Kutna Hora On a BudgetLocated to the east of Prague in the Central Bohemia Region, Kutna Hora is a city in the Czech Republic that dates back as a silver mining town in the medieval era. Today it is characterized by sights like the Gothic St. Barbara's Church, Sedlec Ossuary, and Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
SightsThe historic area of Kutna Hora is the main point of interest for most visitors. Its cobbled streets and Gothic architecture speak to the city's medieval past with many impressive examples like the Gothic St. Barbara's Church, begun in the year 1388, and the Italian Court, formerly a royal residence and mint, which was built at the end of the 13th century. The Gothic Stone Haus, or Kamenny dum, which since 1902 has served as a museum, is not only a beautiful remnant of historic Bohemia, but also contains one of the richest archives in the country. The Gothic St. James's Church, with its 86-meter tower is another prominent building as is the site of the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady and the famous Ossuary in Sedlec. This small Gothic chapel beholds an interior draped with garlands of human skulls as well as a unique bone chandelier and other Gothic decor - all constructed in the 16th century to house the bones of abolished graves. The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist is another of Kutna Hora's medieval monuments, built in the Gothic and Baroque style. Along with the church of St. Barbara and other historic monuments, these landmarks of the city make up an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
NeighborhoodsStretching for about three kilometers in length, Kutna Hora is easily navigated on foot. The historical core of the town, however, is located at the opposite end of the train station. Established in the 14th century due to its prosperous silver mines, this center became the start of a royal city endowed with monuments that sang praises to its affluence. Together, Kutna Hora and the neighboring town of Sedlec are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the center of Kutna Hora's historic quarter is St. Barbara's Church, which towers above the main part of town where visitors can find a nice selection of restaurants and cafes.
ActivitiesThe sights of Kutna Hora are fairly compact (except for the Sedlec Ossuary) and fairly easy to see on foot. Its many examples of Gothic architecture can provide days of sightseeing into a medieval past. Churches and courtyards and cobbled streets will mark this path back in time as visitors explore and learn about the city's history. Another unique opportunity is to visit the local silver mines. Though they were mostly flooded in the middle ages, tours are provided almost daily to accessible portions of the mines. They are normally closed on Mondays and during the winter season from November to March.
Food and DiningFor dining, Czech cuisine makes up the traditional fare of the general area. A Czech meal will typically consist of two or more main courses, with the first being soup and the second being the main dish. Thick soups and many kinds of sauces are especially popular. These are both based on stewed or cooked vegetables and meats, often with cream, as well as baked meats with natural gravies. A third course might sometimes consist of dessert or fruit compote. A mainstay of Czech side dishes is the dumpling - usually sliced, potato-based, filled with smoked meat, and served with spinach or sour cabbage. Other side dishes include noodles, boiled or risotto rice sometimes made into a kind of pudding, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, and French fries or croquettes. As far as the main course goes, pork is the most common meat though beef, veal, and chicken are also found. These can be cooked into stews, marinated, stuffed into dumplings, minced and baked, or smoked. In Kutna Hora, there is a good selection of bars, restaurants, and cafes in the vicinity around St. Barbara's Cathedral.
TransportationThe best way to reach Kutna Hora is to first travel to Prague, where trains run hourly between the two cities with a journey of just over an hour. There also are buses which run roughly hourly from Prague at the Florenc or Haje bus station with a journey of just under two hours.
For international travels, Vaclav Havel Airport Prague is the main airport serving the area, located about 12 kilometers west of Prague's city center.
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