Day 3 of our trip to Prague we went Kutna Hora a small town about an hours train ride from central Prague, which started out as a silver mining town around the 13th Century. Famous for it’s Bone Church as well as several other religious buildings which I’ll get to in good time, this was one of the main reasons for choosing Prague as our next destination and we’d done a bit of research on Trip Advisor on how to get there.
Trains run frequently from Prague main railway station (which itself is worth a visit with its grand old Art Nouveau booking hall) which is about 5 mins walk from the National Museum and a joint (for 2 persons) return ticket was 262ck (approx £8). Once arriving at our first Church we bought a discounted ticket that got us into 5 attractions for 165ck (approx £5) which was a fair bit cheaper than the organised tour we saw for 700ck (approx £22) which included public transport and only entry to 2 attractions and whilst we didn’t have a personalised tour guide, we really didn’t need one as there was plenty of (free)information available in English. There was a local taxi service which charged approx £1 each to ferry you from the Bone Church end of town to the main town – the driver provided us with a map and suggested a walking route through the town – we also booked him to collect us at the end of our day and take us back to the train station – perfect!
After arriving at Kutna Hora train station, it was pretty easy to find the route into the town – we just followed everyone else! Past the Philip Morris factory and you come to a crossroads type area in the suburb of Sedlec, to the left is the Cathedral of Our Lady and to the right the Ossuary of Sedlec (afore mentioned Bone Church).
Cathedral of Our Lady (click to view full size)
Sedlec Ossuary (click to view full size)
Sedlec Ossuary or The All Saints Cemetery Church is decorated almost entirely of human bones, originally piled in a pyramid by half blind monks in 1511 – the current ‘design’ was by Frantisek Rint and was created by the remains of approx 40,000 people and you’ll be glad to know the bones were disinfected before hand! The Ossuary is a far less creepy or solemn than the Paris Catacombes and even had a little gift shop area at the entrance, where you could purchase afore mentioned taxi tickets.
We then got our taxi to the main town of Kutna Hora, we were dropped outside the impressive Gothic Cathedral of St Barbora.
We sat outside here to eat our packed lunch (hmmm ham & cheese butties) and watch what appeared to be a young sparrow hawk or kestral be harassed by one of the local stall holders, who decided it needed a drink
This cathedral was not dissimilar to the other one, so I wont bore you with the simuilar interior photographs (although the are not any less impressive), however from up here there was an impressive view of the town below
After lunch we embarked on the rough walking tour marked out by our taxi driver, which was cool as it took you past pretty much all the interesting looking architecture and places and also the Czech Medieval Silver Mine museum, which was slightly odd. We had a very strange tour – basically it was timed tours, so we had to leave our bags locked up then rush to join a tour that was about 15 minutes in (although that was fine, I really don’t think I could’ve managed the entire tour), the tour shows the history of silver minining and it’s importance to Kutna Hora and takes you into a real mine. Now I’m only 5’4″ and I banged my head about 5 times, thank god for the hard hats – at times it was so narrow and the ceiling so low you were almost crouched, not very comfortable ending up down a hill about 300 yards away from the museum. At first we thought our tour guide was uninterested in giving the tour but it turns out it was her first tour in English which was why she was constantly looking at her notes and her intonation wasn’t great, but all things considered it was a way to pass 45mins.
The town itself is full of interesting buildings, churches and this stone fountain, currently under renovation.
However we found a much better way in the form of a bar that advertised Staropramen for 28ck (less than a pound) for half a litre – bargain! after a couple we headed to meet our taxi and back to Kutna Hora train station, back to Prague for another meal at Jiny Stav