Iowa, Atlas Obscure, Rick Steves discussed on Travel with Rick Steves

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Later in the hour a clergywoman from Iowa tells us what she learned about the death rituals and beliefs of people she traveled around the world the meat and next one of the founders of Atlas Obscure joins us to consider some rather macabre places you can visit it's travel with Rick Steves the world is full of fascinating and mysterious places and sometimes they might even feel a bit creepy the folks at Atlas Obscure have made it their mission to highlight the numerous noteworthy places their readers contribute to their website co founder Dylan throws is with us right now to recommend catacombs crypts end cemeteries that are worth of if you dare tell us about place you've visited that gave you goosebumps we're at eight seven seven three three three seven four to five dylan how're you doing I'm ready I'm ready right let's grab the grim reaper as our co Guidon hop on a broomstick for some transportation and I'd like you to be my ghoulish travel agent set me up here the trip of a lifetime where's a place that you wanNA stop I well I think a good starting point would be in check Ya at the said let's also if you're going to see one also a structure filled with bones this is the one to go to it is a church in which bones have been arranged in elaborate complex displays including a enormous bone chandelier God said to have one bone from every part of the human body plus many more I that's an excellent place to begin you can't get much more elaborate bone architecture then said let's now that's in the town of couldn't Ahora if I remember correctly that's correct absolutely and you call it check yet which is the new term for the Czech Republic I've been trying to make this I don't know but it's just a short train ride away from Prague and if you want bones I agree there's oh better collection of human bones because it's done with a little artistic flair isn't it I mean wonderful wonderful challenge if you're the person making the chandeliers to take every bone the human body decorated in a way that where it all kind of comes together in a nice sort of beautiful fixture hanging from the ceiling that's right take me when we're thinking of bone and to Paris deep under the streets after they decided cemeteries are a waste of space and they're not very hygienic let's under the cemetery's free up that land on the churches and what are you GonNa do with six million skeletons while you're going to arrange them in normal tunnels run underneath much of Paris Parisians catacombs are certainly the most famous catacombs in the world and the little section open to the public is a wonderful taste of what's down there and it is also got some artistic arrangements you have different arrangements of skulls set into enormous walls of femurs is really but one of the things I love that captures my imagination about the Persian catacombs is that they are enormous and the part that's open to the public is actually very mall and there's a whole other part that is sort of the domain of Cata files of groups in Paris that are obsessed with exploring mapping charting the illicit parts of the catacombs and even throwing enormous events in there there have been some famous stories about there being an entire underground movie theater that when the police discovered the chairs and that there had been something going on it was quietly disassembled was all gone within a couple of days so I love that idea this entire kind of subculture there's actually tours of underground Paris that take advantage of the fact that it's honeycombed with passages there's a lot of Passages for the sewer they stretch out all the sewers and Paris it would go all the way to Istanbul there's of course a lot of tunnels from the Metro and the underground and in the case of the catacombs of Paris this I understand was an old plaster of Paris Corey we've all heard of plaster of Paris while they had to quarry that and I was walking around Paris I remember years ago and I had white third on my feet on my shoes and somebody says oh you've been in the catacombs they could just tell that I'd been walking through that plaster Paris so the secret societies doing their things down there and as you mentioned now it's the part that's open to the public anyways is just quite an interesting mystic displays you get your femurs over there and you got your skulls over here and any tourist can visit the catacombs of Paris and I should say if we're doing a spooky tour of Paris of which there is plenty of of options you should probably make us stop in parallel chase one of the greatest cemeteries in the entire world where there are all kinds of incredible things to visit but I know there are some wonderful vampire tours of perilous chance where you can be taken around by vampire historian who wants to give you the real story of of Parisian Vampires Oh my goodness I love cemeteries have all the cemeteries in Europe this is the most interesting from an art and history point of view from music point of view you got great posers from Chopin to Jim Morrison of the doors they're spurs musicians go lots of history and if you're interested in vampires you can be there for the right that tour travel with Rick Steves we're talking with Dylan Thrace and he's written atlas obscure that less obscure is a chance to uncover the world's most fascinating sites are the numbers eight seven seven three three three seven four to five and Scott is on the line from Chicago's got thanks for your call own thing I think the putsch enrollments the most neck hair-raising place I've ever visited I would definitely fit that into my next trip to Rome. can you describe it for us Scott tell us what it's like I love this idea that the hair on your neck would be raising oh take into it divided up into like looms in each room is decorated with owns and different configurations and it's so creepy I mean it's the only place we I still like member the smell of dirt in there you know one of my first trips to Europe yeah no it's just made me kind of like seek out these kind of places later on like the catacombs of Paris well you're right this is one of the ultimate bone experience in Europe Scott it's the Capuchin crypt in Rome it's just a underneath a church and it's the Capuchin monks have this interesting habit of putting their dead brothers done the Krypton when all the flowers right away they take the bones and they decorate with them and now one hundred years later they opened up for visitors and I know the smell you're talking about there it's just that fertile dirt history musty nece and I've got a sort of a chill in my spine right now thinking about that because there's always a what seems not very friendly monk at the far end of the corridor looking at every tourist because you're not supposed to take photographs and every tourist is trying to get a photograph of all those skulls hanging from the walls and so on I think that what's really folded me is the message because as you leave you realize either not just making some stunt to charge for tourists there's a spiritual message here and there reminding all the visitors what we are today you will be tomorrow you know and it's just reminded us that half your vacation that we're all mortal creature the Capuchin crypt in Rome is small as you said but the one in Palermo in Sicily is much bigger dylan do you have any thoughts on the Capuchin crypt of Italy if you want sort of spooky religious sites Italy really is going to be your best bang for your buck and the one in Palermo it's interesting because it's it's S. of a sort of a strict ossuary where it's bone arrangements and it's a bit more of a a mummy fashion show because the bones are still intact attention there and they're even dressed people decide what they want to wear for eternity and they're categorized where the policemen are over here and the brothers are over here and women are over here the children over here is a unique experience isn't it it is actually I think the point you made rick about this momentum Amora Rabin reminded of one's mortality is is really worth keeping in mind when you go to places like this because again America's kind of the on one out here most of the rest of the world has the bones of their ancestors and clean them you know family day it's it is America who is sort of so uncomfortable with this whole thing so it's always good it's wonderful spooky experiences and then it's good to sort of take a step back and say right what was the.

Coming up next