Friday, April 20, 2018

Brno Ossuary

During renovation in 2001, an ossuary was discovered under St. James' Church.  It turned out to be the second largest ossuary in Europe and opened to the public in 2012.  I didn't visit it when it first opened due to the crowds and then I figured I would go when I had guests so with Steven & Michal here it was high time for a visit.

The Catacombs in Paris hold the remains of about six million people.  Brno has the the remains of more than 50,000 people and the Bone Church near Kutná Hora has the remains of 40,000 people.

There was a cemetery adjacent to St. James' Church back in the 13th century.  Since it was located inside of the city's walls there was no way to ever expand it.  So 10-12 years after a person was buried, their remains were moved so as to make room for a new deceased person.

The ossuary was founded in the 17th century and expanded in the 18th century.  It's wild to me that it was forgotten about for about 200 years until it was rediscovered in 2001.

The Czech Republic and the European Union invested 40 million Kč (about $1.9 million) in research, renovation, and preservation of the site.

Analysis showed that most of the skeletal remains were victims of medieval plague and cholera epidemics, the Thirty Years' War and the Swedish siege.

Admission is 140 Kč (~$7).  It's interesting but small.  The Bone Church is much bigger.

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