed 2 tracks and got on. The train left and 8 minutes later arrived at Kutna Hora's main station, where we waited for a few minutes and then caught another dirty train back to Prague.