The ancient city of Kutna Hora lies in the region of Bohemia in present day Czech Republic. Bohemia was one of the oldest Eastern European kingdoms, and a land replete with rich historical heritage. Kutna Hora is one of the most beautiful European towns, with a distinctive cultural heritage reflected in its architecture and town planning. It is also one of the best preserved medieval towns in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will find magnificent Gothic churches and cathedrals, some of the richest medieval archives and some truly bizarre sites like the Torture Museum. Not to mention the great silver mines of Hradek, after which the town gets its name.
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The architecture of Kutna Hora is a mix of various influences like Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Through the ages, older buildings were renovated and newer ones built, so that the today a walk through the town gives you a sense of how history itself trickled down and crystallized in the form of spaces for living and worship. It is a must-see place for anyone interested in a European holiday that is away from the Western European cities that have invariably become cliches in popular culture all over the world.
The history of Kutna Hora goes back all the way to 1142 CE, nearly a thousand years ago, with the first settlement at the Sedlec Abbey - the first Cistercian monastery in Bohemia. By 1260, German miners began to mine for silver in the mountains around the town. They named the region Kuttenburg, derived from the old Czech word for mining - kutani. The region soon became one of the richest in Bohemia due to the abundance of silver, competing with the capital city of Prague economically, politically and culturally.
The town of Kutna Hora changed hands multiple times from ruler to ruler through the medieval and early modern periods of history. Finally, after the World War I, it became a part of Czechoslovakia. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the town became a part of the country of Czech Republic.
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Throughout its rich history, Kutna Hora held an important status in the region. Today it is often known as ‘the city of silver’ and ‘national treasury’ for its great impact on the economy of the region.
Photo by Chris
The weather in Kutna Hora is quite predictable all year round. Winters here last during the months of December, January and February. The temperature goes down to -2 degree Celsius during the nights, and snowfall is experienced. Summer starts in March and goes all the way to May. This is when the tourist season is at its peak. By the end of June, the town witnesses rainfall that brings with it lush greenery and fresh smells. Although tourism is at a low point during the rains, it can be a great time to visit the town in all its blooming colours.
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There are hourly trains leaving for Kutna Hora from Prague, which is about 85 kilometers away. The train journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, while the hourly buses take around 1 hour 40 minutes.
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The Seldec Ossuary in Kutna Hora. Photo by Shawn
The town of Kutna Hora is only 3 kilometers in length, which makes it very accessible by foot. There is also a local bus system that takes you to all the major attractions around the area. Some of the must-see places when you get here are: