Ossuaries & Charnels

Letarovice, Czech Rep. charnel (Kostnice)

Letarovice, Czech Rep. charnel (Kostnice)

Letarovice, Czech Rep. charnel (Kostnice)

Due to constraints on space, this site is not discussed in the book, so I will say a little here. It is a wonderful arrangement, but overall rather small–essentially a table-top-cum-altar with bones stacked upward towards the ceiling. The charnel room also contains an old stretcher for carrying a corpse, and at one time it certainly must have served as a mortuary chapel or place for memorializing the dead. Like many of these small provincial sites, there is a dearth of records, but the parish priest indicates that local history give the date of its construction as some time in the mid-nineteenth century. This site is very seldom visited. Letarovice is remote: it’s not only off the beaten track, but the unbeaten track as well. The priest seemed absolutely shocked that someone had shown up asking to see he charnel, and asked where I was from. I told him California, and he said they had never had anyone from there in the village before.
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