A monument that makes its way onto the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady and St John the Baptist and the historical centre of Kutna Hora.
The Kutna Hora Cathedral, considered a late Gothic gem, is one of only four Czech sacral buildings of the cathedral type, and its magnificence bears out the glory and wealth of Kutna Hora in its silver mining heyday, when the city was one of the most important centres of the realm. The Cathedral has been associated with miners from the onset, indeed its name is proof – dedicated to the Virgin Barbara, the Christian patron saint of all who maketheir living in a hazardous occupation.
Construction started in the second half of the 14th century, but the demanding architectural plans were not easy to fulfil.The original design was for a much larger church, perhaps twice the size of the present building. The construction work had to be temporarily suspended in the mid-16th century when the silver ran out in Kutna Hora’s mines. The centuries that followed brought a wave of reconstruction work and replacement of the cathedral‘s fixtures, particularly in the Baroque style – it was occupied by Jesuits who gradually changed the structure into Baroque style. The cathedral‘s present-day appearance dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries, when the church underwent an extensive regothisation and a total restoration.
Each epoch left its indelible marks on the interior; in the cathedral nave are rare Gothic frescoes and precisely worked examples of stone-masonry, Baroque altars, sculptures and paintings, the nave’s main feature being a Renaissance pulpit with Baroque panelling. Among the most renowned builders leaving their mark on the wondrous work were Matej Rejsek, who paid great attention to the decorative elements, and Benedikt Ried, who placed considerable emphasis on the overall architectural design.
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