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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sedlec Ossuary The Bone Church of 40,000 Souls (19 Pics)

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of about 40,000 people, whose bones were artistically arranged from 1870 onwards by a Czech woodcarver by the name of Frantisek Rint.
The ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech Republic, attracting over 200,000 visitors yearly.



















Hauntingly Surreal Photos of the Abandoned Fairytale Castle in Belgium

Miranda Castle, aka Château de Noisy, lies in Celles, in Belgium’s province of Namur. A landscape and building right out of a fairytale, the site is photographed and sought after by urban explorers and curious travelers alike.
Construction on the castle started in 1866. Designed by English architect Edward Milner, it was intended as a summer home for the Liedekerke De Beaufort family. Milner died before it was finished, and the neo-gothic château only saw its completion in 1907 after the clock tower was erected. 


Part of World War II’s Battle of the Bulge took place on the property, and for a time it was occupied by Nazis. In 1950, Miranda Castle was renamed Château de Noisy and operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium as a holiday camp for sickly children. It lasted as the camp until the late 1970s.
Today, it still sits weathering and succumbing to decay and vandalism. Parts were heavily damaged in a fire and many areas of the ceiling are now collapsing. Talks of demolition are circulating, so this abandoned treasure may not be around much longer.













Monday, September 28, 2015

The Treasures of the Père Lachaise Cemetery largest cemetery in the city of Paris (81 Pics)

Exploring Paris’s cemeteries–(Montmartre, Montparnasse, Passy, Père Lachaise, and Picpus)–can be a rewarding task. Artists, statesmen, and industrialists abound in these cities of the dead. Additionally, memorials, historical relics, and works of art make such trips all the more fascinating. With enough time, Paris’ cemeteries will reveal their treasures to any visitors. Given that most visitors are on a strict schedule, a cemetery map will save valuable time when  conducting a tour of the cemetery’s highlights. However, most maps only point to the general area in which the tomb is located. This leads to aimless wandering and frustration which can be minimized with prior knowledge of a tomb’s design. Therefore, I hope that these articles will serve as a useful tool for visitors to Paris’ cemeteries as well as  a guide to those interested in learning more about some of the most famous and interesting sites in Paris.

Père Lachaise was established in 1804 and is located at  16, rue du Repos. It was named after Père Franà§ois de la Chaise, the confessor to Louis XIV, who lived on the site. Unfortunately, the cemetery was not an  immediate  success. Parisians were wary of being buried in a new cemetery, especially one not consecrated by the church. In order to remedy this situation, the cemetery managed to secure the remains of La Fontaine and Molière and  transferred  them to the cemetery in 1804. Another public relations move  occurred  in 1817, when the remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloà¯se were also transferred to the cemetery. They were interred under a canopy made from fragments of the Abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine. Also of note are the Holocaust memorials, the  Mur des Fédérés (Communards’ Wall), the lipstick stained tomb of Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison’s grave.

Père Lachaise’s  famous residents:

Pierre Abélard, the French philosopher, and Héloà¯se d’Argenteuil, the French abbess and scholar, who had an affair:

Camille Pissarro, the French Impressionist painter:


Colette, the French litterateur:

Louis Visconti, the French architect who designed the modern Louvre and Napoleon’s tomb:

Georges Haussmann, the French civil engineer and town planner responsible for the design of modern Paris:

Jacques-Louis David, the court painter for Napoleon. He was exiled as a revolutionary after the restoration. As a result, his body was not allowed to return to France, so the tomb contains only his heart:


Georges-Pierre Seurat, the French painter and father of neo-impressionism:


Georges Bizet, the French composer and conductor:

Théodore Géricault, the French Romantic painter. His most famous paintings appear on his tomb:


Frédéric Chopin, the Polish composer. Unlike David, his body but not heart is buried here:


Jim Morrison, the American singer and songwriter with The Doors:

Molière, the French playwright, and  Jean de La Fontaine, the French litterateur best known for fairy tales:

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, the French painter:



Honoré de Balzac, the French novelist:


Eugène Delacroix, the French Romantic artist:

Sarah Bernhardt,  the French stage and film actress:


Gertrude Stein, the American author:

Édith Piaf, the French singer:


Amedeo Modigliani, the Italian painter and sculptor:


Marcel Proust, the French novelist, essayist and critic:

Oscar Wilde, the Irish novelist, poet and playwright:


The main entrance to Père Lachaise
Another entrance to the cemetery:

Père Lachaise crematorium:

Memorial to the “victims of June the City of Paris is  grateful”
Monument to the Dead and ossuary (Monument aux Morts) designed by Albert Bartholomé:

Depository vault of the City of Paris:

“In memory of its servants, victims of duty of the City of Paris”

Memorial to those who died aboard Flash Airlines Flight 604 over Sharm el Sheikh on January 3, 2004:

Memorial to those who died aboard  West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 over  Venezuela on August 16, 2005:

Memorial to those who died aboard the DC-10 aircraft (UTA flight 772) over Niger on September 19, 1989:

Memorial to  Andranik Ozanian (General Antranik) national Armenian Hero:

“Here lies an unknown deportee (of work) victim of betrayal and of Nazi barbarism. 1942-1945 —  600,000  French deported for forced labor in Germany. 60,000 deaths. 15,000 shot, hanged, or beheaded for acts of resistance. 1945-1970 – 50,000 missing as a result of these deportations”

Memorial to those killed at the  Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg Concentration Camp:

Memorial to those killed at the  Monowitz-Buna or Auschwitz III Concentration Camp:

Memorial to those killed at the  Buchenwald Concentration Camp:


Memorial to those killed at the  Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp:

Memorial to the Jews deported from Drancy. The Memorial reads in translation “inscription engraved at Ninth Fort of Kaunas deported by Convoy  73. In memory of 878 Jews deported from Drancy May 15, 1944 to Kaunas (Lithuania) and Reval-Tallinn (Estonia). 22 returned in 1945.”

Memorial to those killed at the  Dachau Concentration Camp:


Memorial to the heroes and martyrs of the resistance who fought the Nazis:

Memorial to those killed at the  Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp:

The  Communards’ Wall (Mur des Fédérés) at the Père Lachaise cemetery is where, on May 28, 1871, one-hundred forty-seven fédérés, combatants of the Paris Commune, were shot and thrown in an open trench at the foot of the wall on May 28, 1871:


Memorial to the French  volunteers  in the International Brigades killed during the Spanish Civil War: