Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Czeching out Kutna Hora

Okay Okay I know that's such a cringe worthy title but I couldn't resist. 

I visited my friend Claudia in northern Bavaria for a couple of days before we took a bus to Prague for five nights.  It was decided we should go to Kutna Hora as our day trip as it is one of the more popular places to visit.  I would have loved to have seen Cesky Krumlov but it was just too far of a journey and Claudia had been there already. Someday!

So on Monday April 20th we set off for the railway station.....Before we went down to the train platforms we checked out the old part of the Prague Railway station that was on the second floor..absolutely beautiful!


Then we got on a fairly old train...and found a compartment that wasn't too full.   We changed trains but I really don't know what the name of the place was - I was too busy scrambling down the steps from one and onto the other before the train took off.  There was a fellow on crutches and I really don't know how he managed but he did it. 

We arrived into Kutna Hora and proceeded to walk into the town.  It was not the most attractive area around the station and turns out we both were thinking "oh oh".....However once we reached the centre of town my mind was put at ease and it turned out to be quite a pretty little place.  After a light lunch (both Claudia and I love to eat so there is always lots of food involved when we are together) we headed off to see the sights.

Kutna Hora was at its peak in the Middle Ages when it was even bigger than London (really hard to believe but that's what the Berlitz guide says!).  The silver extracted from its mines funded the prosperity of Prague and the Bohemian Royal Court.  When the silver ran out Kutna Hora shrank to a third of its size and became a backwater. 

We walked by the huge Jesuit college which is now an art gallery (pass!)...the terrace along the front has 13 saints along it and was created to model the Charles Bridge in Prague.  Here are a few photos...as you can see it was a glorious day and the surrounding country side was beautiful.








From there it was a few steps to St Barbara's Cathedral which was beautiful on the outside...we never saw the inside as it is closed on Mondays. 



We then set off back down into the town stopping to admire some of the gorgeous buildings such as the Italian Court. 


View of St Barbaras Cathedral and the Jesuits college from afar


Italian court

As you can see the buildings were stunning. 

We then walked over to the Plague Column which was constructed between 1713 and 1715 in memory of victims of the Plague which killed thousands of local citizens in 1713.



We then visited the Stone fountain which was constructed in 1495.



Slowly we made our way back to the centre of town once again...

I have tried to find out what this building is but no luck...

Church of St John of Nepomuk

Detail on the top of Church of St John of Nepomuk
All too soon it was time to make our way back to the train station - stopping off first to grab a very delicious ice cream cone...

Nice modern train back to wherever...still don't know! 

Goodbye Kutna Hora...you were pretty and interesting but don't think I'll be back

The train back to Prague...the stairs up to the carriage were a killer....
In the end I enjoyed our day in Kutna Hora...I was ambivalent about going but  I did enjoy the day.  We missed out on the bone church (yes a church full of human bones) - the train does stop close by and most of the people on the journey from Prague got off there.   If I had been on my own I likely would have visited it but oh well...Kutna Hora is not super easy to get to with the change in trains but there are enough tourists going that you can probably just follow the "herd".   There are also guided tours that take you there but going on your own is cheaper of course. 

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