Author Topic: The Sedlec Ossuary  (Read 12285 times)

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Offline Peacemaker

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The Sedlec Ossuary
« on: August 08, 2014, 01:23:45 AM »
Have you heard of this place?

A little history from wikipedia, "The Sedlec Ossuary (Czech: Kostnice v Sedlci) is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints (Czech: Hřbitovní kostel Všech Svatých) in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones have in many cases been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. The ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech Republic, attracting over 200,000 visitors yearly.[1]

Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat of arms, and the signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.

In 1278, Henry, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, was sent to the Holy Land by King Otakar II of Bohemia. He returned with him a small amount of earth he had removed from Golgotha and sprinkled it over the abbey cemetery. The word of this pious act soon spread and the cemetery in Sedlec became a desirable burial site throughout Central Europe.

In the mid 14th century, during the Black Death, and after the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, many thousands were buried in the abbey cemetery, so it had to be greatly enlarged.

Around 1400, a Gothic church was built in the center of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves unearthed during construction, or simply slated for demolition to make room for new burials.

After 1511, the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was given to a half-blind monk of the order.

Between 1703 and 1710, a new entrance was constructed to support the front wall, which was leaning outward, and the upper chapel was rebuilt. This work, in the Czech Baroque style, was designed by Jan Santini Aichel.

In 1870, František Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to put the bone heaps into order, yielding a macabre result.

























Would be an interesting place to have a wedding  :laugh:
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 01:41:12 AM by Peacemaker »

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 02:43:22 PM »
Would be an interesting place to have a wedding  :laugh:

Or the general resurrection on the last day. 
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

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Offline Antonis

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 02:48:01 PM »
Wow! Not sure what to think.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 04:44:59 PM »
"...dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones...."
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Peacemaker

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2014, 02:34:58 AM »
A guy at my work had his wedding a few weeks ago in Czech and he has been to the Church. He told me that one of the men who built it was blind and after he was done building it, he wasn't blind anymore.

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 04:52:20 PM »
That..uh..that is...I don't know..... it just feels wrong.


IMHO. It doesn't seem right to have something like that in a Church. Many non-Christians might misunderstand it and think that there is something satanic about the Church...etc. I really see nothing good about it.

Offline Aquensis

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 05:28:48 PM »
A guy at my work had his wedding a few weeks ago in Czech and he has been to the Church. He told me that one of the men who built it was blind and after he was done building it, he wasn't blind anymore.

Reminds me of the blind surgeon I knew.

Offline LBK

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 08:39:20 PM »
There is nothing macabre in venerating the relics of saints. There is something distinctly icky and disrespectful in using human remains for mere decorative purposes, particularly when that decoration is of a church.  :P >:(
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Offline Agia Marina

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 09:02:05 PM »
Macabre!  Venerating relics is one thing, but these photos are extremely unsettling.  :(
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 09:40:33 PM »
Saint Catherine's in Sinai has a functioning Ossuary.  Only a few pictures though (who knew that tourists didn't want to take pictures of piles of bones!  ;))

What I found very interesting about it when i was there, was that the bones are organized into rooms and cubbies mainly by -part-, so as to fit better volume wise.   Only Abbots and some others are kept as a whole person.

Because the desert is so dry and it is so difficult to dig there, the graveyard itself is used to skeletonize the dead enough to be placed into the ossuary.  The location is so remote, that basically until the last 75 years, if you went there, and died there, you stayed there, there was no returning to your home country (even if you were not a monk!)
 
Like Mor's post about the general resurrection, the Ossuary is going to be one busy place that day!





All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline LBK

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 11:15:32 PM »
Saint Catherine's in Sinai has a functioning Ossuary.  Only a few pictures though (who knew that tourists didn't want to take pictures of piles of bones!  ;))

What I found very interesting about it when i was there, was that the bones are organized into rooms and cubbies mainly by -part-, so as to fit better volume wise.   Only Abbots and some others are kept as a whole person.

Because the desert is so dry and it is so difficult to dig there, the graveyard itself is used to skeletonize the dead enough to be placed into the ossuary.  The location is so remote, that basically until the last 75 years, if you went there, and died there, you stayed there, there was no returning to your home country (even if you were not a monk!)
 
Like Mor's post about the general resurrection, the Ossuary is going to be one busy place that day!







Yet, even in these ossuaries, the presence of the bones is not decorative. This is not the case with the Sedlec church.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 11:24:52 PM »
Deleted
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 11:29:42 PM by Andrew21091 »

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 11:26:56 PM »
Saint Catherine's in Sinai has a functioning Ossuary.  Only a few pictures though (who knew that tourists didn't want to take pictures of piles of bones!  ;))

What I found very interesting about it when i was there, was that the bones are organized into rooms and cubbies mainly by -part-, so as to fit better volume wise.   Only Abbots and some others are kept as a whole person.

Because the desert is so dry and it is so difficult to dig there, the graveyard itself is used to skeletonize the dead enough to be placed into the ossuary.  The location is so remote, that basically until the last 75 years, if you went there, and died there, you stayed there, there was no returning to your home country (even if you were not a monk!)
 
Like Mor's post about the general resurrection, the Ossuary is going to be one busy place that day!







Yet, even in these ossuaries, the presence of the bones is not decorative. This is not the case with the Sedlec church.


Oh Completely.

My post was unclear.  I was not trying to -compare-, in fact it was my poor attempt at contrast....since they clearly could have made a chapel and 'decorated'
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Offline Andrew21091

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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 11:32:01 PM »
I misread the date of when the bones were actually assembled, hence my cleared post. It seems František Rint was simply trying to mimic the Capuchin crypts in Italy.




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Re: The Sedlec Ossuary
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 10:41:18 PM »
Saint Catherine's in Sinai has a functioning Ossuary.  Only a few pictures though (who knew that tourists didn't want to take pictures of piles of bones!  ;))

What I found very interesting about it when i was there, was that the bones are organized into rooms and cubbies mainly by -part-, so as to fit better volume wise.   Only Abbots and some others are kept as a whole person.

Because the desert is so dry and it is so difficult to dig there, the graveyard itself is used to skeletonize the dead enough to be placed into the ossuary.  The location is so remote, that basically until the last 75 years, if you went there, and died there, you stayed there, there was no returning to your home country (even if you were not a monk!)
 
Like Mor's post about the general resurrection, the Ossuary is going to be one busy place that day!


Yet, even in these ossuaries, the presence of the bones is not decorative. This is not the case with the Sedlec church.


Oh Completely.

My post was unclear.  I was not trying to -compare-, in fact it was my poor attempt at contrast....since they clearly could have made a chapel and 'decorated'

Oh, your post was quite clear, to me at least. That's why I posted as I did.  :)
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