Kutná Hora, Czech Republic. The Town of Silver
What draws people from all over the world to Kutná Hora? Some say, it’s the town’s rich historical past, while the others believe, it’s the specific atmosphere of the place that was once inhabited by people who stopped at nothing to pursue their dreams. The town’s eventful past can be easily traced through its architecture – Gothic buildings surrounded with beautiful gardens full of romantic statues are quite a common sight in Kutná Hora. It’s truly mesmerizing how objects from different epochs form a unity that doesn’t seem forced or unnatural. Nothing is what it seems in Kutná Hora; the same can be said about the rest of the country. If you compare the photographs of Kutná Hora with the images of other Czech towns, you’ll find at least a dozen of similar traits – from multilayered architecture to astonishing unities of contrasting objects and elements.
The medieval Kutná Hora was a silver-mining center, rich and heavily populated. It was the second largest town after Prague. No one knows exactly who founded the town. Rumor has it that a monk named Antonius had a vision in which he saw a place where silver ore could be found. The monk told people at the monastery about his vision, and thousands of ore-seekers rushed to the mentioned area for the purpose of making a fortune. Greedy for money and power, lustful, shameless – those people did not believe in the afterlife, they lived as if there was no tomorrow, savoring every single moment of their mortal lives.
Though the town is not considered a silver-mining center anymore, there are plenty of objects of architectural value that remind of good old times. If you want to better understand the folk that once inhabited the area, pay a visit to the Italian Court (Vlašský dvůr). This fortified castle, built for the purpose of watching over an important trading route, was later converted into a mint. Currently, the building serves as a museum of coin minting.