Lodz (Lódz), Poland

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Lodz is located in central Poland, about 100km from Warsaw. It became a city in 1423 but its real development occurred in 1800s, when it grew from few thousand inhabitants to over 300k thanks to the industrial revolution.

Textile mills have created enormous fortunes and lots of jobs. It is from this era that the most of glorious architectural monuments have been created being the merchant houses, palaces, extravagant shops and monumental churches. Lodz was a very complex cultural mix before Second World War as it was inhabited by Poles, Jews, Germans and Russians.

Today’s Lodz seems a city forgotten by investors and travelers as other Polish cities such as Warsaw, Krakow and even Wroclaw seem to be much more in favour. Not surprising the city looks quite neglected and only few fully restored facades of merchant houses on Piotrkowska Street (apparently longest street in Europe) remind us of its glory days. The legacy of bad communist planing is still visible in many houses and streets, which are in total neglect creating a lasting negative impression.

On another hand some modern developments such us Manufaktura – rebuilding of old warehouses in to a big trading and entertainment center are bright and promising signs for times ahead. Lodz has a lot of potential and hopefully it will prove to be the ugly duckling of Europe.

I invite you to see the Lodz photo gallery.

Ossuary Chapel – Bone Church, Sedlec, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

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Church of Bones (Ossuary) is located in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora in Czech Republic. The church built around 1400 has two levels. Top one is a normal chapel. The famous Church of Bones is located in the lower level All Saints’ Chapel.

The chapel is still surrounded by a functioning graveyard. The Ossuary itself dates from 1511. The graveyard was so “popular” the monks had to make space for new graves all the time and thus they have given a task to half-blind monk to gather the bones from the abolished graves and putting them in the crypt. This was the reason behind gathering the bones and it gave someone an idea of creating the decorations out of these bones.

Three centuries later the monks have hired a woodcarver to decorate
the inside of the Chapel with the human bones. At that stage the crypt contained remains of 40 000 people.

The sight is gruesome and awe inspiring at the same time. It is a major tourist attraction often eclipsing other destinations in Kutna Hora. Follow this link to see my photo gallery of Sedlec Ossuary.