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skull Tag

Malá Strana has two ghosts who suffered painful deaths that involved iron nails A pair of otherwise unrelated ghosts a few streets apart in Prague’s historical Malá Strana area have something in common: iron nails someplace on their heads. Both tales involve gruesome murders. The first tale is the sort of true

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Bones from 40,000 plague and war victims are in creative sculptures The ossuary at Sedlec is generally called the Bone Church, and for good reason. Bones from tens of thousands of people gathered over many centuries have been put into unique decorative designs. The full name is the Cemetery Church of

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skull-adorned altar-cloth, Romburk museum

Skull-adorned altar-cloth, Romburk museum

Over the years, the human skull has somehow represented almost everything – life and death, perilous danger and good luck. We see it worn by Hell’s Angels and Hello Kitty alike. I am far from a casual observer in this strange fashion phenomenon: even as I write I am surrounded by trinkets and textiles, all adorned with that grim and grinning motif. The skull’s association with the Gothic hardly needs much explanation – a culture that is nourished by an artistic fascination with the dead is sure to find beauty in one of the most consistently used symbols of death – a beauty backed up by centuries of funereal art. However, the fallacy that skull symbolism belongs to fans of the Gothic alone has caught me out before, assuming that skull-wearing acquaintances share a certain morbid outlook with me, only to realise that they are simply following fashions with little thought to the symbolism behind the design.