My driver said that the infamous black death, or what I call the plague, the one that killed tens of millions up to an estimated 100 million, apparently killed over 99% of the inhabitants in this town called Kutna Hora. At least, this is according to my driver. He could be speaking the truth, could be exaggerating, could have heard it wrong, or maybe I heard it wrong. In whatever case, it must have killed enough people that this town actually has a bone skeleton cathedral dedicated to the people who died from the bubonic plague.
Anyway, Kutna Hora wasn’t our first stop of the day. Our first stop was actually at this small town called České Budějovice.
České Budějovice, also known as Budweis in German, is a city located in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. With a population of around 94,000, it is the largest city in the region and serves as an important economic and cultural center. The city is renowned for its beautiful historic center, which features well-preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture.
One of the highlights of České Budějovice is its magnificent main square, named the Přemysl Otakar II Square, which is one of the largest medieval squares in Europe. The square is surrounded by colorful pastel-colored buildings with arcades, creating a charming and picturesque atmosphere. At the heart of the square stands the impressive Gothic-style Black Tower, offering panoramic views of the city.
The city has a rich brewing history, being home to the famous Budweiser Budvar Brewery (website). Budweiser Budvar is known for its high-quality beers, and visitors can take brewery tours to learn about the beer-making process and enjoy tastings.
Our driver also told us that actually, when Budweiser Budvar Brewery started brewing beer here, the founders of Budweiser (the cheap beer that we all know in US) that is incredibly famous now in United States actually approached the people brewing here for their recipe and license and bought the whole company. After making the cheap Budweiser beers incredibly successful in US, the guys back here in České Budějovice started getting into legal disputes with the Budweiser guys in US, arguing that they never gave the license for them to operate. Eventually, the lawsuit settled and the US Budweiser isn’t allowed to operate in certain places in Europe, where only the Budweiser Budvar Brewery from here can operate in them.
Anyway, the brewing tradition also extends to the annual Beer Festival held in České Budějovice, which attracts both locals and tourists to celebrate and indulge in the city’s brewing heritage.
Besides the square, there really wasn’t anything much to see.
Kutná Hora is a historic town located in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, about an hour’s drive from Prague. It is best known for its remarkable architecture and historical significance, which led to its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The town flourished during the Middle Ages thanks to the discovery of silver deposits, making it one of the wealthiest places in Europe at the time.
A must-visit site is the stunning St. Barbara’s Cathedral (website), a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners, and its soaring interior and intricate details are truly magnificent. You can buy tickets near the information center, which will grant you access to the 3 most popular attractions in this town – St. Barbara’s Cathedral, Sedlec Ossuary, and Cathedral of Assumption
From the cathedral, you can explore the charming old town of Kutná Hora, which features narrow streets, colorful facades, and beautiful medieval buildings.
Before we headed to our next stop, which actually required a bit of driving, we went to a nearby kebab shop because we wanted to have a quick bite and get moving. I got the lamb kebab but I felt that the taste was a bit salty.
The next stop we visited is the most famous attraction in Kutná Hora, the Sedlec Ossuary (website), also known as the Bone Church. This unique chapel is adorned with the skeletal remains of approximately 40,000 to 70,000 individuals, arranged to create intricate and macabre decorations. It is a haunting and awe-inspiring sight that has fascinated visitors from around the world.
Unfortunately, this is the only photo that I took because they do not allow photos inside. Around this chapel is actually a graveyard, not of people who died in the Middle Ages, but more of recent years.
If you like these dark skeleton things, you can also read my trip to Phnom Penh where I visited this place called The Killing Fields. But this time, the people were killed not cause of natural disaster, but cause of genocide.
Across the street, we visited the Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist. The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist, commonly known as the Cathedral of Kutná Hora, is another architectural treasure found in this enchanting Czech town, and marks our third and final stop of attraction.
This Gothic cathedral is a testament to the town’s prosperous past and is a prominent symbol of its importance during the Middle Ages. With its towering spires, intricate stone carvings, and breathtaking stained glass windows, the Cathedral of Assumption showcases the masterful craftsmanship of its builders and invites visitors to admire its grandeur and spirituality. Inside, the cathedral houses stunning frescoes, intricate vaulted ceilings, and a serene atmosphere that invites contemplation and reflection.
For those seeking to delve deeper into the rich history and architectural beauty of Kutná Hora, a visit to the Cathedral of Assumption is a must. But for people like me who has more interest in the aesthetics of the interior, I felt that this place was just okay, and I would have gladly skipped it. Anyway, it was just right across the street and a quick look around here would probably take no more than ten minutes.
That wraps up my visit to Kutna Hora. Of the few stops / places I went to visit in Czech Republic, I think Kutna Hora was my least favourite, considering that the attractions here do not stand out as compared to the other places we visited. But again, don’t let me deter you from not going! If I hadn’t come here before, I still would have wanted to visit. There is nothing bad about this place, just that it is not as good compared with the other places.