The last weekend, I was in Kutná Hora with some friends. This town of 21 000 inhabitants is around 1 hour to the East of Prague. It offers an important cultural richness with its silver and copper mines, and its medieval architecture. Feasible in one day, this excursion could allow you to visit an UNESCO World Heritage Site!
How to go there?
We went by car. Depending on where you are in Prague for the departure, there are several choices available as a driving route. The easiest way is to hop on the express road E55 and then the highway n°12. Duration: 1h
By bus, you will be able to take different links from Prague. The terminal is at Florenc, on Metro line Band C. duration: 1h30.
By train, the departure is at HlavnÍ NádražÍ, the train station. After a ride of 1h, you will be at 3km from the town center. But don’t worry; there will be shuttles to the famous sites.
St. Barbara’s Church
This Gothic style edifice was built in 150 years, between 14th and 16th century! Several generations of architects succeeded each other. You could find some similarities between the architecture of the church decorate vault and the Prague Royal Palace’s. Perhaps because it is the same architect: Benedikt Ried.
On very well preserved medieval frescos, ornamenting the background of nave, you could see miners and buyers. On the right side of the altar, the woman with a book and a tower is St. Barbara, Patron Saint of miners.
It is possible to go upstairs and go on the church’s balcony, above the park. You can also read some information signs which explain the church construction.
Ticket price: 40 CZK
On the top, there is a numismatic museum. However, the mine offers something even more exciting – after you see a big well, a painting, and some old utensils, you will carry a torch, a helmet and a miner’s white overall and go 60m under to visit old and disused silver mines since the end of 16th century.
This visit is really impressive because where you will walk is quite peculiar. Sometimes, it is 1m20 high or 40cm width – You can’t be too big for this journey down under.
Ticket price: 130 CZK. Student Price: 80 CZK
In Sedlec, 2km from Kutná Hora, you can visit a chapel which has decorations made with human bones! The story is this one…
Everything starts in Sedlec, when a Cistercian monastery was built in 1142. The cemetery became famous all over central Europe when an abbot came back from mission, bringing with him holy earth from Golgotha hill, and spreading it on the cemetery. It became a famous place to request a burial, but the site has welcomed 30 000 corpse. In 1400, a Gothic chapel with an ossuary was built in the middle of the cemetery. 20 years after, Hussites burnt and plundered the chapel and the huge cathedral. But the cemetery wasn’t abandoned, quite the opposite, because fighters of Hussite war were also buried. While its surface area is decreasing, with other building, the question about storage becomes the most important. In 1511 a monk started to put bones and skulls together in pyramids. 2 centuries later, Jan Blažej Santini-Aichl decides to make artistic works with it. He made other pyramids, ceiling lights and ornament. This tasks were completed by a crafts person later.
The Sedlec ossuary is surprising but the strangest thing is that visitors, in general, feel good in front of this big quantity of human bones.
The visit of this town is easily doable in a day and it is very pleasant. Some streets are still medieval, and that is a s significant part of its appeal. For me, the silver mine is a very nice place to go, to live like miners of several decades ago. However, for claustrophobic people, I recommend against doing it. The ossuary as for it is very strange but you can make the visit in 15 minutes.