The Cathedral of St Barbara, an unmissable sight on your visit to Kutná Hora

Kutná Hora, located just out of Prague, is like a treasure chest. The moment you take your first step inside the historic centre of the city, it will be as if you have just slightly opened a treasure chest and peered inside with baited breath. At first you catch only a glimpse of the valuables inside, but after opening the chest completely the treasure is revealed to you in all its glory and splendour.

You will have the exact same feeling as you walk through Kutná Hora, discovering its sites, connected as they are by the city’s narrow, winding streets. You will be in awe and admiration throughout your entire visit, but met with a feeling of spiritual humility once you stand before the Cathedral of St Barbara. It is as though while sifting through the various small treasures in the chest you suddenly find a great shining jewel.
The Cathedral of St Barbara, a true gem of the late Gothic period, stands on a hill in the centre of the town and is one of the four cathedrals of Bohemia. The magnificence of the building still stands in testament to the fame and wealth of Kutná Hora - in ancient times the city was a place of silver mining and coin-minting, and was the financial centre of the realm.
The cathedral is dedicated to St Barbara, a Christian martyr who was perceived as protector of those in peril and was the patron saint of all those who hold dangerous and risky occupations. For this reason, she also became the patron saint of miners. The miners themselves enabled Kutná Hora to prosper and were also engaged in the construction of the cathedral, which they then dedicated to their saintly protector.
The building work started in the second half of the 14th century. After that, a number of exceptional artists and architects participated in the construction, including the famed Benedict Ried. By the middle of the 16th century there was no longer any silver left in the mines of Kutná Hora, and construction had to be halted. The following centuries brought many renovations and changes in the interior, mostly in the Baroque style. Its present form dates from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, when a major restoration in the Gothic style took place.

It is not surprise that the Cathedral of St Barbara is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with several other Kutná Hora monuments including the entire historic centre of the city, described further here.

Practical information:

  • Have a look at the virtual tour of the cathedral here.
  • Information about opening hours, regular services and a map can be found here.
  • Information about the city of Kutná Hora (monuments, services, etc.) can be found here.


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