Our tour starts with one of the most
beautiful Czech medieval castles - Cesky Sternberk. Situated on the cliff above
the Sazava river, it overlooks a small town of Cesky Sternberk. Founded in the
first half of 13th century, it still boasts rich collections of weapons, furniture
and pictures. After 1989, it was given back to the Sternberk noble family.
Then we continue to an old silver mining town of Kutna Hora It originated as
a small mining community in the second half of 13th century. When rich deposits
of silver were discovered, king Vaclav II took over and Kutná Hora became
the second most important town after Prague in the Czech kingdom. The name Kutna
Hora comes from a German expression ”khutten bergh” which means
”mining mountain”. For centuries the power and wealth of Czech kings
was based on Kutná Hora and its silver. Florentine bank experts, invited
by Vaclav II., carried out a coin reform. Silver coins under the name ”Prague
Groschen ” began to be minted there. They were so successful, that they
were circulated all over Europe.
The wealth generated by silver ore produced also construction activities which
can be admired till today. Miners were rich enough to build their own cathedral
dedicated to St. Barbara, their patron saint. In the late 14th century a superb
palace, Italian Court, was constructed with reception halls, private residential
rooms of the king, mint workshops and the Chapel of St.Wenceslas.
In the outskirts of Kutna Hora, in a district called Sedlec, we can find another
cathedral built by the Cistercian order. Next to the cathedral, we will visit
the Chapel of All Saints with more than 40.000 human bones assembled in huge
bells, macabre chandeliers, ostensories and coats of arms. It sounds strange,
but it is very interesting.
This tour lasts about 8 hours.