Silver and Bones

By Megan

I don’t know how we figured out the ticket situation at the bus station in Prague, but we ended up on the right bus towards Kutná Hora… without seats.  So my new friend and I sat on the floor and talked like old friends about music, travel and food.  Feet numb from the two hour ride, we made our way to the Sedlec Ossuary, ie. the bone church, after grabbing a quick lunch.
I knew that it would be interesting to visit the church where an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 human remains had been artistically arranged in piles, chandeliers and wall decorations, but I honestly thought it would be more creepy than it was.  To be honest, it was devoid of any energy or emotion.  The Ossuary was creepy because of the sterility of the space and besides, it was really difficult to believe that 40,000+ human remains were stacked around us.
We hiked back into the city center to visit with St. Barbara’s gothic church; St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners, apt for this town established on the discovery of silver.  Construction began in 1388, but was not complete until the 1905 (reminds me a bit of a certain Catalan structure, cough Gaudi, cough Sagrada Familia).  The double arched flying buttresses were stunning (flash backs to that middle school architecture class, thank you Mrs. Crumm).
We had a few more hours to kill before the bus picked us up, and as it just so happened, an English language tour of the silver mine was just picking up.  So we joined a group of students traveling with their college professor and donned a plastic helmet and cloth coat.  Playing with our head lamps, we listened hard to decipher our wonderful guide.  She told us that the mine was of 14th century origin and that we would only be on level 1 of 10-12 stories of the mine.  I could hardly keep from laughing when our guide warned us that the tunnel would begin to get much smaller and then we nearly had to crouch through the tiny tunnel- the helmet came in very handy.  She also had all of us turn off our headlamps to simulate what light would have looked like for a minor in the 14-16th century and it was barely enough to see your hand in front of your face.  Yikes!
We casually caught the bus back to the city after the tour to find my travel partner waiting for me at Sir Toby’s.  The day ended with a good meal and lots of conversation about our day.  The last leg of our trip, Vienna, loomed just in front of us and we were starting to miss Barcelona.