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Kutna Hora – the medieval treasury of Czech Republic

Since it’s founding, the town of Kutna Hora has become an important part of Czech history serving as both medieval treasury and center of business. This is a story of a small town with rich history.In 1142 the first Cistercian monastery was founded at nearby Sedlec. It was the monks who discovered the precious metal – silver. Many legends are tied to this discovery.

As the deposits of the silver grew, people from all over the country became obsessed with the thought of wealth. Thus begun the “gold rush”. The original mining community became a rich town.

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In 1300, a royal mining right was issued. According to it the king was the head of the treasury and could handle it’s contents at his will. At the same time a minting reform was issued along with the royal mining right which introduced a uniform coin – the Prague groschen.

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All town mints were concentrated in the Italian Court which became the seat of the mints. In 1318, Kutna Hora was granted a royal town status. The town grew rich with every year. Many buildings were constructed along with the Church of St. Barbara and imposing churches.

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In 15th century Kutna Hora entered war of the Hussite revolution. During the events about two thousand supporters of the Hussites were thrown into the local mine shafts. Mining activity was stopped as the town was set on fire on two occasions. After the war the mining activity was restored and entered into new era. However, the town suffered a great decline due to the lack of technical means of the historical period. The ore veins reached greater depths and it became hard to reach them.

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The Osel mine (600 metres) had to be closed. The decline continued while Czech lands were flooded by the silver produced in Germany and America. Kutna Hora was changed into a provincial town. The town slowly faded into the background.

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In 1995, the town center along with Sedlec entered UNESCO Heritage Site. Due to it’s historical importance and outstanding architecture the town of Kutna Hora is visited by both foreign and home visitors each year.

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