Kutná Hora

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Kutná Hora
Coat of arms of Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora (Czech Republic)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Basic data
State : Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic
Historical part of the country : Bohemia
Region : Středočeský kraj
District : Kutná Hora
Area : 3305 ha
Geographic location : 49 ° 57 '  N , 15 ° 16'  E Coordinates: 49 ° 57 '0 "  N , 15 ° 16' 1"  E
Height: 254  m nm
Residents : 20,580 (Jan 1, 2019)
Postal code : 284 01
License plate : S.
Railway connection: Znojmo – Kolín
Status: city
Districts: 12
Mayor : Ing.Josef Viktora (status: 2018)
Address: Havlíčkovo náměstí 552
284 01 Kutná Hora
Municipality number: 533955
Website : www.kutnahora.info
Kutna Hora. In the foreground the new town, in the middle of the picture the monastery and cathedral of St. Barbara

Kutná Hora ( pronunciation ? / I ; German Kuttenberg ) is a town in the Czech Republic in the Central Bohemia region with about 20,000 inhabitants. Audio file / audio sample

It was founded in the 12th century as a miners' settlement. Towards the end of the 13th century, it developed into one of the liveliest and most prosperous cities in Bohemia . Kuttenberg achieved this through silver mining and the famous minting of the Prague groschen . It was the second largest city in Bohemia after Prague until a large part of the population of Kuttenberg was murdered in the course of the Hussite Wars in the 1420s. After that, the city lost much of its importance. Today, the old town of Kutna Hora belongs to the UNESCO - World Heritage Site .


Geographical location

Kutná Hora is about 70 km east of Prague and 7 km south of the Elbe (Labe) near Kolín on a plateau above the valley of the Vrchlice river , which is dammed above Poličany in the Vrchlice dam . The Czech name refers to the mountain that rises more gently from the east and drops sharply to the west ( Kutná Hora = mountain in which digging is carried out (here for ore )).

City structure

The following districts belong to the town of Kutná Hora:

  • Hlouška (Hlisow, older also: Glusau)
  • Kaňk (corridor)
  • Karlov (Karlshof)
  • Kutná Hora-Vnitřní Město (downtown Kuttenberg)
  • Malín (Malin)
  • Neškaredice (Neschkareditz, older also: Kotigendorf (1407) )
  • Perštejnec (Persteinitz, older also: Birkenstein)
  • Poličany (Politschan, older also: Polischan (1397) )
  • Sedlec (Sedletz, older also: Sellis ( 1189) )
  • Šipší (Sipetz)
  • Vrchlice (Wrchlitz)
  • Žižkov (Cirkwitz, Zirkwitz)


Illustration of silver mining from the 15th century
Church of St. Jacob and Archdeanate, seen from the Hradek
King Wenceslas II gives the Kuttenberg mine its mining regulations.
The Jesuit College
Share of the United Agricultural Sugar Factory in Kuttenberg from 1865

In 1142 the Cistercian order founded the Sedletz monastery , to whose lands the area of ​​today's Kuttenberg belonged. According to legend, a monk is said to have discovered the first silver while working on a vineyard . He marked the place with his cowl, from which the later name Kuttenberg is said to have originated. The derivation of the Middle High German word kutta (pit), which refers to mining, is more likely .

The monks came from the Abbey of Waldsassen in the Upper Palatinate , which is why they settled German miners from 1260 after the discovery of this silver deposit. The first written mention of Cuthna Antiqua (Alt Kutten), which became the German foundation, is known from the year 1289. The ore discoveries triggered a real silver boom. Within a very short time, numerous miners settled in the formerly rural area. The shaft operation started almost directly in the city; two Göpelwerke in the city area still remind of this today.

As was typical of mining settlements, the settlement grew rapidly and without a plan. King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia granted the city the right to mint after 1300 . The Prague groschen was minted here until 1547 . Kuttenberg developed as the country's "treasure trove" and, due to the number of inhabitants, became the second most important Bohemian royal city after Prague .

Albrecht von Habsburg besieged the city in 1304. This led to an accelerated construction of the city fortifications, which are still partially preserved today. The city's wealth at the time is reflected in the sacred buildings that are still preserved today . A document from 1327 with a list of the members of the magistrate shows only German names. The Kuttenberg miner's song from 1414 is one of the oldest surviving German miner's songs.

Sedletz (1422) and Kuttenberg (1424) were sacked and razed by Hussite troops during the Hussite Wars , many residents were killed, whereupon the affluent, mostly German population, who had remained Catholic, gave up the city and emigrated.

It was not until 1470 that the place recovered without regaining its original meaning. In 1471 Vladislav Jagiello was crowned King of Bohemia and in 1485 the Kuttenberg Religious Peace, named after the city, was concluded between Utraquists and Catholics of Bohemia . The Kuttenberg Bible (Bible kutnohorská) was created in 1489, the second oldest printed Czech-language complete edition after the Prague Bible from 1488. The oldest surviving residential buildings date from that time.

In the middle of the 16th century the deposits ran out; the silver mining was severely cut back, the minting of the Prague groschen was stopped and the city lost its importance for Bohemia. A total of around 2,500 tons of silver were mined between 1290 and 1620. From the year 1627 it came up with the settlement of Jesuits to recatholicization the mostly Hussite Utraquist population.

In 1757, after the Battle of Tabor Mountain near Prague in the Seven Years' War, the city's right to mint was revoked.

The rebuilding after two city fires in 1770 and 1823 changed the cityscape; At the end of the 19th century, as part of the then up-and-coming Czech national movement , the first efforts to protect monuments were made. Until the First World War Kutná Hora was a garrison of the KuK Austro-Hungarian Army . In 1914 the Bohemian Infantry Regiment No. 21 (Staff, III./IV. Battalion ) was stationed here. On April 22, 1944, the NPEA Bohemia was set up in the city barracks and in the Jesuit college .

In 1961, Kutná Hora became a city monument reserve. In 1995 it was added to the list of UNESCO cultural monuments.

Twin cities

Culture and sights


Sedlec district

Central nave of the Church of the Assumption
In the ossuary
  • The Church of the Assumption (kostel P. Marie Nanebevzetí) was 1280 to 1320 in the Gothic style by the Cistercians - Bauhütte built. Destroyed in the Thirty Years War, it was restored from 1699 to 1707 by the architects Paul Ignaz Bayer and Giovanni Santini-Aichel at the instigation of Abbot Heinrich Snopek . This monument complex is one of the most important early church buildings in Bohemia. The church was built on the decree of King Wenceslaus II in the style of the French cathedral type. Particularly noteworthy is the Gothic monstrance (approx. 1390), which goes back to a design from the Prague building works by Peter Parler .
  • The scattering of earth from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem made the Sedlec cemetery more important to Christians outside of Bohemia as well. Spatially restricted by mining, burdened by plague epidemics and wars, there was a lack of space. In order to be able to continue burials, an ossuary , the Sedletz ossuary , was set up in the vaults below the cemetery chapel , which was built in the 14th century . The pyramids of bones of some 40,000 people are forecast by the work of a blind monk of the Cistercian Order in 1510, the sacred ornaments of the room and Mr. layers of human bones took over in 1870 the wood carver František Rint . In 1970 the Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer made the short film "Kostnice" about the ossuary. - According to the Czech archaeologist Filip Velímský (Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR), vvi) 99% of bones are human, only 1% are made of wood. These are the bones of 40,000 dead who came from far away in the course of funeral tourism, including Bavaria, Poland and Belgium, and were buried at the cemetery. The bones came to the ossuary for reasons of space and were later prepared (disinfected) with chlorinated lime by Rint and used as memento mori for decoration in the late Baroque style .

Old town

The historic city center was declared an urban monument reserve in 1961 .

Sacred buildings
  • The construction of the Church of St. Jacob and the Archdeanate began around 1320 by the Cistercian construction works and ended around 1380 after the construction was abandoned by the Prague court construction works. The St. Jacob's Church was built in the Gothic style, the south tower was not completed for financial reasons. The north tower is considered to be the highest church tower in Bohemia.
  • The cathedral of St. Barbara was built in the Gothic style by the Prague Hofbauhütte. In contrast to the Church of St. Jacob, the architecture is based on French models. Construction began in 1403, after construction was interrupted by the Hussite Wars , construction was completed in 1512. The west facade is actually a temporary solution, as the nave was originally planned to be much longer. The characteristic three-pointed roof was not put on until the 19th century. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners.
  • The church of St. John of Nepomuk was built between 1734 and 1753 in the style of the late Baroque, the Rococo , according to plans by the master builder Franz Maximilian Kaňka .
  • The Church of the Heart of God at the Ursuline Convent was built according to plans by the architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer between 1738 and 1743 in the Baroque style. The Ursuline convent was returned to the order in 1989.
  • Immediately in front of the Cathedral of St. Barbara, the building of the Jesuit College was built between 1667 and 1700 based on a design by the architect Giovanni Domenico Orsi de Orsini . The gallery below the Jesuit college was built on an artificially raised terrace and is decorated with depictions of various saints and their meanings. It was created by Franz Baugut between 1703 and 1717 .
  • The synagogue was built in 1902.
Secular buildings
The stone fountain
Historic paving at Welschen Hof
The stone house
  • The castle , Hrádek in Czech , was first mentioned in 1312 . In 1490 it was acquired by the mining entrepreneur and representative of King Wenceslas II, Jan Smisek Vrochovist, and structurally changed. Some coffered ceilings and the royal chapel have survived from this period . Today the Hrádek serves as a museum and entrance to the medieval mine . The original councilor's plaque, which was saved after the fire in the town hall in 1770, is also kept here. A copy is in the UN headquarters.
  • The Welsche Hof was established in the second half of the 13th century to safely store silver ore and to mint the Prague groschen . The Welsche Hof was developed into the central mint of the Bohemian Kingdom in the 14th century. At the end of the 14th century it was rebuilt by the Prague court building works. It became a royal residence, the royal chapel was built with the treasury below, on the secured door of which the Latin inscription Noli me tangere - don't touch me - can still be recognized today. After the right to mint coins was withdrawn in 1724 by imperial decree, the Welsche court lost its importance and fell into disrepair. At the end of the 19th century, it was restored at the end of the 19th century. The royal chapel was designed in 1904 by Frantisek and Marie Urban in Art Nouveau style without losing its original Gothic shape.
  • The stone house , along with many other preserved town houses, is an expression of the former wealth of Kuttenberg. It was built before the Hussite conquest of the city. It was given its current appearance in 1489 by the master builder Briccius Gauske from Görlitz . The splendid decorations still tell of the skills of this master builder and stonemason . The city acquired the house at the end of the 19th century and had it converted into a museum from 1901 to 1902.
  • Kuttenberg had problems with the water supply due to mining and the associated lowering of the groundwater. The water was fed into water reservoirs within the city by means of pumping stations and pipelines. The stone fountain is one of these public water intake points from the 15th century. The rich decorations in the Gothic style are an expression of the wealth, but also of the artistic sense of the citizens of Kuttenberg.

Regular events

On the last weekend in June, the two-day medieval festival Royal Silver Plating (Královské stříbření) is held every year.

Economy and Infrastructure

In 1870 Kutná Hora was connected to the railway network , after which there was restrained industrialization. At that time, the tobacco factory in the Sedlec district was built, which is still attached to the Gothic church today.

The mining of lead and tin ore that began in World War II ended in 1991.


sons and daughters of the town

People connected to the city


  • Christoph Kaufmann: Short trip to Kutná Hora (Kuttenberg). Travel guide in Bohemia's treasury. Duck-Media, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-930748-05-1 .
  • Johann Georg Megerle von Mühlfeld : Oddities of the royal free mountain town of Kuttenberg and the ancient silver mine located there. Sollinger, Vienna 1825 ( digitized version ).
  • Illustrated Chronicle of Bohemia (published by the Association of Patriotic Scholars and Artists). Volume 1, Prague 1852, pp. 39-43 and pp. 111-114.
  • Jiří Podrazil, Vladislav Dudák: Kuttenberg. Baset, Prague 2002, ISBN 80-86223-66-3 .
  • Treasures of the world, heritage of humanity. The monuments from the UNESCO list of world heritage. Chronik-Verlag, Munich et al. 1999, ISBN 3-577-14525-0 .
  • Rolf Tomann (ed.): The art of the Gothic. Architecture, sculpture, painting. Könemann, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-89508-313-5 .
  • Filip Velimský: Foundation, structure and development of the medieval mountain town Kutná Hora / Kuttenberg from the perspective of archeology, mining archeology and history. In: Yves Hoffmann, Uwe Richter (ed.): The early history of Freiberg in a national comparison. Urban early history - mining - early house building. Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle (Saale) 2013, ISBN 978-3-95462-132-3 , pp. 327–336.

Web links

Commons : Kutná Hora  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Český statistický úřad - The population of the Czech municipalities as of January 1, 2019 (PDF; 7.4 MiB)
  2. a b Kutná Hora: Historical Town Center with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec on the UNESCO World Heritage Center website ( English and French ).
  3. a b c d e Antonín Profous : Místní jména v Čechách. Jejich vznik, původ, význam a změny. Volume 1-5. Česká akademie věd a umění, Prague 1947–1960.
  4. a b c Kutná Hora (Kuttenberg). In: ask-enrico.com. Retrieved January 7, 2018 .
  5. J. Heidemann: Heinrich of Carinthia as King of Bohemia . In: Historical Commission of the Royal Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Hrsg.): Research on German history . No. 9 . Dietrichsche Buchhandlung, Göttingen 1869, p. 494 ( google.at [accessed on January 7, 2018]).
  6. ^ Otto Böckel: The German folk song . Reprint of the second edition from the 1924 edition. Verone, 2016, p. 77 f . ( google.at [accessed on January 7, 2018]).
  7. a b Kutná Hora - městská památková rezervace ÚSKP 1005 in the monument catalog pamatkovykatalog.cz (Czech).
  8. Jaroslav Pešina, Karel Kibic (ed.): ABC kulturních pamatek. Panorama, Praha 1985, pp. 467-468.
  9. ^ Emanuel Poche: Art Monuments in Czechoslovakia. Bohemia and Moravia. Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 1986, ISBN 3-361-00071-8 , pp. 437-438.
  10. The 3 scariest places in Europe: A church with sculptures made of bones, Karlotta Arnold, Sarah Schuch, Frank Gensthaler, in: 400-year-old church emerges from the water, galileo.tv, 2012, October 19, 2015 , accessed on 22 October 2015.