Thursday, November 13, 2014

Private guide in PRAGUE and Kutná Hora 


Kutná Hora, situated about 65 km from Prague, this mediaeval city has origins from the first part of the 13th century. After Prague it was the most important town in Bohemia, having become the most preferred temporary residence of several Czech kings and also a mint for the "Prague Penny" ("Groš"). Kutná Hora was declared as world heritage site, and since 1995 it has been protected by UNESCO. Our guide will show you the most important buildings and places - the St. Barbora's Cathedral, the Ossuary(Bone House), and the Italian Court.

History of Kutná Hora

The mining of silver enabled the town to prosper from the 13th to 15th centuries. At one time, the mine in Kutná Hora was the deepest in the world, and its silver was exported to one-third of Europe. This is where the Czech currency, the Prague groschen, was forged in the Middle Ages. While the mines and town were decimated during the Hussite wars of the 1420s and later during the Thirty Years’ War, the mining era in Kutná Hora was far from over. It even operated from World War II to 1991.

The Cathedral of Saint Barbara

Kutná Hora has more to offer than just mining. Perhaps the highlight of the town is Saint Barbara’s Cathedral, named after the miners’ patron saint. Built in 1338 and, after many interruptions, finished in 1905, the cathedral boasts many Baroque works of art, including three Baroque chapels, as well as late Gothic frescoes associated with mining. Its outer buttresses and gargoyles complement a Neo-Gothic façade. The oldest piece in the three-nave structure is the statue of Our Lady Enthroned, hailing from 1380. Stained glass windows are much more recent, dating from the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Look closely and notice the cathedral in the background of two of the exquisite windows. The late Gothic décor of the frescoes dotting the cathedral comes from the end of the 15th century. In the Mint Chapel frescoes depict miners striking Prague groschen with mallets.

                                                     The Cathedral of Saint Barbara

Hrádek or The Small Castle – Now The Silver Museum

Hrádek or the Little Castle, now housing the Silver Museum, is located in the center of Kutná Hora and dates back to 1312 or earlier. It became a stone fortified castle palace before being reconstructed into a family residence at the end of the 15th century. At that time, under the ownership of entrepreneur Jan Smíšek, it was one of the earliest examples of the Renaissance in Bohemia. The extravagant building was decorated in Jagiellonian Gothic style with large halls, a three-floor tower, high gables and chapels. Mining motifs and painted ceilings added to the stunning décor.  Then the owners of the Little Castle changed many times, and during the late 17th and 18thcenturies the place was used as a Jesuit seminary and school. Hrádek underwent Gothic renovations in the 1950s and 1990s. 

Hrádek  The Silver Museum

The Ossuary or Bone Church in Sedlec

Sedlec, the All Saints Chapel goes back to the 14th century while the cemetery, hailing from the 13th century, is the resting place of many plague victims and fallen soldiers from the Hussite wars. In 1511 a half-blind monk piled bones from abolished graves into pyramids. The Schwarzenberg clan purchased the ossuary and surrounding area in 1784, after architect Jan Santini Blažej-Aichel has done the renovation in his unique Baroque Gothic style. The Schwarzenbergs had the idea to put the bones and skulls of the 40,000 bones into various shapes, such as a large chandelier, a Gothic tower, a chalice and the Schwarzenberg coat-of- arms with bones depicting a severed Turk’s head and a raven. Skulls from soldiers during the Hussite wars of the 1420s are also on display in this unique, impressive space.

The Ossuary

Other Sights

There are still more sights in the town. Dramatically leading up to the cathedral from the former Jesuit College, which is now an Art Museum GASK, are 12 statues of saints, constructed from 1650 to 1716.

The former Jesuit College

Official website :

Visit Prague and Kutná Hora with private 

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