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Sedlec

Sunday, December 7th 2008

In the hostel that evening, I was in the kitchen cooking some food, and some other people were talking about various travels they'd done. One of them seemed to have been to an awful lot of places. It had been a while since I'd met anyone who had travelled more than I have, so I joined in the conversation. He turned out to have been to more than 100 countries, annoyingly.

The next day I decided to go to Kutna Hora. I met my travelling rival over breakfast, and he was also going that way. We walked to the station, talking about various places we'd been. There were some countries I'd been to that he hadn't, but not many.

We were going to Kutna Hora mainly because it contains the Sedlec Ossuary. 600 years ago, a church was built, and the site they chose to build it on was a mass grave for victims of plagues and wars. For reasons unknown, they decided to dig up thousands of skeletons, and then arrange the bones artistically in the new church. Seeing piles of skulls reminded me of photos I'd seen of memorials in Cambodia and Rwanda. Seeing strings of skulls strung across the ceiling like Christmas decorations was just weird.

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