Churches and Bones : NYU Kutna Hora Day Trip

With the excitement of studying in Europe, I was so preoccupied with the opportunities to travel to other countries that I realized I never thought about travelling around the Czech Republic. When I saw that there was an opening for the NYU Kutna Hora Day Trip, I decided to take advantage of the preplanned and free trip to see what it would be like. The trip featured several attractions in two small towns east of Prague, Kutná Hora and Kouřim.

Bone Church?!

Our first stop was the Sedlec Ossuary, a Catholic chapel decorated with the skeletons of 40,000 to 70,000 people. The bones are arranged as decorations for the chapel, including garlands of skulls, a coat of arms, and a huge chandelier over the center. It was definitely a fascinating and slightly creepy experience.

Saint Barbara Cathedral

Next we visited the Saint Barbara Cathedral, an incredible Gothic church. The guide provided us with the historical background of the church and many of the altar paintings. The church was very beautiful, but also very cold! If you’re not a big fan of churches, then this might not be for you since it is a typical Gothic church and therefore similar to ones you find in Prague.

Italian Court

After Saint Barbara, we made our way to the Italian Court, the former site of the Central Mint of Prague, as our tour guide pointed out some smaller attractions such as statues and old mines. The Court served as the location for the royal mint as well as the residence of the king when he visited the Kutná Hora silver mines. Kutná Hora became one of the wealthiest downs because of its silver mining. Our guide also demonstrated what minting a coin was like (as seen in the photo below).

Open-Air Museum

The final stop on our trip was to the Museum of Folk Architecture in Kouřim. The open-air museum featured traditional architecture that was preserved and relocated from different regions in the Czech Republic. The buildings were taken apart and transported to the museum site to be put back together.

Despite the cold weather, I had a wonderful time in Kutná Hora and Kouřim. It was very relaxing to just enjoy the sights without worrying about how to get there or how much time I had to plan. It was a great opportunity to visit parts of the Czech Republic outside of Prague and I will definitely be going on and writing about more NYU trips!

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