Not Four Years but a Lifetime
Trip Start Aug 29, 2010
48Trip End Oct 04, 2010
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We hopped on a train to head about an hour east of Prague, and had to take another smaller train to this town, founded in 1148. Silver was discovered here and it soon became a prolific and rich silver mining town, and was apparently quite well known around Central Europe. At one point, both the Czech mint and seat of government were in Kutna Hora, before the silver mine dried up and all the money disappeared. Anyway, there was quite a bit to see here.
First, we saw a Jesuit cathedral. It was mostly pretty typical for the time period, although was shockingly asymmetric in that it only had one tower! Turns out they simply ran out of money for the second, and just put a top on it, which is pretty funny. You can clearly see it from the pictures.
Next, we saw another cathedral. Since Kutna Hora was very rich, it decided to become independent, and to be independent you needed a church. At first they built a tiny chapel, but then decided that they needed something grander. And grander they got. This cathedral took almost 600 years to build, starting in the 14th century and finishing in 1929! It was beautiful inside, particularly the majestic and gigantic pipe organ on the far side.
Now it was lunchtime, but sadly our tour guide couldn't get a reservation for us at her normal place to go on tours because two larger tour groups had already filled it up, so we more or less randomly chose another place... which turned out to be a dungeon. The place was like 10m underground and pretty dank, tho intriguing. Apparently it's been around since the 16th century. Sadly there was only one guy working there, so it was very slow and we almost missed our train... We had to run for it.
Saving the best for last, we took a train one more stop to see the Bone Church. This is a real, still in use, Catholic Church that was built atop a graveyard. But to do this, they had to dig up all the bones and store them in the basement. In the 19th century, the family that owned the place hired an architect to do whatever he wanted with them, and the result was... Well, on the one hand obviously very creepy, but yet in a macabre sense quite beautiful. There was even a bone chandelier. In addition to all the bone decorations were also four giant bone pyramids (not glued together!! Just free pieces on top of each other) which symbolize that in death, everybody is equal. I doubt the pictures do it justice, it's definitely a place I would recommend everyone go at least for the sheer uniqueness of it!!
Finally, we returned to Prague, and finally did something anniversary-like: we went to a concert. There was a string quintet (w upright bass) playing in the Rudolfinum (home of the Czech Philharmonic) playing all sorts of standards: Eine Klein Nachtmusik, Pachelbel's Canon, the Carmen Suite, the Four Seasons, etc. They were quite good and we enjoyed it thoroughly. The theatre itself was very pretty as well, with good acoustics. The bass in particular carried well.
As a result of the train rides, this day was a pretty light walking day, which for me at least was great. And tomorrow we can finally do laundry, which is great since we're more or less out of clean clothes. But we're saving the best for last tomorrow: the Prague Castle.