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Kutna Hora クタナホラ

April 20, 2009

I figured since I spent the majority of my time in Prague, I would leave talking about that to the end (besides, my film should be back from the lab and ready to be scanned before then).  To start things off, I’ll talk about the day trips (3 in total) that I made outside of Prague.  The first being a short hour train ride west to Kutna Hora.


In medieval times, Kutna Hora was home to the deepest silver mine in the world – 500 metres.  No mean feat when you consider it was all done manually.  As far as I’m aware, there’s no more mining done in the town.  The town’s new form of income is definitely tourism.  Two places in particular: Sedlec ossuary and St. Barbara’s cathedral.  There are a couple other minor sights but the ossuary and the cathedral are the biggies.


In 1870, the Schwarzenberg family bought the monastery and let the local woodcarver have carte blanche with the 40-some-odd thousand bones that had been, for centuries, housed in the crypt.  I’m not entirely sure what the church might have thought of the new design but it’s certainly interesting and well worth a look as far as I’m concerned.  It was in fact the main reason I went to Kutna Hora.


St. Barbara was (or still is) the patron saint of miners and Kutna Hora.  Despite not being a religious minded person, I still marvel at the architecture of these medieval cathedrals.  And then I remember how they essentially got financed off the backs of the peasants and the shine gets kind of tarnished.  Still, the fact that they survived the communist era in the Czech Republic is amazing in its own right.  The Lonely Planet guide book states that this cathedral rivals Prague’s St. Vitus cathedral for magnificence.  I’m not convinced of that.  I’ll post photos of St. Vitus later so you can judge but St. Barb’s is still pretty remarkable.  Certainly a hell of a lot less packed with tourists, that’s for sure.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carman permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:17 pm

    Hey Gord, I like the colorful header…so refreshing!


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