If you’re planning a trip to Prague and have researched day trips, no doubt you’ve heard of Kutná Hora. While it’s not as well-known or as popular as some of the other Czech towns that you can visit, such as Český Krumlov or Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), it is certainly no less interesting or unique. In addition to my Prague tours, Kutná Hora is the only destination outside of Prague where I also provide tours. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite places.
Kutná Hora’s History
Kutná Hora, as its name in Czech implies, is a former silver mining town, and this mining legacy had a direct impact on the uniqueness of its layout and architecture that is still visible to this day.
For those of you who follow this blog, you’ll know that travel within the Czech Republic has become a renewed interest of mine, brought on out of necessity in the days of the Covid shutdown. And before 2022 ended, I managed to squeeze in one more day trip – this time to Hradec Králové.
A Dowry Town?
Hradec Kralove sits at the confluence of the Elbe and Orlice rivers. The name literally means “queen’s castle,” a so-called “dowry town” dating to at least as early as the 11th century. After much damage in the both the Thirty Years’ War and the War of Austrian Succession, Emperor Josef II turned the town into a fortress, the remnants of which can still be seen today.
If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I spent much of last year exploring more of the Czech Republic than I’ve done in a while. I visited many places for the first time that had long been on my list, and I also revisited some of my favorite places, such as Cesky Krumlov.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that this summer I spent a lot more time traveling than I usually do. As a tour guide, my summers are usually spent working – a lot – so the tourist season is normally not that for me! Sadly, due to the Coronavirus, my tour business was virtually nonexistent this year, so I decided to hit the road. But the pandemic also made travel outside of one’s country a bit difficult or impossible – so I did something I hadn’t done since I first moved to Prague: I traveled around the Czech Republic.
Not only is Prague a relatively small city (1.2 million people), but the fact that its amazingly efficient public transport system is fast, dense, punctual, and dirt cheap makes the city that much easier to navigate and explore. This means not having to stress about not having enough reading material for the ride or about getting places on time, and it’s also easy to make quick stops (the system does not require you to swipe every time you get on) and to venture outside of the city center.
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I am an American who has been living in Prague for two decades. After a long career in international finance, I left the business world to pursue other interests. I now work as a writer, mentor and guide to the city.