...our first day trip outside the city was quite an adventure! We took a private van to a city named Kutna Hora, a small town made prosperous hundreds of years ago by the discovery of a nearby silver ore.
First stop: Sedlec Ossuary. Cemetery space at this small church was hard to come by--and still is! In fact, you don't buy plots, you rent them for ten years! After your "lease" is up, the bones must be relocated elsewhere. For many years, the bones were stored in the basement of a church, and in 1870, a woodcarver was commissioned to organize the bones into a display. Fast forward to today, and Kutna Hora attracts about 200,000 visitors annually!
Second stop: Saint Barbara Church. Our tour guide, Margaret, explained to us that Barbara was a princess whose father kept her locked in a tower for safety until she would one day marry. Unfortunately, Barbara was not interested in getting married; instead, she focused her attention on questions of faith and converted to Christianity. For this, her father had her beheaded (?!?!) and subsequently the church named her Patron Saint of Miners.
After lunch, we headed to a museum for a workshop on surrealism using giant paper and pastels. Our art teacher for the afternoon showed us some examples of this art style done by Czech painters and then let us have a try. It was wonderful to have an art lesson grounded in history and culture.
Cheers to a wonderful day of learning, creating, and exploring!