A big thank you to J for submitting this guest comic and helping us welcome the Holiday Season with some twisted humor. In addition to the comic, a few weeks ago J emailed me some links regarding the Sedlec Ossuary.
Art + Macabre History = Pure Awesome
The Cistercian Monastery in the Czech Republic founded in 1142 became the hottest place to rest your bones after the abbot of Sedlec sprinkled some Golgotha soil in the cemetery in the late 1200s. The Black Death plague of the 14th century added thousands more bodies to the grounds and the Hussite wars in the early 15th century added even more. The cemetery had to be enlarged to fit the many thousands of bodies buried here.
In the 1400s a Gothic church was erected in the middle of the cemetery. It was built with vaulted upper and lower levels to be used as an ossuary for the displaced remains.. According to legend, a half-blind monk was given the daunting task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones.
In 1870, a wood-carver was hired to organize the bones. This is where the macabre art comes in. František RINT arranged the bones into sculptural and architectural designs. 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.
I found a fun little 360 flash viewer of the Sedlec Ossuary you can play with here. There are some great photos by a photographer and blogger who goes by ‘Sterf’ here. I noticed Sterf sometimes blogs in haiku so he must be a pretty cool guy. In which case, I don’t suppose he’ll mind too terribly if I share one or two of his photos with you.
This is my favorite:
I saw a little blurb about the Stedlec Ossuary once on Ripley’s Believe it or Not, but J’s bringing it to my attention on the internets sure gave me a better understanding of how remarkable and beautiful it really is. And for that I am thankful…speaking of which Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating it. I’ll definitely be doing the Pumpkin Pie happy dance on Thursday.