Kutna Hora: A small town in the Czech Republic with a big history
Kutna Hora (Czech Republic) is a town that exists since XIII century. It was founded at the place where they found deposits of silver, and for almost 400 years was considered the treasury of Bohemia. There was even a mint here where coins were minted. Kutna Hora was such a famous and wealthy town that it competed with Prague for the right to be the capital of Bohemia.
An interesting fact! When the “silver rush” raged in Europe, Kutná Hora received the title of a privileged royal town.
Kutna Hora is situated in Central Bohemia, Central Bohemia Region, 60 km east of Prague.
Today Kutna Hora is a small town of just over 33 km² with a population of around 22,000 people. But this “small town” in the Czech Republic is visited by far more tourists than any other UNESCO site.
What is so interesting about Kutná Hora and what sights you can see there? We not only tell you about the most important places in Kutna Hora in Czech Republic, but also post pictures of them on our website.
The best historical sights
Kutna Hora is a real open-air museum. Of particular interest are numerous cathedrals, which by their Gothic architecture have no analogues not only in the Czech Republic, but also nowhere in the world. The old town still keeps its inimitable medieval look and every street and every building here has its own history. The historic center is very compact, you can walk around it leisurely, admiring the architectural monuments of antiquity.
Plague Columns are found in many European cities, in Kutna Hora it stands in the center of the small Wenceslas Square.
The 16-meter column is decorated with numerous statues of saints at its foot and it is crowned with the Virgin Mary. The monument is in the Baroque style.
The plague column was erected at the beginning of the XVIII century, when the epidemic of the bubonic plague raged. The townspeople hoped that it would protect them from the contagious disease.
According to the original design of the 13th century, the Vlas yard was supposed to be a defensive structure, but then its purpose was changed. A town hall, a royal residence, a school, and a forge for minting coins were built on the grounds of the court. The Vlašský dvůr is mostly mentioned in the history of Bohemia as a mint for the Prague groschen.
Today the Vlašský Mint houses a museum on the history of the royal mint. Visitors can even watch the process of money making: using medieval tools, minting souvenir coins.
Some of the interior rooms are accessible, such as the room where the king held audiences, the chapel with the original folding altars from the 15th century. In the basement there is a museum with medieval torture instruments as exhibits.
There is a special attraction in the courtyard: a fountain with a bronze figure of a miner. Tourists usually rush to make a picture near the fountain as a memento of Kutná Hora, and some also try to attract riches here. There is an interesting belief: in order to become rich, you have to sit with your back to the fountain and throw a coin over your shoulder so that it hits the miner’s tray.
- Address of the Vlašský dvor: Havlichkovo namesti 552/1, Kutná Hora 284 01, Czech Republic.
- Cost to visit: 85 CZK for adults, 45 CZK for children and students.
The museum is open seven days a week according to the following schedule:
- April-September: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m;
- October and March: from 10:00 to 17600;
- November and February: 9:00 to 16:00.
Next to the Vlašský Courtyard is the defensive construction of Hradek. Address: Barborska 28/9, Kutna Hora 284 01, Czech Republic.
Hradek was built before the appearance of the city, though at that time it was a rather modest wooden building. Over time, on its place appeared a stone castle.
Nowadays, there is a silver museum (České muzeum stříbra), which since 1958 is protected as a cultural monument of the Czech Republic. Tourists are offered two excursions:
- “The City of Silver. Introduces the history of Kutna Hora and the life of its citizens.
- “Silver Road”. Offers a tour of the different types of ores that were mined in the local mines, as well as exhibits demonstrating how silver mining took place.
Tourists are also invited to go down into the mine at a depth of 50 meters, where in medieval times silver was mined. Those wishing to try out the role of a silver miner will walk through the narrow tunnels and see another interesting attraction – the 16th century mining trave. This is a special machine that delivers ore from the mine in wicker baskets or water in leather furs.
Ticket price (kroon, Czech currency):
- I excursion: adult – 70, children and student – 40.
- II guided tour: adults – 120, children and students – 80.
Advice! Visitors at the entrance are given texts with excursion descriptions in Russian. But tourists recommend taking a tour in English, as the guide tells much more than is in the printout. The same tourists argue that a mediocre knowledge of English is enough.
The Czech Museum of Silver “Gradek” works all days of the week, except Monday, according to this schedule:
- May, June, September – from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m;
- July, August – from 10:00 to 18:00;
- October, April – from 9:00 to 17:00;
- November – from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
In the Rejsek Square, a little away from the town center, there is a unique attraction with a 500-year history – the stone fountain.
The stone fountain in Kutná Hora is a monumental structure of surprising dimensions and appearance. It is not really a fountain, but a reservoir used to collect and store drinking water. It was necessary because there was a shortage of water in the city – a lot of it was needed for the production of silver. There was always water in the fountain well, it was supplied there by a water pipe from a distant stream.
Interesting! The water pipe was made of wooden pipes, which lasted until the beginning of the twentieth century!
Originally the fountain was 4 m high and had sculptures of saints on its walls. And also there was a roof, because drinking water had to stay clean.
The majestic construction of the St. Barbara’s Cathedral can be seen from anywhere in Kutna Hora. The famous landmark is located not far from the center, at the end of Barborska Street.
Interesting fact! St. Barbara’s Cathedral is the second largest and most important Gothic church in the Czech Republic.
The Catholic Cathedral of St. Barbara in Kutna Hora was built on the initiative of the local rich burghers who owned the mining companies. It is St. Barbara that the miners and miners consider their patroness.
The construction of the temple began in 1388, and it was not until 1905 that all work was completed: the old building was completely rebuilt and expanded. The construction was staggered, it lasted 500 years, as it was conducted with the money of miners and strongly depended on the profitability of the mines.
Largely due to such a long construction period, the architectural style of St. Barbara’s Cathedral contains the features of many eras. It should also be noted that in terms of architecture, it is a worthy competitor to St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. By the way, these buildings were designed by the same architects.
A gallery leads to the cathedral, on which beautiful statues are installed – a worthy reminder of Charles Bridge in Prague.
The most original elements of the cathedral’s exterior are the sculptures on its highest part, especially on the buttress. On the walls and turrets we can see various images of fauna, flora, and mythical creatures. Chimeras, demons, harpies, gargoyles, frogs, bats, flowers, winged rams, monkeys with oranges – all this looks down on the people walking below.
Inside the cathedral, the walls are painted with frescoes belonging to Gothic and Renaissance painting, where the main theme is the mining of silver and coinage. The main altar is on the second tier, which emphasizes the originality of the cathedral even more. A worthy decoration of the building are the huge stained glass windows – they are not just striking in their technique and scale, but convey the history of the city and the construction of the cathedral in detail. All this, as well as richly ornamented caskets and the imposing size of the organ, evoke undeniable admiration.
Tip: If you want to admire the interior and exterior of the church, it is advisable to bring binoculars.
Near the cathedral is a chapel. The first floor was built in the time of Jan Parlerz, and on the second floor not so long ago made observation deck to observe the amazing beauty of the scenery.
St. Barbara’s Cathedral in Kutna Hora is active and holds services on Sundays from 7:00 and on holidays. There are also wedding ceremonies in the church, and tourists are not allowed inside during that time. Any changes in the schedule are on this page: http://khfarnost.cz/cs/category/upozorneni/chram-svate-barbory/.
Address of the site: Barborská 685, 284 01 Kutná Hora, Czech Republic.
Regular opening hours of the cathedral:
Chapel with observation deck is open:
- March: weekends only, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m;
- April: from 10:00 to 17:00;
- May – October: from 9:00 to 18:00.
Ticket prices (Czech crowns):
- for adults: 120;
- for children from 6 to 15 years old: 50;
- for students from 15 to 26 years old and people over 65 years old – 90;
- children under 6 years of age pass free of charge.
This church, often called the Abode of Light, is located outside the historic center, in the Sedlec district. Address: U Zastávky / Sedlec, Kutná Hora 284 03, Czech Republic.
Of all the buildings of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries that have survived to this day, the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kutna Hora is the most massive. The building with a majestic dark grey facade was built in the shape of a Latin cross and is 87 m long. It is the first cathedral-type structure in Bohemia in the tradition of North French Gothic architecture.
The interior of the cathedral is very modest. Only the wooden objects attract attention: the statues of saints and angels, the confessionals and benches covered with carvings with non-repeating patterns. The cream decoration of the walls and the sunlight coming in through the numerous huge windows make the room incredibly delicate, turning it into a real abode of Light.
- The price of the admission ticket is 30 CZK, 20 CZK for children and students.
- You can visit this attraction for free on the first Wednesday of each month from 13:00 to 17:00.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is open at these times:
- November-March – all days of the week from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
In the same area of Sedlec, on the outskirts of the city, near the cemetery, there is another famous attraction – the Church of All Saints with the ossuary or Kostnica. The church, the interior of which is made entirely of human bones, evokes quite contradictory and ambiguous feelings: frightening, fascinating, but certainly not indifferent.
You can read about the history of Kostnice and see this most unusual sight in Kutna Hora and the Czech Republic pictured here.
Hotels in Kutna Hora
Travelers who want to see the sights of Kutna Hora are ready to welcome hotels, pensions, and guest houses of the city. Popular service Booking.com offers for booking more than 30 options for accommodation, and a large part of them are 3* hotels, where the average cost of a double room per night is 1368 CZK. You can find cheaper or more expensive rooms in 3* hotels, for example:
The Hotel Zvonarska on the main town square (Zvonarska 286) offers accommodation at the lowest prices – from 994 CZK for two people. Its rating on Booking.com is 8.5 (very good). Hotel U Zvonu
- In the Kutna guesthouse, also located in the historic center, double rooms are already more expensive – from 1223 crowns. But also the rating is higher: 9.4 (excellent). Pension Bed & Breakfast
- Pension Bed & Breakfast, within walking distance of the city center, provides rooms from 1,465 kronor. The rating is 9.1 (excellent).
- Hotel Garni Na Havlíčku, in the heart of the city, has rates starting at 1,500 kronor. Rating 8,7 (terrific).
How to get to Kutna Hora from Prague
To this small but full of interesting sights, from the capital of the Czech Republic, you can come by train, bus or car.
By train the trip takes about an hour, by bus – an hour and a half. Each of the options for travel has its own characteristics, you can read about them in more detail here
Advice! Arriving at the railway station, it will be convenient to get to the main sights of Kutna Hora by a tourist private minivan. The minivan takes the route “railway station – Kostnica – St. Barbara’s Cathedral” and the fare is 35 CZK.
Detailed itinerary of how to get from Prague to Kutna Hora by bus, train and cab is described in this article.
Whichever travel option you choose, it is sure to be comfortable. And Kutna Hora (Czech Republic) will meet you and show you its best sights.
See also a video review of Kutna Hora.
Author: Irina Kovaleva
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Kutna Hora is a city in Central Bohemia, a region located in the Czech Republic.
In the Middle Ages, Kutná Hora was a silver mining town and was the second largest city in terms of population after Prague. Today, Kutná Hora is home to 21,000 people.
Although Kutna Hora’s architecture seems bleak, the historic center of the town, including St. Barbara’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Sedlec, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. There are beautiful buildings at both ends of the town, and on the higher points of Kutna Hora are restored buildings with old architecture in various styles: Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
How to get there
There is a train from the Prague Central Station to Kutná Hora approximately once an hour. Check the timetable for the exact time of departure. The Kutná Hora station is closer to the city, but the Main Station is a 10-minute walk from the ossuary. A train ticket costs 104 Czech crowns (CZK) (a group discount is available if you buy tickets for two or more people: the second passenger pays CZK 73, each subsequent passenger pays CZK 52). Travel time is 1 hour and 12 minutes.
You can get from the station to the city center in the following ways:
- The city is not more than 3 kilometers long, so if you want you can walk around it. However, the walk will hardly be pleasant, especially since most of the attractions (with the exception of the ossuary) are at the opposite end of town from the train station.
- You will be able to leave by bus. If you want to return to the train station from the historic city center, look for a bus with “Hlavni Nádraží” written on the windshield. A one-way ticket costs CZK 9 and the bus will take you directly to the train station. Keep in mind that buses run twice an hour and you can get there faster on foot.
- For 35 Czech crowns a comfortable tourist bus will take you anywhere along the route Station – Kostnica – St. Barbara’s Cathedral. The drivers usually wait until the bus (minivan) is filled with at least three passengers and then pulls away. It is usually parked next to the ossuary and leaves for St. Barbara’s Cathedral.
- The local train runs from the historic center (Kutná Hora město station) to the train station (Kutná Hora Hlavni Nádraží). This train fits just at the time when passengers can make a transfer from the intercity train. The time gap is about 5 minutes. There may be a problem if you want to leave your luggage, as there is no luggage room at the station. And if you want to visit both the historical center and the ossuary, it is more reasonable to arrive at one station and leave back at the other. At the Kutná Hora město station you can buy a ticket directly to Prague, it will cost almost the same as from the train station. Keep in mind that, unlike Prague, not many people speak English in Kutná Hora. Also, there are no ticket vending machines at the train station.
- One or two cab cars are usually waiting for passengers outside the station, but it can be difficult to catch them on the street. In contrast to Prague, you can hail a car on the street: cab drivers here do not inflate prices. A trip from one end of the city to the other will be about 80 Czech crowns.
- Upon arrival in Kutná Hora you can take bus no. 1 or wait for the train to “Kutná Hora Město” (center of Kutná Hora). There will be 3 stops along the way, but it is recommended to get off at “Kutná Hora Mešto” if you are going to the city center and not to Kostnica.
- If you are in good physical shape, however, walking is recommended. When you leave the station, turn right and walk to the first crossroads (about a three-minute walk). Then turn left and walk another 5 – 8 minutes (depending on how fast you walk), you will find the cathedral on the left and the Kostnica church on the right. The ticket to Kostnica costs 50 CZK and for 30 CZK you will be allowed to take photos.After the Kostechnitsy you can go into town. Keep in mind that the walk will take 35 – 45 minutes. Go back to the main road and turn right – you are 2.5 kilometers from the city center. All you have to do is follow the road signs. You won’t be able to get past St. Barbara’s cathedral and the silver museum in Gradek from April to November.
Buses leave from the bus stations in Prague Florenc and Haje practically every hour; check the timetable for exact times. Not all buses go to Kutna Hora; on some routes a transfer is required. The fare is about CZK 70 and the travel time is 1 hour and 40 minutes.
To return to the train station you can:
- Walk (3.5 kilometers);
- Take a cab;
- Take bus number 1;
- Go from the station “Kutná Hora Město” to the station “Kutná Hora Hlavní nádraží”.
When you return to the station, you can:
- Take the train to Kolín and make a change there to get to Prague;
- Wait for the train to Prague.
- There are buses between Kutna Hora and Prague, but trains are considered more reliable and usually arrive without delays;
- You can return to Prague by cab (a trip from Kutna Hora would cost about 1,600 crowns).
When is the season. When is the best time to go
Kutna Hora – weather by months
Main attractions. Things to see
Located at Zamecka 127, 327 561 14, e-mail: [email protected]
This impressive church is better known as the ossuary in Sedlec. In 1278 Abbot Henry was sent to the Holy Land (Jerusalem). From there he brought back soil from Golgotha and sprinkled it on the ground on which Kostnica now stands. As a result, this land was recognized as holy and became incredibly popular. In 1511, a chapel was built to house the bones from the excavated graves. The chapel is open to tourists and was built by František Rint from the bones of about 40,000 people. In the church you will see a huge chandelier made of human bones and a crucifix near the altar.
The Kostnica is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April to September, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in October and March and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from November to February. On December 24, the church is closed. In contrast to the information center nearby, the church is not closed from 12.00 to 13.00 in the off-season. Tickets cost: 60 CZK for adults and 40 CZK for students. Please note: you can buy several tours at once at a more attractive price. You also do not have to pay for photography and video.
St. Barbara’s Cathedral
The cathedral is located on the opposite side of town from the train station. If you want to start your city tour here, you can take a cab to the cathedral and then walk to the center of Kutna Hora.
History of the cathedral: Construction of the cathedral began around 1380 in the workshop of Peter Parler, who also worked on St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle.
The attractive spires are mesmerizing! If you’re looking for the fantastic Gothic style of Bohemia, St. Barbara’s Cathedral is definitely one of those along with St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague (however, if you visit St. Vitus Cathedral before your visit to Kutna Hora, the impression will not be as strong, as the Prague cathedral is much more grandiose).
Cathedral of Our Lady of Sedlec
The Royal Mint and the former royal residence.
Were flooded in the Middle Ages, but now tourists can take a tour of the accessible parts of the mines, which are held daily except Monday (Monday is usually a day off in the Czech Republic). In winter (from November to March) the mines are closed.
Czech Silver Museum, where the tour of the mines begins.
Museum of Torture
Located in the Italian courtyard. Extremely funny and not like a museum, it is replete with misspelled names in English. Every horror movie fan will be pleased. Admission is 50 crowns.
What to see in 1 day
After arriving in Kutna Hora, head from the train station to Kostnica. Take a bus, tourist minivan, or walk to St. Barbara’s Cathedral, and from there head into the city center, where you’ll find plenty of cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, museums, and can take the famous underground tour of the mines. At the end of your trip walk to the railway station Kutná Hora Město (city center), from where you can return to Prague via Kutna Hora Hlavni Nádraží station.
Food – What to Try
As a rule, the staff in the restaurants near St. Barbara’s Cathedral are friendlier and (strangely) more professional than in Prague. There are several bars, restaurants and cafes under the shadow of the cathedral, some with indescribable views of the valley to the south.