St. Barbara’s Cathedral
St. Barbara’s Cathedral, a jewel of late Gothic architecture and one of only four cathedral-type buildings in Bohemia, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist as well as the historic centre of Kutná Hora.
The splendour of this building still testifies to the glory and wealth of the “silver” Kutná Hora and the deep piety of its creators. The temple is dedicated to the Virgin Barbara, an early Christian martyr who is invoked as a helper to those in need, intercessor for a good death and patroness of all those with a dangerous profession, especially miners. It was the miners who contributed most to the flourishing of the medieval town and the construction of the cathedral, which they dedicated to their patron saint.
The origins of the building, which date back to the second half of the 14th century, are connected to the famous Parler stonemasonry workshop. Many other brilliant artists and builders, including the famous Benedikt Ried, followed in its footsteps. He is the author of the so-called emporium (the inner gallery within the cathedral), the concept of the unmistakable tented roofs and, of course, the circular vaulting of the main space of the cathedral. In the middle of the 16th century, when the Kutná Hora mines ran out of silver, the construction had to be temporarily halted. The following centuries brought a wave of reconstructions and inventory replacements, especially in the Baroque style. The current appearance of the church dates from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries when it was extensively restored.
St. Barbara’s Cathedral is a varied gallery of especially rare Gothic frescoes and stone art, nevertheless all generations have left their mark there. The main nave is dominated by a Renaissance pulpit with Baroque panelling. The learned and pious Jesuits furnished the cathedral with a number of Baroque altars, statues and paintings. At the beginning of the 20th century, the generous donors of the neo-Gothic restoration had a large part of the windows decorated with stained glass, on which the painter František Urban depicted a number of purely Christian motifs, as well as important events of his time. This tradition was followed with so far the last artistic achievement in 2014: a stained-glass window with the motif of St. Agnes of Bohemia, which decorated the last clear window in the south nave of the church.
You can attend services at St. Barbara’s Cathedral:
- every Sunday at 7:00
- every fasting Wednesday at 18:00
- on Easter Sunday at 9:00
- on the day of Feast of Corpus Christi at 9:00
- during the “Kutnohorské stříbření” festival (the Royal Silvering of Kutna Hora) at 9:30
- every Advent Wednesday at 18:00
- on Christmas Day at 9:00
- on New Year’s Eve at 16:00
You can visit St. Barbara’s Cathedral all year round, even on weekends. Current opening hours as well as other important information can be found here.
Tickets are available at the ticket office of the Information Centre at the St. Barbara’s Cathedral in Kutná Hora. Don’t forget to find out more about the 3TOP ticket deal, which offers a tour of St. Barbara’s Cathedral (including the emporium and the Corpus Christi Chapel), a tour of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist and the Church of All Saints (the ossuary) in Sedlec.
The building is accessible for people with all kinds of disabilities, who will also pay a reduced entrance fee upon producing a relevant certificate; reserved parking for these individuals can be found in Kremnická Street.