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Sacred Bones Dangle from New Home: A Grisly Rhyme

By M Dee Dubroff     Jul 22, 2007 in Lifestyle
How did the bones of plague victims come to dangle from the ceiling of a 12th century Bohemian chapel? Read on for an amazing tale of art imitating what was once life, but be warned. This is not fare for the faint of heart.
Around 1250 in what was then known as Bohemia, a monk visited Jerusalem, brought back some earth and sprinkled it on the monastery cemetery lot. Local people considered the spot thus consecrated and they all wanted to be buried there.
In 1318, the graveyard’s population unexpectedly expanded beyond capacity as it filled rapidly with 30,000 bodies of plague victims and later casualties of the Hussite wars. A chapel with an ossuary was erected in the 1400s to store the bones from graves that had been unearthed to make room for more bodies.
Frantisek Rint, a talented wood carver, was hired to decorate the chapel using the many bones. Among his most amazing creations is a massive chandelier, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body. His largest creations are the bells that decorate each of the four corners of the Chapel. Other wonders made entirely of human bone include a local family’s coat of arms, two monstrances (sacred vessels) and a sign where he placed his name.
No bones about it- quite an achievement.
Take a look and pray there’s no one dangling above you or your family have ever known or been related to.
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