Saturday, March 24, 2012
St Barbara, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Some books call this church a cathedral, but I can find no reference to it ever having a bishop. It may have been collegiate, as next door is a large Jesuit College, although again the church was not Jesuit itself. Whatever it is deservedly one of the most famous churches in Central Europe, and is unusual in having no tower but the main roof of the church is carried up into three turrets along its length. The approach is along the terrace of the College with its statues and fine views across the town to St James church. The distant view of St Barbara was taken from alongside St James church. The building is C14-C16 in the main but was left incomplete until the C19. The wealth from the town's silver mines paid for it and these became less productive in the late medieval period. Walking around there is a wealth of carving, with figures leaning out to you, and the singing banjo player was my favourite! The array of flying buttresses are also astonishing. The lofty interior blew me away, the upper part of the nave pillars seem to twist and turn into the flamboyant vaulting ribs. Some baroque fittings are preserved and also some of the side chapels and ambulatory contain wall paintings. this was my reason for visiting Kutna Hora and it did not disappoint at all.