Some people associate it with silver, some with macabre chapel built of human bones. There’re also those, who see magnificent late-Gothic cathedral when they hear "Kutna Hora".
The city of silver, because that’s how Kutna Hora is often referred to, is located in the Czech Republic, approx. 70 km from Prague. Its development is inextricably linked to the mining of the valuable metal. Along with time, the resort grew bigger and bigger, and later the royal mint called Italian Court was established there. Over the years, it was "promoted" and became a royal residence. Silver deposits began to run out in the eighteenth century, which in turn resulted in the closure of the mint. Today the building houses a mintage museum and numismatic gallery.
The silver cities
However, before the silver deposits had ended, the precious ore attracted people from different parts of Europe. And from different social classes - both entrepreneurs as well as brawlers of various kinds. In the best period (late thirteenth/fourteenth centuries) Kutna Hora produced one third of European silver. It was a place with the deepest mine in the world, St. George tunnel. The wealth of the city powered the whole kingdom – it was even called the treasury of the country.
To these days we can find many traces of its former glory. One of them is The Old Town, along with the monumental Cathedral of St. Barbara and monastery church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, located in the district of Sedlec. That cathedral is a priceless work of late Gothic architecture. Inside there’s a gallery of Late Gothic and Renaissance wall paintings. Because of the numerous sharp towers it’s sometimes referred to as "brontosaurus ridge".
Chilly Chapel of Skulls
Much smaller in size, but by no means less famous is another city’s attraction, the Chapel of Skulls. Despite the glamor of the interior, you will feel tremendously cold. You get the feeling that any time there may appear a silhouette of a pagan priest, who will mutter some dark spells. Chandeliers mad of shin bones, chains of human skulls, bones of the dead people integrated into the altars and ancestral coat of arms – these gruesome ornaments are the remains of hundreds of victims of the fourteenth-century plague that hit this land, the Hussite Wars and the Thirty Years War.
The chapel (ossuary) is located in the district of Sedlec. You may wonder what was the purpose of building these kind of places – they were created in honor of the dead people, as an expression of painful questions directed toward the heaven, or perhaps as a cry of grief and anger, even accusations of cruelty of fate. There’re a few theories, and people, who know the truth, won’t ever tell anything.
Overnight at a campsite in Kutna Hora
Kutna Hora has still a lot to offer for tourists. It’s definitely worth seeing the beautiful chapel of St. Wenceslas and Ladislav, a baroque church of John Nepomuk, as well as the Klimeska complex with the second longest bobsleigh track in the Czech Republic. And where you can stay during the trip? On the outskirts of town there’s a large and nice Autocamp TRANSIT Kutna Hora. If you plan to visit the place in the next year, can make a reservation even now – the campsite is open from 1.4 to 30.9, has places in rooms, bungalows, there’re also positions for cars, tents, motorhomes and caravans. In the beautiful surroundings (among greenery and flowers), guests can enjoy a stay for 90 CZK per day. Place for the vehicle costs 55 CZK.
A little bit closer, approx. 10 minutes from the town center, there’s Autokamp Santabarbara. It has a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and facilities for people with disabilities (ramps, etc.). On this campsite you can also enjoy a restaurant. Nightly accommodation for an adult costs 90 CZK, while a place for a caravan or motorhome - 120 CZK.
Kutna Hora will engrave in the memory of everyone, regardless of whether the city attracted him with it macabre chapel, the majestic cathedral, or the glitter of silver.