Monday, June 20, 2011

Hallstatt, China?

Hallstatt, Austria is probably the most favorite city I have visited. Build on the banks on an alpine lake in the Austrian Alps, it is one of the World's great scenenic spots. But it also has a gruesome side to it's history.

They have a huge reliquary containing the bones of their ancestors. Since burial plot space is limited, the coffins are continually being dug up and re-used. There is a fifteen year limit on the time you get to spend 'in the ground'.

Then your bones are removed, decorated if that is what the family decides to do, the placed in the bone houses for display. I know it sounds Gothic but it's actually really interesting and life affirming to see. It's the closest thing to immortality that I have ever seen. Even a decade and a half after they died, the dead are still afforded respect as they make the journey to a new resting place.

Of course some enterprising kid in China saw the dollar potential. Follow the link to read that story -