Kutna Hora: Czech Republic’s Hidden Gem

Okay so this is kind of a cheat post because I went to Kutna Hora last year but since moving back to Manchester, I’ve been so busy and on a bit of a whirlwind to actually write or do anything! However, I think Kutna Hora is such an amazing place, often overshadowed by Prague.

My older brother and I travelled a little bit last summer and during our time in Prague, we set aside a day to visit Kutna Hora which is about an hour outside of Prague. We signed up to this the same day we did a free walking tour, and I remember it costing around 700CZK, which for a full day tour, admission into the sights, travel and lunch, that’s not too bad at all! Plus, we met quite a few travellers that day, mostly Aussies and Americans and they were all a laugh.

The reason we decided to visit Kutna Hora was ultimately for the Sedlec Ossuary. Somewhere that has intrigued me for a while, and to be hoenst, I’m not exactly sure how I ever stumbled upon the place! But I do love architecture and the interior of this church is something truly quite remarkable. Pictures and words do not do it any justice at all, definitely worth a visit at some point in your life!

The story of the ossuary, if memory serves me correctly, is that too many people were buried here. And eventually, sometime in the 16th century, the bones were dug up and placed inside the church, with four huge piles of bones in each corner and the rest used for decoration! The bones in each corner today are sectioned off with wire fencing for safety reasons as the bones are just loosely placed and stacked. It was also really hard to get pictures of the piles of bones due to lighting and flash being a problem, but ignoring those, it was the decoration that was truly impressive! I mean, I suppose it is pretty gross and kinda morbid when you think about it, but it was all insane! The chandelier and crest especially!

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To continue our tour, we waited for our transport outside the ossuary, which was just behind these walls. But Kutna Hora had so many impressive statues, that the wait wasn’t too bad.

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Our guides then took us to St Barbara’s church and I remember being told that this church wasn’t even half the size of what it was supposed to be. And in fact, when you walk around the church, you can see where the construction had to end abruptly and where the original design was changed. I am one of those people who loves to spend time inside churches, they completely fascinate me! I’ve always found the decor and paintings so fascinating and impressive.

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These were the views at the back of the church, overlooking Kutna Hora.

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This was Kutna Hora’s answer to Prague’s Charles Bridge. According to our guide, I remember being told that Kutna Hora and Prague used to be in competition with each other- hence the bridge and the churches, but ultimately, it was Prague that pulled through. Yet this does confirm that Kutna Hora is somewhat of a hidden gem.

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En route back to the train, we stopped at the Italian court, which has actually been used for a lot of filming! Perhaps most annoyingly for this Go Compare advert. But the court was so stunning, as it was enclossed in somewhat of a square- a piazza if you must, it was impossible to get the entire thing to fit in a frame!

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And finally, en route to the train station, this was just a building and some graffiti that caught my eye in the 40+ degrees heat. We were there during the hottest heatwave the Czech Republic had ever seen in it’s recorded history and boy did we know it!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures and apologies that it was kind of a cheat post! But reflecting on last year’s travels is certainly more exciting than all the uni work I’m doing right now. Plus, Kutna Hora is totally a hidden gem, and somewhere that unless you’re told about, you probably wouldn’t think twice about going! So next time you find yourself in Prague, take the train an hour outside and go see what this great little city has to offer!

***July 2017 update: You can access this post on the GPSmyCity app, available for download here ***

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  1. I went there years ago, but missed the ossuary. I seem to remember the cathedral from the outside and we went to an Art Nouveau-decorated mansion.

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