Three dark sights in Czech Moravia

This criminally underrated region of central Europe is crammed with colourful Old Towns and lush green scenery. But Czech Moravia also has some intriguing dark sights. Here are three of the most fascinating ones I've seen on my travels.

1. Mummified monks in Brno's Capuchin Crypt

The peach-coloured building conceals curious cadavers... discovering Brno's Capuchin Crypt.
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Unique dry air currents flowing through the belly of Brno's Capuchin Church resulted in the remarkable preservation of monks laid to rest there. You can visit them in person by wending your way through the darkened passageways into the main vault. Two dozen corpses bedecked with rosaries, still wearing their monastic robes, lie exactly where they were placed over a 300-year period (until the 18th century when the practise was outlawed). Brno's macabre sights don't end there: an enormous ossuary was rediscovered in 2001 and opened to visitors during summer 2012.

2. Olomouc's Communist Clock

Communist workers go about their business on Olomouc's clock.
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Astronomical clocks are common in Europe (Prague has one of the most famous). Usually they show clockwork dignitaries, royals or religious figurines to mark the hours. The astronomical clock in Olomouc was no different until the Communists destroyed it in 1945. It was rebuilt to show Communist workers instead: labourers, scientists, farmers and factory workers march out to chime the clock bells. There's a video here where you can see the clock in action.

3. Třebíč's Jewish Cemetery

The tranquil Jewish Cemetery in Třebíč.
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The Jewish quarter in Třebíč might just be the best preserved in all of Europe and is listed as a Unesco heritage sight. The cemetery is also protected, and for good reason. It dates to the 15th century but despite half a millennium of erosion and political turmoil - including the Nazi occupation of  Czechoslovakia - it is one of the best preserved Jewish graveyards I've seen in Europe. 

View Olomouc in a larger map


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