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Kutná Hora and surroundings

Kutná Hora

In the Middle-Ages, Kutná Hora used to be second largest and the most important city in Czech Kingdom. No wonder that road between Kutná Hora and Prague was greatly frequented. There were built greatly dense build-up area with a number of towns and cities. Kutná Hora, formerly an important centre of silver mining, has preserved the original historical centre of the city with all the wealth of secular and religious monuments, that form the remarkable complex, which has the highest level of monument protection not only in the scale of Czech republic, but also in the global scale.
Czech king was one of the richest sovereign in medieval Europe thanks to all incomes from rich mining. In local royal court called Valachian courtyard there was established central mint. Renowned Czech (Prague) groschen had been coined there since 1300 until 1547 when its coining was stopped by Ferdinand I. Wenceslas IV often stayed in local royal court. In 1409 he issued so-called Decree of Kutná Hora, which regulated the right to vote at Prague University in favour of domestic students. During the Hussite wars there were many battles of Kutná Hora, the city and mine were damaged. 2nd half of 15th century brought redevelopment of mining, thereby increasing political and economic importance. In 1471 Ladislaus Jagiellon was elected as a Czech king here, in 1485 well known diet of Kutná Hora negotiated peace between Catholics and Calixtines. Then there appeared first signs of crisis. First shock meant miner storms 1494 -1496, which culminated with execution of 13 miners in Poděbrady. During 16th century ore pockets were gradually depleted, mining was moving to nearby hill Kaňk. In 1547 the coining of Czech groschen was ended, next decline came after the battle of White Mountain; at the Old Town Square in Prague there was executed also mayor of Kutná Hora Jan Šultys for revolt against the Habsburgs. In 1727 the royal mint was conclusively cancelled.
There were born many notabilities such are J. K. Tyl who was playwright and journalist, Mikuláš Dačický from Heslov who was Renaissance poet, printer and publisher J. H. Pospíšil, archaeologist and historian J. E. Vocel. Many others liked to spend time there, poet J. Vrchlický, journalist and poet K. Havlíček Borovský, etc.
It’s also worth mentioning that Kutná Hora is one of the few our cities that are listed in UNESCO, concretely its urban conservation, whose set of medieval and baroque architecture represents more than three hundred listed buildings. Royal mining town was formed near rich pockets of silver ore at the hill above little river Vrchlice in the last third of 13th century.

Kutná Hora Kutná Hora 

Cathedral of St. Barbora

Cathedral of St. Barbora

Probably the most popular sight and also important dominating feature in Kutná Hora is opulent cathedral dedicated to St. Barbara, patroness of miners. After Prague's St. Vitus cathedral it is probably the second most important church in the Czech Republic. Its construction lasted relatively long time: works of Petr Parléř started the construction in 1388, monumental masterpiece was lately done by Matěj Rejsek and Benedikt Ried in late Gothic in the end of 15th century and at the beginning of 16th century. From the oldest phase of the construction came a choir gallery with a ring of triangular chapel whereas Renaissance sensed compact space atrial with beautiful barrel star vault was work of B.Ried influenced by lingering Gothic. During the time of Jesuits the interior of church was baroquized, in 1886 to 1905 a huge regothization of the cathedral according to the plans of J. Mocker and L.Lábler took place. In many places in the interior there was preserved perfect late Gothic sculpture and stone decoration by M. Rejsek. Basic and decorative external system is also his work.

Cathedral of St. Barbora Cathedral of St. Barbora Cathedral of St. Barbora

The cathedral is national historic landmark. 

Valachian courtyard

Italian court

It was built around the year 1300 originally as a instrumental complex of mint, at the turn of the 14th and 15th century it was modified, so it could be used as a residency for the sovereign during his occasional visits of the city. Purist reconstruction between 1893 and 1898 involved demolition of original buildings and their rebuilding. Four-winged Gothic building closes the court, which was the centre of the mint. The mint grounds had its own fortification with two gates and a chapel.  Other rooms were consisted of room for stamping coins preghaus, workrooms šmitny, two-storey royal palace, mint master’s house, etc.

Valachian courtyard, national historic landmark, is open to the public.

Italian court Italian court 

Voršilek monastery

The monastery

Not completely finished grounds of baroque monastery, built between 1735 and 1743 according to the plans of K. I. Diezenhofer. The grounds are supplemented by pseudo-baroque chapel Holy Heart of Jesus. The monastery is open to the public. There is exhibition of works of art from central Bohemian castles and strongholds, with unique collection of historical toys and curiosities “The world of small – Small world”. 

Charnel-house and cathedral in Sedlec

Charnel-house

Former Cistercian monastery founded in 1142 played an important role in the colonization of Central Bohemia. During its existence, it was burned and destroyed several times. It was finally reconstructed in 18th century. In the building of convent from 1709-59 there is big baroque hall decorated with frescoes, opposite the convent there is a Church of Virgin Mary – in the core early gothic (1290-1330), five-aisled basilica with a transept and gallery. Between 1700 and 1707 it was rebuilt by J.B. Santini and P.I. Bayer in style of baroque gothic. There are rare arrangement inside; paintings by L. Willmann, P. Brandl, J.K. Liška, and statues by M.V. Jackel. In 1784 the monastery and the church as well were disestablished and monastery buildings were modified into a tobacco factory (it is used as a tobacco factory till today). The church was reopened in 1806 and now it is open to the public. Opposite the monastery there is cemetery Church of all Saints with charnel house. Originally it was gothic from the time around the year 1400, adapted by J.B. Santini into baroque gothic. In the charnel house there are more than 30 000 skeletal remains of the victims of plague and wars, arranged in its present form in 1870. The charnel house is open to the public over the whole year.

Inside the Charnel-house 

Jesuit college

Jesuit college

It is one of the buildings which are clearly visible in the cityscape. It lies at the bay between the Little Castle and the Cathedral of St. Barbara. It is early baroque building from years 1626 to 1627, built according to the plans of Italian architect D. Orsi. It rather reminds of a facade of the castle buildings. In front of the college there is nice gallery of baroque statues from the years 1703 to 1716 all from the workhouse of F. Baugut. 

Stone fountain

This rare late gothic work from 1495 can be attributed to Matěj Rejsek according to stylistic features of beautiful stone decoration. It was restored at the end of 19th century and in 1963.

Stone fountain Kamenná kašna 

Stone house

Stone house is the most beautiful townhouse of Kutna Hora, from the time of pre-Hussite. There are maintained all dispositions and cellars, it has been rebuilt into its present form of late gothic between 1487 and 1515. After the year 1490 it got excellent stone decoration. Today, there is exposition of arts and handicraft. There are more houses with gothic origin.

Stone house Stone house 

Kačina castle

Kačina Castle

Kačina castle which is the cleanest Empire building in Bohemia was built according to the plans of Ch.F. Schuricht between 1802 and 1822 for the highest burgrave of the kingdom of Bohemia, earl Jan Rudolf Chotek, who planned it to be his own summer residence. The castle has a half-ellipse shape, middle part consists of residential rooms and lounges, side ground floor wings with colonnades contained guest quarters and ended with corner pavilions, used as a theatre and library. The castle is surrounded by nature landscaped park from 1789. Museum expositions represent development of agriculture and grocery store, the history of Chotek family and the lifestyle of Czech nobility.

Kačina Castle Kačina Castle 

Kostelec nad Černými lesy (town)

Kostelec nad Černými lesy is a town situated on a promontory above one of the tributary of the creek Šembera, familiarly called Černý kostelec. It evolved from a settlement with a church at medieval stronghold. The pottery was developing since middle Ages using the nearby deposits of kaolin and red and white pottery. Stronghold at the end of the square was rebuilt after 1561 by Smiřičtí into a valuable Renaissance castle, four-winged of the building with corner towers enclosing the courtyard, Gothic-Renaissance castle chapel of St. Adalbert in the years 1568-1569 and four-winged courtyard with a tower gate of the 3rd quarter of the 16th century. The castle was owned by Lichtenstein between 1626 and 1933, and then it was rebuilt for school of forestry. Among other sights there is baroque Church of the Holy Angels from years 1735 to 1737, Renaissance Town Hall with baroque facade (today Pottery Museum), Renaissance cemetery church of St. John the Baptist from the time around the year 1600 (which was rebuilt after a fire into baroque form between 1777 and 1783) with Renaissance belfry.

Kostelec nad Černými lesy Kostelec nad Černými lesy 

Jacob (ancient settlement with church of St. Jacob)

This ancient settlement with a church of St. Jacob of 1165 is one of the most valuable Romanian buildings in the Czech Republic. It is a single stately artistical construction of ashlar masonry with apse and the tower, which has in two tiers ternary Romanesque windows. South facade has extremely valuable plastic decoration - in the tympanum above the entrance portal is a relief bust of Christ and angels, in blind arcades that adorn the ground and first floors, reliefs of the apostles, bishops, saints, knights and donors. The decoration represents one of the oldest monumental figural sculptures in the Czech Republic. At the village green there are interesting folksy farmsteads (n.d. 26, 5 and 65)

Church of St. Jacob Church of St. Jacob 

Malešov

Tvrz Malešov

Malešov is an urban area in the valley of the stream Vrchlice. Until 1360 it is classified as a town. Malešov features with massive five-storey fortress from the first half of the 14th century, which stands on a rocky outcrop in the area of the farmyard, at the end of the 17th century it was adjusted to the granary. Buildings of the farmyard got Empire appearance in the years 1824-1827. In the last third of the 17th century a Baroque castle was built in the neighbourhood, which was used as the seat of the manor. The yard and the castle as well were rebuilt into Empire appearance and later on used as a school. Along the road towards Roztěž town there are remains of walls and pillars with hipped roofs of the former town fortification. In the town there is a valuable baroque church of St. Wenceslas from years 1731-1733 and in its neighbourhood there is baroque house No. 52 with volute gables and pilasters. In 1424 one battle took place at the height called Dubina u Malešova. In this battle, army led by Jan Žižka (he was already blind) defeated sections of manor unity. Plague in front of the former mill Dubina and a memorial stone near a pond Prosík remind us of the battle.

Malešov fortress Malešov fortress



 

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