This story is a bit of a throw back, as we went on this trip in the beginning of April (I’ve been just too busy making myself enjoy free time to write about it before). Our plan was to drive to Kutna Hora (about 40 minutes by car from Pardubice). I wanted to see the UNESCO Heritage site of St. Barbara Church (dating from 14th century):
And my husband wanted to visit Sedlec Ossuary – a church situated in a village just outside Kutna Hora. It’s famous for the way it is decorated inside. At one point, there were just too many bodies buried in the church graveyard (everybody wanted to be buried there as some earth from Golgotha was sprinkled across that graveyard), so they had to dig up old bones to allow for more space for newly dead citizens. All those old bones were just collected in piles from the 15th century up until 1870, a year, when the ruling family of that land just gave an order to sort that mess out somehow. They hired a woodcarver, who used all those bones to adorn the church – splendid idea, wasn’t it? Here’s the result:
This Ossuary attracts a lot of tourists every year and this is actually what Kutna Hora is famous for (and not the magnificent St. Barbara church).
The day was not a very bright one, but we decided to dress up warm and go with it – it’s spring already, how cold could it get?? I love driving through Czech Republic, as there’re not so many highways here and you get to travel through all those cute towns and villages, really seeing the land. My husband hates driving here for a similar reason – there’re no highways and Czechs really love speeding up on those tiny roads. On our way to Kutna Hora we suddenly saw a great white palace, complete with columns and all, just in the middle of nowhere, between forests and fields:
I looked it up – it’s called Zamek Kacina and it was built in the early 19th century for the supreme burgrave of the Kingdom of Bohemia. It has vast grounds with a garden planned by Viennese botanist and a library containing 40,000 books, dating from 16th to 19th century. The sad fact about it is, the construction of the palace lasted for 18 years and was finished the year the person, it was built for, died. We would definitely like to go back there and explore this palace in more detail, but for now, here’s a better photo, to give you a better idea of how impressive it is:
By the time we got to Sedlec Ossuary, our 2 year old has successfully fallen asleep and who am I to refuse this quiet time and wake her up? So my husband took our older daughter to see the bones and I stayed in the car with the toddler, enjoying nice music and lack of bones around me. As it happened, we all had great time – I was chilled out, baby rested, father and daughter under impression. It was time to go and see that St. Barbara church!
We had only 10 minutes to drive between these two places, but something unplanned happened again – we drove past a fun fare. Now, how can you say to your excited kids ‘No, we’re not going on these rides, we’re going to see a medieval church instead’? Of course, we parked and went to have fun.
It was all good at first, we bought some sweet corns, my husband and our older daughter went on some rides (while toddler was still too sleepy to go walking around and silently ate her corn in a stroller), but then the weather decided to take a sharp turn for the worst. 5 minutes ago it was +6 and sunny and just like that very strong wind picked up and it got to 0 degrees and started snowing. Great.
We were so freezing cold that by the time we reached our car, braving gusts of wind and snow, everybody (including myself) was against walking up a pedestrian street climbing the hill, where St. Barbara’s church was. Has to be done another day, then. On a way to Kutna Hora, we noticed a cute looking restaurant in the middle of nowhere (there’re just so many cute and interesting places in the middle of nowhere in Czech Republic – very impressive). The new plan was to go there and have a lunch.
The restaurant was filled with all kinds of pretty old things, but the problem was – they did not accept cards. I’m not even sure, how we did not see this coming, as so many restaurants outside the main cities take cash only. A problem with those ‘cute places in the middle of nowhere’ – ATM’s are nowhere to be found. We had some drinks, but the lunch had to wait till we got back to Pardubice.
As we were setting off to drive back to Pardubice, the sun came out and we just had to stay outside a bit longer, especially that we were so close to the woods. Our kids are proper city kids and 5 meters into the wood is really wild to them, so we did not have to do much to impress them – trees, leaves, sticks and it made their day.
When they finally got tired and we started our drive back home, the wind changed again and it started snowing, but we were all warm in the car, so it did not bother us in the least.
I’m submitting this story to My Expat Family link up by Seychellesmama.