Located in Kutna Hora, Czech, the Cathedral of St. Barbara is a Gothic style UNESCO branded structure. The building has an interesting back story, and has been referred to as one the key gems of visiting Kutna Hora.
In the 1300s, Kutna Hora was a growing city and the center of politics and markets. It was discovered to be a very prominent silver mining town, the city itself started to boom with new successful mines opening up. As a result, the mine owners founded the church and it became a safe haven for the miners who worked in Kutna Hora. This was an attempt to split off for the monastery that also resided near by. By doing this, the miners had established a sense of pride and home for this structure.
The designer of the church is not factually known, but it is assumed that is was Johann Parler. The building was first designed to be much much larger than what was built. This is partly due to the nature of the economics that was on and off during construction This building is interesting, as it took so long to be built, many different designers had influence on it. It is situated on a hilltop so it can be seen up above from the town. This can be seen as symbolic, as the miners and residents of Kutna Hora held the church at high regard.
The Gothic style of the building can be seen throughout the exterior in pointed arches, spires and vaulted ceilings. Inside, there are remaining frescoes, stained glass windows, and recurring religious imagery. The imagery portrayed throughout the structure can be tied back to secular life of those who lived in Kutna Hora, including the miners. Although most of the features are Gothic, there are subtle hints of baroque design, portrayed in the cathedral as carvings of angels which is plausible, as it was trendy during the mid period of construction.
The church is constructed out of sandstone, similarly to the Charles Bridge. Construction began in 1388 and formally ended in 1905. In this sense, the building took over 500 years to construct! The construction had been halted several times due to loss of finances, war and even because the city had ran out of silver! However, the church was opened in 1403 and many came to pray even though it did not have a roof and construction was still going on. This just shows how dearly the miners and residents of Kutna Hora admired the church.
We will see this building when we travel to Kutna Hora on June 1st. Many travel to Kutna Hora for the Seldec Ossuaries, but the Cathedral of St. Barbara draws crowds in with its size and architecture. It is outside of town, but it only requires about 15 minutes of bus travel to reach it.
I am very excited to see this structure as the photos are absolutely stunning and I think I will be able to grasp the size of the building as well. As shown, it’s located outside of town but close enough to visit for the evening.