“Kutna Hora”, I just love the way that name sounds when I say it aloud. The town itself is just as wonderful, as the way its name sounds. This lovely town in Central Bohemia, Czech Republic is less than an hour away by train from the capital city, Prague.
Kutna Hora has a long history as a prosperous silver mining town with a magnificent Gothic basilica, all worthy to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
Kutna Hora was fascinating in its architecture and medieval city plan, two things that have always interested me while traveling. In the 14th century it became a royal city due to its extreme wealth after a silver mining vein was discovered and exploited. The result of Kutna Hora’s prosperity created a city with marvelous Baroque and Gothic architecture, a brilliant cathedral, and well developed landscapes.
St. Barbara’s Cathedral is Kutna Hora’s architectural masterpiece, and is one of Central Europe’s most famous Gothic cathedrals. Walking around the cathedral’s exterior, I was impressed by the ornate double arched flying buttresses, which are my favorite elements of a Gothic cathedral.
St. Barbara’s took centuries to complete when construction began in 1388. It was not fully completed until the last century in 1905 due to many interruptions of wars, occupations, and other delays.
Inside of St. Barbara’s Cathedral
The interior of St. Barbara’s was glorious, and contained magnificent art pieces. The ceiling vault, altars, and stained glass windows were my favorites of the cathedral- the details were outstanding.
The Italian Court is located in the oldest neighborhood, Vlassky dvur, and dates back to the early 14th century. For many centuries the Italian Court contained the royal mint, and was the residence of the king while visiting Kutna Hora. It was then considered the center of the state economic power.
The Italian Court also served as the town castle, which had a storehouse for the silver ore that created the wealth for the city. Today, it is a worthwhile museum that offers exhibits of coin minting.
The Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the Bone Chapel was the primary reason that I visited Kutna Hora. This chapel was the most macabre place that I had visited to this date. There are an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 skeletons, whose bones have been created into chandeliers, a shield, and garlands throughout the bottom level of the chapel.
For more information on the Sedlec Ossuary – The Church of Bones – Sedlec Ossuary | Exploring Czech Republic
I haven’t been everywhere, but its on my list…– Susan Sontag
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