It was a quick 1 hour ride to the small main station in Kutna Hora. We found an information office, and the helpful lady gave us a map, directions to the local sights, and helped us with bus connections around the area. Even though this station is called the main station, it is really quite a ways out of the town of Kutna Hora.
Our first destination was an easy 15 minute walk from the station. We walked along a narrow tree lined road to the outskirts of Kutna Hora to an area called Sedlec.
Our first stop, Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and St. John The Baptist, which was founded by Cistercian Order and originally built in 1320. It was rebuilt in 1702, and is said to be one of the first cathedral-like structures built on Bohemian soil. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The interior is quite simple, with very minimum decoration. It has a nice serenity, and we both enjoyed the church, especially the detailed descriptions of the meticulous restorations.
The steps led to the attic of the church, where we walked on a newly constructed wood walkway the length of the church.
We could see the brick construction of the domes along the aisles on either side of the nave:
Here are a few pictures of the elaborate decoration:
Our first look at The Church of St. Barbara--we knew we were in for a treat! (and I just realized this picture is w little wonky--sorry)
A little history:
Earliest evidence of settlement in the area date to the 10th century. Kutna Hora came to prominence in the 13th century due to the discovery of silver in the area. During the 13th century Kutna Hora was almost as large as Prague.
St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners--so it was certainly a logical name for the church. Construction on the church started in 1388, and work continued for many centuries, interrupted by wars and decline in silver mining. It was finally completed in 1905. The original design was for a much larger church--almost twice the size of the current church, hard to imagine!
Medieval fresco from the 15th century:
We were able to climb to an area near the big pipe organ, where we had some interesting views over the church.
Across the vault there were several old empty pictures frames on the wall--of course I wanted them ALL!
We spent over an hour in St. Barbara--it was definitely the highlight of our day in Kutna Hora.
We had just a short time left, as our nice taxi drive said he would pick us up at 4 pm for the return trip to the train station. We walked around the church, admiring the view over Kutna Hora:
And especially the beautiful architecture of the church.
Our driver was there right on time, and we asked to be dropped off at the train station right in the middle of Kutna Hora instead of the one we came into. We were about 45 minutes early, so we thought we'd relax and have a coffee or a beer while waiting for our train. Welllll----this station was even tinier that the first--not even a vending machine! It was a bit deserted looking, so we walked around a couple of blocks, but still didn't find a restaurant or pub. We walked back to the station, and found we could get on an earlier train--good luck!