A Day Trip From Prague to Kutna Hora and Its Macabre Bone Church
Originally, I planned on doing Cesky Krumlov as a day trip from Prague. But when I began to look into the logistics of getting there I realised that it was a long way for a day trip. My dreams of visiting Cesky Krumlov will have to wait for another eurotrip because I just didn’t have time to fit it in during my short time in Prague.
But I did want to get out of the city and explore a nearby town. After doing some research, the easiest and simplest day trip appeared to be a trip to Kutna Hora. Whilst there are many organised day trips to this village, we found it was very easy to turn up at the train station and do this one on our own.
There were plenty of tourism offices upon our arrival that helped us plan out our day in the town. And public transport was very simple to get there. Hence I wouldn’t bother paying for a guided tour!
The train to Kutna Hora is cheap (100 CZK each way) and only takes an hour from Prague’s main train station. You can look up the schedules for the particular day you wish to go on the Czech Rail Network website, but they essentially leave every two hours. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get to the station and buy your ticket, we almost missed our train because of the long wait at the ticket booth.
The train will drop you off at the main Kutna Hora train station (Kutna Hora hln) which is actually located 5 km from the centre of town. You’ll need to transfer to a local train that will wait to connect with the incoming train, even if you are running a little late. So long as you specific ‘Kutna Hora mesto’ at the train station in Prague this journey will be included on your ticket. We got off one stop earlier on this local train so that we could visit the suburb of Sedlec first, before then catching a local bus from Sedlec to the main part of town.
Sedlec Ossuary (The Bone Church)
Sedlec is a small suburb on the outskirts of Kutna Hora that is famous for both its UNESCO listed Cathedral and the Bone Church. Luckily it’s a stop on the small local train from the main station. You just need to press the button when the train first starts moving and it will make a stop there.
It’s logistically easier to stop here on your way into town and then catch another train or bus into the ciy centre after you have explored Sedlec. Just stop in at the tourism office and they’ll send you back to the train stop or point out the bus stop, depending on when the next connection is.
The Bone Church was the highlight of my whole trip to Kutna Hora. There are a few of these gothic and macabre churches in the Czech Republic, but the Sedlec Ossuary is meant to be the best. The church is decorated with the bones of over 40,000 people. It’s a bit like visiting the Catacombs of Paris, except on a much smaller scale, in a much smaller space.
I loved the bone chandeliers, the rebuilt skeletons and the words formed with bones for text. It’s a unique experience and not something to be missed while you are in Prague or Kutna Hora.
Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec
This is one of the two cathedrals that form the sites of Kutna Hora protected on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Being a UNESCO hunter, I definitely wanted to make a quick stop here en route from the Sedlec train stop to the Ossuary.
The cathedral itself wasn’t exceptionally beautiful, but it’s free to enter. They only ask for donations and you are free to give a lot or nothing at all. The highlight for me was the amazing artworks on display inside. Some of them were in a need of a bit of restoration but you could see the talent and quality behind the works. I found myself enjoying them despite the fact that my taste in art usually doesn’t extend to highly religious pieces.
St Barbara’s Cathedral
The other UNESCO listed site of Kutna Hora is far more spectacular than the one found in Sedlec. After catching a bus into town, we made sure we got off at the stop closest to the St Barbara Cathedral. This meant we could begin our exploration there before the short walk into the proper old town of Kutna Hora.
I loved this cathedral from the very first glimpse. Its architecture, especially the many spires reaching towards the sky was unique. At least in comparison to the hundreds of other cathedrals I had visited during my 11 months in Europe. That isn’t surprising though, as its one of the most famous Gothic cathedrals on the continent.
The inside was also formidable, although we weren’t quite ready pay the extra to visit the second level of the cathedral. And as always, I most often prefer the exterior of cathedrals to the interior. The other beautiful part of St Barbara’s Cathedral was its setting. It’s up on a hill overlooking both the old town of Kutna Hora, but also the green forest that extends on the other side of it.
The bridge that you cross to head back into the old town is also another highlight of visiting the Cathedral. The statutes reminded me a lot of the bridge in Prague.
Kutna Hora Old Town
The old town part of Kutna Hora is small, it didn’t take very long for us to have seen the most of it.
In all honesty, the highlights of Kutna Hora are most definitely the bone church and St Barbaras. After visiting both of these sites, the old town of Kutna Hora didn’t have much to offer. Well except for a great spot to grab a very late lunch before we headed back to Prague.
Have you been to Kutna Hora? Are you planning a trip?
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