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marianne Kutna Hora - A travel report by Marianne
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Kutna Hora,  Czech Republic - flag Czech Republic -  Stredocesky Kraj
12437 readers

marianne's travel reports


  18 votes
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Kutna Hora makes an interesting day trip from Prague.

a trio of beautiful pastel-coloured baroque houses
a trio of beautiful pastel-coloured baroque houses
Kutna Hora is an easy day-trip from the capital. Hop on a trains that leaves from Prague main station. The distance is 70 km and the journey takes one hour.

It is easy to find your way in Ktna Hora without a map, but if you need one the Tourist Information at Paleckeho Namesti, the main square, can provide one. The main square is triangular in shape and has a trio of beautiful pastel-coloured baroque houses. What struck me most and what I hadn't expected was that Kutna Hora is a truly small town, with a village atmosphere. On second thoughts I could have know because my guidebook said that the number of inhabitants is 22.000, but it had not prepared me for the quiet life and the compactness of the town, which meant that all sights can be seen in one day.

Favourite spots:
Chandelier made of bones
Chandelier made of bones

The first sight we visited was the Ossuary, signposted as Kostnice, because it was a 10-min walk from Kutna Hora's main station in Sedlec.

the abbot of the brought home dust from his pilgimage to Golgotha. After he had deposited it in graveyard, this burial place became very popular. Soon it became too full and bones and skulls had to be stored in the chapel.

What's really great:
Schwarzenberg coat of arms
Schwarzenberg coat of arms
Schwarzenberg Family bought the monastry which included the pile of bones and commissioned a woodcarver to decorate the chapel with these bones.

His work of art is not meant to be a bizarre attraction. In accordance with piety the decorations have a deeper meaning: resurrection, redemption and equality of people before God.

The ossuary is partly subterranean. On entering we passsed on left and right skulls and bones heaped on to two gigantic piles of some 4m wide and 3m high. Right in the centre hangs a chandelier made entirely of bones, strings of bones and skulls adorn the walls.

Entrance to the Silver Mine Museum
Entrance to the Silver Mine Museum

Hradek is a 14th cent defence tower and an original part of the Kutna Hora's fortification wall. Today it houses the Museum of Silver and Medieval Mining.

The museum offers two different tours. The first one is a tour of Hadrek with its painted ceilings, wall frescoes and a display of mining tools and techniques. The second is a tour of the silver mine itself.

Stone House
Stone House
All participants of the tour of the silver mine don white coats and protective helmets and are provided with torches.

We descended a staircase, the equivalent of 6 storeys. The first part of the tunnel is through small caverns and along shafts filled with water. Then the tunnel gets lower and more narrow. I now understood why we were wearing coats and helmets as they scraped along the humid walls and ceiling.

Kutna Hora travelogue picture

St Barbara is a magnificent monument. I can't decide which is more spectacular. The three tent-shape spires or the flying buttresses. The other thing that attracted my attention was the richly decorated choir stalls because the woodcarvings were all different and showed expert craftmanship.

I found this cathedral far more interesting than St Vitus in Prague, there are also fewer visitors so that I could see all in peace and quiet. Don't come on a Monday because then the cathedral is closed.

Reception Room
Reception Room

The Italian Court or Vlassky Dvur started life in the 13th cent as a storage place for silver ore. In the 14th century it became the mint for the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Prager Groschen were minted here. In the 18th cent the mint closed down and the Italian Court became the town hall.

Some of the historical rooms are open to the public, but guided tours only. (and closed on Monday)

The original treasury rooms now display coins and minting instruments. The reception room has the original 15th cent wooden ceiling and a mural depicting the election of the King of Bohemia. Today this room is used for wedding ceremonies and conferences.

The tour continues to the Chapel of St Wenceslas. This small sanctuary has a striking art nouveau interior.

Plague column
Plague column


The Plague Column on Sultysova. The base consists of four miners who support a platform with four saints. I can't remember their names but they were protectors against the plague. On top of the slender column is the Virgin mary.

Other recommendations:
Stone Fountain
Stone Fountain

The Stone Fountain on Reiskovo Namesti was once used to store drinking water. It is a huge round construction and beautifully decorated with intricate stone patterns.

The Stone House on Radnicka dates back to the 15th cent. It has a richly decorated façade and is now a museum with exhibits of mining life and life in general from 17th – 19th century.

Published on Wednesday November 15th, 2006

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Fri, Oct 15 2010 - 02:48 AM rating by horourke

We went ti Kutna Hora some years ago and this report recalls the appy time. We missed many of the details included here

Wed, Nov 22 2006 - 04:55 PM rating by eirissa

An excellent report. I have also seen the ossuary and walked around the town a bit. I loved St Barbara's church but unfortunately did not see the inside as it was closed..I guess I have to go there one more time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us:)

Tue, Nov 21 2006 - 09:53 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

another great report by you mari ,well written

Sat, Nov 18 2006 - 01:41 PM rating by st.vincent

Another good report from an interesting town Marianne, you bring all of the history to life. I recently visited one of the only two ossuaries in the UK but it was not as decorative as this one.

Sat, Nov 18 2006 - 06:46 AM rating by rangutan

A very interesting historical report and place. This shows, there is so much to explore in Eastern Europe, the area behind the former "Iron Curtain".

Fri, Nov 17 2006 - 10:21 PM rating by eirekay

Marianne, Worth ***** for the photos alone! Terrific report on what sounds like a great side trip! Your reports are always such a treat to read!

Thu, Nov 16 2006 - 12:43 AM rating by akhila

What an interesting read! Amazing report Marianne. Thanks for sharing.

Wed, Nov 15 2006 - 03:45 PM rating by picasso

Dear Marianne,you came out with very interesting travel report and outstanding photography as well.For me it was a great pleasure to read.
By the way"hora" is also a "hill" in Russian as well.
Thank you very much,that you share your interesting travel experiances with all of us.*****

Wed, Nov 15 2006 - 11:11 AM rating by frenchfrog

Marianne, it is a fantastic report, the tour in the mine sounds very exciting, what a great time you must have had! If I go to Prague I will allowed time to get away from the tourists and visit this area, very well written (as always!) a pleasure to read. 5*

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