I once visited Czech Republic’s second city, Brno. It is largely ignored next to big brother Prague, yet has some beautiful architecture and very friendly welcoming people who are not so fatigued by an endless onslaught of tourists as is the case in the capital.
Although I was there to visit a new school, I was told I simply had to visit the Capuchin Crypt on Capuchin Square near the Cabbage Market.
What I encountered there was not entirely what I had expected. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of architecture, and the Baroque churches across Czech Republic, as elsewhere, boast some of the finest examples. The issue was more with the very-much-on-display contents of the crypt.
Thanks to a rare permutation of natural ventilation and a particular soil type, it became apparent many years ago that when the dead were laid to rest there, their bodies did not turn to bone as usual, but rather were mummifying. All fine and good. A curious quirk of nature. And entertaining as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom may be in the comfort of a warm cinema and good company, when you’re in a real crypt, with dim lighting and that cool mummifying air whispering down your neck, and all the other visitors leave so that you’re the only one there, suddenly the reality of being outnumbered about 80 to 1 by the desiccated dead with contorted faces screaming silently at you, becomes the stuff of horror films and your worst nightmares. Needless to say I paid my respects and scarpered.
If you, like Richard, are planning a visit to the Czech Republic, why not learn Czech with Cactus?