Kutna Hora - in Bohemia
Intially I went to Kutna Hora to see the Bone Church. Due to lack of research I didn't know anything else about the town. However since I was there I decided to see if there were other sights. Leaving the bone church I walk along the main road until I reach a picturesque square where I consume a small meal. It was here I see three tent like spires. Definately worth investigating.
Gothic Water Tank
Along the way I encounter a large tank decorated with Gothic designs. Built in 1493 - 95 it surrounds a water tank which was filled using wooden pipelines. You can still obtain water from a tap. The water pressure is strong enough to punch the bottle from your hand if you are not careful. A nice little discovery. I continue my journey.
The object of my quest is in sight. It is the UNESCO-listed, cathedral sized Church of St Babara. While approaching along a cobblestoned promenade with the Jesuit College on the right-hand side and a baroque statue lined wall on the left, I stop to admire the view over Kutna Hora. It is a view dominated by St Jame's church. Commenced in 1330 and completed in 1420, it is the town's oldest church. I later attempted a visit, but it was closed.
St Babara's Church
Reaching St Babara's, I pay the entrance fee of 60 Czech Kroner and enter at the back of the church.
The church is named St Babara's Church because is it dedicated to the Virgin Babara, a Christian matyr, who is the patron saint of mining. Kutna Hora use to be a silver mining town. Today its economy is based on tourism and wine making. Founded by rich mine owners building commenced in 1388. It was consecrated in 1403. The Hussites War which started in 1420 delayed consturction for 60 years. Lack of finance also caused delays. Completion finally occurred in 1905 after a major restoration and the building of the main alter. Although not complete and intially without a roof, it was used for prayers.
Because of the long building period it has been built in a number of styles including Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Gothic.
The interior is ornately decorated. Amongst its decorations is a statue of a miner. Appriopriate because St Babara' is considered to be a miners church. On the walls are many partially restored medieval frescoes. It addition to religious themes are scenes from the secular life of Kutna Hora. Even more prominant are the huge Neo-Gothic stainglass windows which date from the 19th and early 20th century. They depict historical scenes from Kutna Hora and Czech history. On the ceiling miner's arms are displayed. The main alter, installed between 1901 and 1905 features an image of the Lord's Last Supper.
Kutna Hora can be visited on a day trip from Prague. However, more than one day is needed to properly appreciate its attractions. In addition to St Babara's and the Bone Church there is, amongst other attractions, the Czech Museum of Silver; the Gallery of Central Bohemia, housed in the Jesuit College; St James's church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady.