Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

Kutná Hora is a popular day trip destination for Prague tourists. It’s only 80 km (~50 miles) from Prague and about two hours from Brno. With only 22,000 inhabitants, it’s a very quiet village with some nifty sights.

The town was founded in 1142. In the 13th century, silver was discovered here and Kutná Hora became the second most important city in the Kingdom of Bohemia, competing with Prague economically, politically and culturally. In 1995, the city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Gothic Church of St. Barbara was started in 1388 and, more than 500 years later, it was completed in 1905. This is the country’s second largest cathedral, after St. Vitus. It is named after the patron saint of miners. Very important for a mining town. There are some outstanding late Gothic and Renaissance murals inside that date back to the 15th century.

The Baroque Jesuit College is right next to St. Barbara’s. Kind of neat to have Baroque and Gothic right next to each other. It was built between 1667 – 1703. In front of the college is a low wall with 13 sculptures of saints. It was designed to resemble the Charles Bridge in Prague.

Formerly known as the “Golden Comb House”, the Tyl House is the birthplace of Josef Kajetán Tyl. He was a writer and dramatist. He also wrote the words to the Czech national anthem. The house is now the Czech Museum of Silver.

Water was a tough commodity in Kutná Hora. The Late Gothic stone fountain was built in 1497. The second digit that looks like half of an "8", is how they used to write "4".

Across from the fountain is the Knights' House. This house is different from others in town because it was reconstructed in 1824 in the Classicist style.

The tower of St. James’ Church can be seen from almost everywhere in town. The original plans called for two towers but during construction it was discovered that the church’s base could only support a single tower.

Most major cities in Central Europe have a Plague Column. This one was built from 1713 – 1715 for the +6,000 people who died here. Since this was a mining town, the column contains sculptures of miners.

Most people take the trip to visit The Bone Church. I’ll post about that later.
I know this will sound crazy but one of the day’s highlights was visiting the café at Kozím Plácku. I had the best cup of coffee I’ve had in a year!! There are only two places in the entire country where you can get a vacuum pot, here and in Prague. I must find out where in Prague for when I’m back there in July. Basically, you pick the kind of coffee you want, Brazilian for me, and they put it in a contraption that looks like it came straight out of chemistry class. The hot water in the bottom part rises up to the top part and then the coffee settles back down. It was soooo good. Yes, the espressos are good here but this was real coffee.

1 comment:

  1. I came to this blog by accident, but I found very interesting. Greetings to all who visit here.