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Kutna Hora: Visit The Bone Chapel And Cathedral In Central Bohemia


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Josepha Beadle



Located in the heart of Central Bohemia, Kutna Hora is a picturesque town brimming with history, art, and culture. Just a short drive from Prague, this hidden gem offers visitors a unique and enriching experience. From the captivating Bone Chapel to the magnificent Sedlec Cathedral, Kutna Hora is a destination that should not be missed for any arts and culture aficionado.


As you step foot in this charming town, you will be transported back in time. Kutna Hora was once a prosperous silver mining center, attracting wealth and power from all corners of Europe. The legacy of this golden age is still evident today through its stunning architectural heritage and vibrant arts scene.


One of the most fascinating attractions in Kutna Hora is the Bone Chapel, also known as the Sedlec Ossuary. This macabre yet mesmerizing chapel is adorned with the bones of approximately 40,000 people, intricately arranged to create a hauntingly beautiful display. The chilling atmosphere evokes a sense of contemplation, as visitors enter a world where death and art converge.


Another architectural marvel in Kutna Hora is the Sedlec Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic design. Its towering spires and exquisite interior captivate the senses, drawing visitors into a realm of artistic splendor. The cathedral is also home to stunning stained glass windows and intricate sculptures that showcase the skill and craftsmanship of the medieval era.


In addition to these renowned landmarks, Kutna Hora offers a wealth of other must-see attractions. Explore the historical center and wander through its winding cobblestone streets, lined with charming houses and vibrant patios. Visit the Italian Court, once a residence of the Bohemian kings, and witness the grandeur of their former royal palace.


For art enthusiasts, the Museum of Kutna Hora is a treasure trove of local history and culture. Marvel at the impressive collection of artwork and artifacts that trace the town’s rich heritage, from archaeological finds to contemporary masterpieces.


As for religious history, the Church of St. Barbara is another architectural gem not to be missed. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases the transition from Gothic to Renaissance styles, with its soaring arches and intricate details. Step inside and be mesmerized by the stunning frescoes that adorn the walls.


To complete your visit, indulge in the culinary delights of Kutna Hora. Sample traditional Czech dishes at local taverns and restaurants, savoring the flavors of the region. Don’t forget to try the famous Kutna Hora gingerbread, a sweet treat that has been made here for centuries.


Getting to Kutna Hora is easy, with frequent train and bus connections from Prague. The journey takes approximately one hour, making it an ideal day trip for those staying in the capital. Alternatively, you can opt to stay in one of the charming guesthouses or hotels in Kutna Hora, immersing yourself in the town’s ambiance.


Whether you are a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, Kutna Hora has something to offer for everyone. Immerse yourself in its rich heritage, explore its captivating landmarks, and discover the artistry that lies within this enchanting town. Kutna Hora awaits, ready to transport you to a world where past and present intertwine in an artistic tapestry.


History of Kutna Hora

Kutna Hora has a rich and storied history that dates back to the 13th century. It became an important center for silver mining, which brought wealth and prosperity to the town. The silver deposits in Kutna Hora were so vast that they rivaled those of the famous mines in the neighboring region of Saxony.


The silver boom led to the rapid expansion of the town, with the establishment of numerous mines, smelting facilities, and minting houses. The silver coins produced in Kutna Hora, known as groschen, became a widely accepted currency across Europe. The wealth generated from the silver trade propelled Kutna Hora to become one of the richest towns in the Kingdom of Bohemia.


During this prosperous period, Kutna Hora attracted a diverse population of miners, artisans, and merchants from all over Europe. The influx of skilled workers resulted in a thriving artistic and cultural scene, with the construction of magnificent Gothic and Renaissance buildings that still stand today.


One of the most iconic structures in Kutna Hora is the Sedlec Cathedral. It was founded in the 14th century by the powerful Cistercian monastery, which played a significant role in the town’s development. The cathedral’s construction reflected the growing influence and wealth of Kutna Hora during that era.


A pivotal moment in Kutna Hora’s history occurred in the 15th century when the Hussite Wars broke out. The town became a battleground between the Catholic Church and the followers of Jan Hus, a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. The wars resulted in widespread destruction and a decline in the town’s prosperity.


In the following centuries, Kutna Hora experienced periods of economic downturn and political turmoil. However, its historical significance and architectural beauty were recognized, leading to the preservation and restoration of many of its landmark buildings in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Today, Kutna Hora stands as a testament to its rich history and cultural heritage. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting visitors from around the globe who come to admire the town’s architectural treasures and immerse themselves in its captivating past.


As you explore the streets of Kutna Hora, you can still sense the echoes of its glorious silver mining days. The ornate facades of the buildings, the intricate details of the churches, and the winding alleys all bear witness to the town’s prosperous past. Kutna Hora’s history is not only a tale of silver and wealth but also a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of its people.


The Bone Chapel

One of Kutna Hora’s most unique and intriguing attractions is the Bone Chapel, also known as the Sedlec Ossuary. Located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints, this small chapel houses a macabre and mesmerizing display of human bones.


The story behind the Bone Chapel begins in the 13th century when an abbot returned from the Holy Land with a handful of soil from Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified. The abbot sprinkled the holy soil over the cemetery, making it a highly coveted burial site.


Over the centuries, the cemetery became overcrowded, and in the 15th century, the decision was made to exhume the bones to make room for more burials. The task of relocating the remains fell to a half-blind monk, who carefully arranged the bones in the chapel.


What makes the Bone Chapel truly remarkable is the intricate way in which the bones are displayed. The morbidly artistic arrangement includes chandeliers, pyramids, coats of arms, and even a signature of bones on the wall. The bones of approximately 40,000 people are believed to be incorporated into the chapel’s design.


The eerie atmosphere of the Bone Chapel is both haunting and captivating. As you step inside, you are greeted by the sight of a massive chandelier made entirely of bones, which serves as a stark reminder of the fragility and transience of human life.


Visitors to the Bone Chapel are often struck by the juxtaposition of beauty and mortality. The intricate patterns created by the bones, the interplay of light and shadow, and the sheer magnitude of the display evoke a sense of awe and contemplation.


While the Bone Chapel may be a macabre site, it also serves as a poignant reminder of the inevitability of death and the universality of mortality. It challenges our perspectives on life and forces us to confront our own mortality, urging us to live each day to the fullest.


In recent years, the Bone Chapel has gained international recognition and has become a popular tourist destination. Visitors from all walks of life visit this peculiar place, drawn to its eerie charm and the captivating story it tells.


The Bone Chapel is a testament to the artistic creativity that can emerge from the most unexpected sources. It serves as a reminder that even in death, there can be beauty, art, and contemplation.


When visiting the Bone Chapel, it is important to be respectful and mindful of the sacred nature of the space. Take the time to absorb the atmosphere, reflect on the transitory nature of life, and appreciate the artistic beauty that lies within this unique ossuary.


The Sedlec Cathedral

The Sedlec Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist, is a magnificent Gothic masterpiece and one of the most iconic landmarks in Kutna Hora. Its towering spires and intricate architectural details make it a must-visit for any lover of art and culture.


Construction of the cathedral began in the 14th century and continued for several centuries, resulting in a stunning blend of Gothic and Baroque styles. The exterior of the cathedral is adorned with intricate stone carvings and delicate embellishments, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of the medieval builders.


As you step inside the Sedlec Cathedral, you are immediately struck by its grandeur and the ethereal ambiance. The high vaulted ceilings, rose windows, and towering pillars create a sense of awe and reverence, transporting visitors to a bygone era of architectural brilliance.


The cathedral’s interior is equally breathtaking, with intricate frescoes, ornate altars, and beautifully crafted stained glass windows. The play of light through the vibrant, colored glass creates a mesmerizing spectacle, casting a warm and soothing glow over the entire space.


One of the highlights of the Sedlec Cathedral is the stunning collection of frescoes that adorn the walls. Created by renowned artists of the time, these vibrant and intricately detailed paintings depict biblical scenes, saints, and religious symbolism.


Another notable feature of the cathedral is the monumental organ, which dates back to the 17th century. The elegant pipes and intricate woodwork make it not only a musical instrument but also a work of art in its own right. Attending a concert in the Sedlec Cathedral is a truly enchanting experience, as the powerful tones of the organ fill the space and resonate with the centuries of history that it holds.


Beyond its artistic and architectural splendor, the Sedlec Cathedral also holds deep religious significance. It is a place of worship and spiritual contemplation, offering a sanctuary for visitors to connect with their faith or appreciate the beauty of religious art.


When visiting the Sedlec Cathedral, take the time to explore its chapels and side chapels. Each one has its own unique character, housing intricate sculptures, ornate tombs, and religious artifacts. The Baroque Chapel of St. Barbara, in particular, is a stunning example of the fusion of artistic styles.


A visit to the Sedlec Cathedral is not only a feast for the eyes but also a journey through centuries of history and spirituality. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a history buff, or someone seeking a moment of tranquility, the Sedlec Cathedral is sure to leave a lasting impression and a sense of awe in its wake.


Other Must-See Attractions in Kutna Hora

While the Bone Chapel and the Sedlec Cathedral are the most famous landmarks in Kutna Hora, this historic town has much more to offer. Explore the charming streets and discover a wealth of hidden gems that will further enrich your visit.


Start your exploration in the historical center of Kutna Hora, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through its winding cobblestone streets, lined with colorful houses and elegant patios. Marvel at the well-preserved Gothic and Renaissance architecture that reflects the town’s prosperous past.


One of the must-see attractions in the center is the Italian Court, once the residence of Bohemian kings. This impressive complex served as a royal mint and later as a residence for the kings during their visits to the silver mines. Explore the royal halls, admire the grand architecture, and learn about the fascinating history of the court.


Art enthusiasts should not miss the Museum of Kutna Hora, located in a former Jesuit college. The museum houses a diverse collection of artwork and artifacts that depict the rich history and culture of the region. From archaeological finds to contemporary masterpieces, the museum offers a comprehensive exploration of Kutna Hora’s artistic heritage.


Another architectural gem worth visiting is the Church of St. Barbara. This stunning example of Gothic architecture showcases the transition from the early Gothic to the late Gothic period. Admire the soaring arches, intricate details, and beautiful stained glass windows. The church is also home to impressive frescoes that depict scenes from the life of St. Barbara.


For a taste of local culture, head to the Kaňk, a unique water tunnel system that once provided water to the silver mines. Take a guided tour and explore the underground world, marveling at the engineering marvels and learning about the mining history of Kutna Hora.


If you’re interested in gardens and natural beauty, don’t miss the Italian Court Garden. This serene oasis offers a tranquil escape from the bustling town center. Take a leisurely walk amongst the meticulously manicured hedges, beautiful flower beds, and peaceful fountains.


Lastly, make sure to indulge in the local cuisine of Kutna Hora. Sample traditional Czech dishes at local taverns and restaurants, savoring the flavors of the region. Be sure to try the famous Kutna Hora gingerbread, a sweet treat that has been made here for centuries.


With its rich history, architectural wonders, and cultural delights, Kutna Hora offers a plethora of attractions to discover. Immerse yourself in its unique charm, wander through its storied streets, and uncover the hidden treasures that make this town a true gem in the heart of Central Bohemia.


How to Get to Kutna Hora

Kutna Hora is conveniently located in Central Bohemia, making it easily accessible from various parts of the Czech Republic. Whether you’re coming from Prague or other nearby cities, there are several transportation options available to reach Kutna Hora.


If you are starting your journey from Prague, the most common and convenient way to reach Kutna Hora is by train. Trains run regularly from Prague’s main train station, Praha hlavní nádraží. The journey takes approximately one hour, offering scenic views of the countryside along the way. Trains are comfortable and equipped with amenities, making it a pleasant and hassle-free travel option.


Another option is to take a bus from Prague to Kutna Hora. Bus services operate from various bus stations in Prague, including Florenc and Černý Most. The journey duration is slightly longer compared to the train, usually taking around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. However, bus tickets are often cheaper than train tickets, making it a budget-friendly alternative.


If you are already in the Czech Republic and are planning to visit Kutna Hora from another city, such as Brno or Pardubice, you can also take a train or bus. The availability and frequency of train and bus connections may vary depending on the city, so it’s advisable to check the schedules in advance and plan accordingly.


Once you arrive at the train or bus station in Kutna Hora, getting to the town center is relatively easy. The stations are located within walking distance or a short taxi ride from the main attractions. Additionally, Kutna Hora has a reliable local bus system that can take you to different parts of the town if needed.


If you prefer the flexibility and convenience of driving, Kutna Hora is easily accessible by car. The town is well-connected to major highways, making it a straightforward drive from Prague or other nearby cities. However, parking in the town center may be limited, especially during peak tourist seasons, so it’s recommended to check the availability of parking options in advance.


Visiting Kutna Hora as a day trip from Prague is a popular choice due to its proximity to the capital. However, for those who wish to immerse themselves in the town’s charm for a longer period, there are various accommodation options available in Kutna Hora, ranging from guesthouses to hotels.


Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, a visit to Kutna Hora is well worth the journey. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and unique attractions await, promising an unforgettable experience in the heart of Central Bohemia.


Where to Stay in Kutna Hora

For those looking to fully immerse themselves in the charm and atmosphere of Kutna Hora, staying overnight in the town is a great option. Fortunately, Kutna Hora offers a range of accommodation choices to suit different preferences and budgets.


If you’re seeking a truly unique and authentic experience, consider staying in one of the cozy guesthouses or bed and breakfasts located in the heart of the historical center. These charming accommodations often occupy beautifully restored buildings, offering a glimpse into the town’s rich heritage. From traditional Czech décor to modern amenities, these accommodations provide comfort and convenience along with a touch of traditional charm.


For those who prefer the convenience and amenities of a hotel, there are several options available in Kutna Hora. You’ll find a range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to more upscale establishments. Many hotels in Kutna Hora offer comfortable rooms, friendly service, and convenient locations near the main attractions.


If you’re on a tighter budget or prefer a more independent experience, consider booking a room or apartment through a vacation rental platform. This allows you to have your own space and explore the town at your own pace. Vacation rentals can be found throughout Kutna Hora, offering unique accommodations in residential areas or even in historic buildings.


Another option is to stay in the surrounding countryside near Kutna Hora. There are picturesque villages just a short distance away, offering a peaceful retreat amidst nature. These accommodations often provide a tranquil and idyllic setting, making them ideal for those seeking a more relaxed and secluded stay.


When choosing your accommodation in Kutna Hora, consider its proximity to the main attractions, restaurants, and shops. Staying near the historical center allows for easy access to the town’s landmarks, as well as the opportunity to explore the charming streets and local culture.


Before making your reservation, read reviews and compare prices to find the best option that suits your preferences and travel plans. Keep in mind that Kutna Hora is a popular tourist destination, especially during peak seasons, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance to ensure availability.


Whether you choose a cozy guesthouse in the heart of the historical center, a comfortable hotel with modern amenities, or a peaceful retreat in the countryside, staying in Kutna Hora offers a chance to fully immerse yourself in the town’s rich history and enchanting atmosphere.


Whatever your accommodation choice may be, Kutna Hora’s unique charm and cultural heritage will ensure an unforgettable stay in this hidden gem of Central Bohemia.



Kutna Hora, with its rich history, captivating landmarks, and vibrant arts and culture scene, is a destination that should not be missed by any enthusiast of the arts and cultural heritage. From the hauntingly beautiful Bone Chapel to the grandeur of the Sedlec Cathedral, Kutna Hora offers a unique and enriching experience that transports visitors to a bygone era.


As you explore the town’s winding streets and discover its hidden gems, you will be immersed in the fascinating history and architectural beauty that Kutna Hora has to offer. The Italian Court, the Museum of Kutna Hora, and the Church of St. Barbara are just a few of the many attractions that showcase the town’s heritage and artistic prowess.


Getting to Kutna Hora is convenient, with train and bus connections from Prague and other nearby cities. Whether you choose to visit as a day trip or stay overnight, the town offers various accommodation options, including cozy guesthouses, charming hotels, and vacation rentals.


As you wander through Kutna Hora’s streets and soak in the atmosphere, you’ll also have the opportunity to savor the local cuisine and explore the traditions of the region. From traditional Czech dishes to the famous Kutna Hora gingerbread, the culinary delights of the town provide a delightful complement to your visit.


Whether you are drawn to Kutna Hora for its history, its art, or simply the unique ambiance it offers, this town delivers a truly unforgettable experience. As you marvel at its architectural wonders, contemplate the macabre beauty of the Bone Chapel, and immerse yourself in the cultural heritage, you will find yourself captivated by the allure of this hidden gem in the heart of Central Bohemia.


Plan your visit to Kutna Hora, embrace the combination of history and culture, and let the town’s artistic tapestry weave its spell on you. Kutna Hora awaits, ready to transport you to a world where past and present converge in a celebration of arts, culture, and timeless beauty.