Exploring Kutná Hora: The Quirky Bone Church and Majestic St. Barbara’s Church

In the heart of the Czech Republic lies the charming town of Kutná Hora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to two of the country’s most fascinating architectural wonders – the Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the Bone Church, and the stunning St. Barbara’s Church.

The Sedlec Ossuary is perhaps the most unique and eccentric site in Kutná Hora. Located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints, this small chapel is adorned with the bones of over 40,000 people. The bones are arranged in intricate patterns, including chandeliers, shields, and even a coat of arms. While some may find the idea of a bone church macabre, others see it as a beautiful and thought-provoking work of art.

The origins of the Bone Church date back to the 13th century when soil from the Holy Land was sprinkled over the cemetery, making it a highly desirable burial site. As more and more people were interred there, space became limited, and bodies were exhumed and the bones stored in the chapel. In the 19th century, František Rint, a woodcarver, was tasked with organizing the bones into decorative displays, creating the eerie yet mesmerizing Bone Church we see today.

While the Sedlec Ossuary may be the most unconventional attraction in Kutná Hora, St. Barbara’s Church is undeniably the most majestic. This gothic masterpiece is dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners, and is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Central Europe.

Construction on St. Barbara’s Church began in the late 14th century but was not completed until the 19th century. The church is adorned with intricate frescoes, stunning stained glass windows, and elaborate stone carvings. The soaring vaulted ceilings and towering spires make it a truly awe-inspiring sight.

In addition to its architectural splendor, St. Barbara’s Church also has a rich history. It served as a place of worship for the local miners who worked in the silver mines that were once the lifeblood of Kutná Hora. The church is also home to a collection of religious artifacts, including a silver monstrance that is considered one of the town’s most prized possessions.

Exploring Kutná Hora and its two iconic churches is a truly unique experience that offers a glimpse into the town’s rich history and cultural heritage. Whether you are drawn to the eerie beauty of the Bone Church or the grandeur of St. Barbara’s, a visit to Kutná Hora is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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