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Do You Know That? Brno - St. Jakub Ossuary

Published: 29.7.2012
Moravian metropolis has more than a month in addition to a lure and certainly not many things. A little history link omission in the form of tens of thousands of human remains was literally built into an impressive exhibition, which you can´t find anywhere in Central Europe.

Indeed, according to the number of bones, respectively. Human skeletons, Brno ossuary is second in Europe after the extensive and mysterious catacombs of Paris. In Brno St. James is reportedly saved over 50 000 skeletal remains which have been deposited mainly from the medieval plague and cholera shots, followed by the Thirty Years War and the Swedish siege, etc.

When we compare it with the Paris catacombs, where he is reportedly for 6 million dead in an area roughly the same size as the centre of the city itself, under which there are hundreds of kilometres of tunnels, from which a fraction is accessible to the public, the Brno ossuary is modest after all. But we can compare it with the ossuary in Sedlec, also known as Kutná Hora. Our now famous ossuary remains were conceived about 40 thousand dead. The interior and atmosphere, however, are fundamentally different than in Brno, which will explain in a moment.

History of the ossuary is also quite interesting, as to its rediscovery occurred relatively recently, until 2001, during the reconstruction of the square and exploration of underground space. From the 17th century ossuary grown under the church of St. Jakub was first three-chamber crypt where the remains were carefully stacked in layers so as to avoid unnecessary damage. Plagues and epidemics, however, require further expansion. Interesting is also the storage system bodies. For capacity reasons, the local cemetery was established order, according to which the deceased was 10 to 12 years in the grave exhumed and placed in the ossuary was.

The crypt originally served as a burial place until the late 18th century, when it was already very crowded St. Jakub cemetery moved to the boards of town. Constance was closed and virtually forgotten. Entrance was only through a massive hatch from the square and nothing resembled a potential tourist attraction, although the connection just does not fit with the ossuary.

Now finally we get to what awaits you on tour. In about twenty-minute tour, which is organized every half hour after the groups, although not extensive visit, but the architectural site extremely active corridors and crypts, which are up stacked with geometric precision of the remains of bodies, of which we see mainly the articular head and especially the skulls, which empty sockets with concise interior lighting and wistful tones of the cello in the background Underlining atmospheric appeal of this place.

Despite the considerable age of the entire underground complex with architects managed to create something that acts on the one hand, depressed and completely modern. Interior has some rooms "decorated by the" cast-iron sculptures and installations and decorations that disturb the atmosphere, while her complement, but it's up to your taste and opinion. During the tour the guide also available, but she just takes visitors to the underground space and leaves time for the questions.

Entrance to the charnel house is located next to the church facade. James on the same square, about 100 meters from the main Freedom Square in Brno, and can be found by a massive sandstone monolith. From the railway station is a comfortable walk through the city centre about 15 minutes. In the vicinity there are countless restaurants, bars and cafes. A small complaint, however, falls on the promotion of this unique place, because nowhere in the way of promotional poster glimpse tourist information or arrow, but it will certainly come to an extremely impressive this place which is definitely worth a visit! You can also take the form souvenir accurate cast of the skull, almost indistinguishable from the original.   

Text/photo: Jan Chaloupka

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