Another day, the second day, we get up to explore the Czech Republic. Contrary to yesterday, we venture beyond the capital city of Prague to visit Sedlec Ossuary (the Bone Church), and Silver Mines in Kutna Hora.
What do you do when you have an ample supply of deceased bodies due to the Black Death and Hussite Wars? You build a church with the bones of course. The Bone Church was chilling and beautiful to behold. Every single bone used in the decoration was real and once part of a living breathing human being. You could see the damage of war and disease in the bones, how they are cracked and discolored. The people couldn’t be given a proper burial but their body and soul still had to be laid to rest. In the House of God, the church they give up their bodies, just as their Lord had for them. Just as Jesus sacrificed himself, these people, many of them Czech fought for their faith, died and gave their body to their faith both spiritually and literally. The symbolism that was used is very powerful.
We also were educated on who is Jan Žižka. “John the One-Eyed” was Czech general and Hussite leader, undefeated in battle, winning even when he was outnumbered 10:1. He defeated the Teutonic Knights and created the first “tanks.” These battle wagons were used in battle by Jan and his soldiers, they would arrange themselves in a circle, the soldiers in the wagons and they would defend themselves by being in the wagons, sheltered by thick wooden walls from the enemy fire. Jan’s men would fire back through small window holes in the battle wagons. It was said that on Jan’s deathbed he asked his men to take his skin after he died and make drums out of it so that he could still lead his men after his death. Jokingly, Mr. Tallman said he wishes the same fate for himself, and that his drums would continue to lead the La Lu Girl’s Soccer team to victory long after he is gone.
After consuming the delicious duck I ordered for lunch, we continued our adventure to the Silver Cave. This cave was used for silver mining, and we learned the process of how the silver is obtained and later sold. The miners were short people, the tallest being about 5 feet, (152.4 centimeters, because they use the Metric System here) tall. We explored the caves seeing the working conditions, and dangers of the job. The experience was made even more memorable by Mr. Tallman’s amazing Miner Pun. After traveling back to Prague we ate dinner at a wonderful restaurant, and processed to teach Evzen important quotes from the cinematic classic, Braveheart.
There were many funny moments today, but the funniest was meeting the Indian family at lunch. Trevor, Hannah, Karalyn and I were sitting at a table across from an Indian family. Hannah really wanted to tell the family that their kids are cute, so I translated the phrase “Your kids are cute.” I had accidentally translated it into a hybrid, part Marathi part Hindi phrase, and combined with Hannah’s slightly incorrect pronunciation, she ended up hitting on the father. After cleaning up the accident and we all had a good laugh.
And so ends another great day, in the city of Prague and Kutna Hora. There is much more to explore and countless adventures still to be experienced.
Mohou mít naše životy, ale nikdy brát naši svobodu,