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Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec

Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec

Kutná Hora developed as a result of the exploitation of the silver mines. In the 14th century it became a royal city endowed with monuments that symbolized its prosperity. The Church of St Barbara, a jewel of the late Gothic period, and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, which was restored in line with the Baroque taste of the early 18th century, were to influence the architecture of central Europe. These masterpieces today form part of a well-preserved medieval urban fabric with some particularly fine private dwellings.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Kutná Hora : le centre historique de la ville avec l'église Sainte-Barbe et la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Sedlec

Née de l'exploitation de mines d'argent, Kutná Hora devint, au XIVe siècle, une ville royale dotée de monuments symbolisant sa prospérité. L'église Sainte-Barbe, joyau du gothique finissant, et la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Sedlec, restaurée dans le goût baroque au début du XVIIIe siècle, influencèrent l'architecture d'Europe centrale. Ces chefs-d'œuvre s'insèrent aujourd'hui dans un tissu urbain médiéval préservé qui frappe par la richesse de ses demeures privées.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

كوتنا هورا: وسط المدينة التاريخي وكنيسة سانتا باربرا وكاتدرائية السيدة في سدلك

نشأت مدينة كوتنا هورا من استغلال مناجم الفضة، وأصبحت في القرن الرابع عشر مدينة ملكية مزوّدة بأبنية ترمز الى ازدهارها. أما كنيسة سانتا باربرا التي تجسد تحفة من الطراز القوطي المزخرف وكاتدرائية السيدة في سدلك التي خضعت للترميم حسب طراز الباروك في بداية القرن الثامن عشر، فقد خلّفتا تأثيراً هاماً في هندسة أوروبا الوسطى. وتندرج هذه التحف اليوم في نسيج مدني من القرون الوسطى يذهل بغنى مساكنه الخاصة.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


库特纳霍拉(Kutná Hora)是随银矿的开采而发展起来的。14世纪时,这里是一座皇城,城中的许多建筑都代表了其曾经的繁荣兴盛。圣芭芭拉教堂(Church of St Barbara),是代表晚期哥特式建筑风格的一颗璀璨明珠,而塞得莱茨(Sedlec)的圣母玛利亚大教堂(the Cathedral of Our Lady)又保留了18世纪早期巴洛克风格,这些都影响了中欧的建筑风格。这些建筑杰作同城中一些精致的私人宅邸一起,向我们展现了一幅保存完好的中世纪都市画面。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Кутна-Гора: исторический центр города с церковью Св. Варвары и кафедральным собором Богородицы в Седлеце

Кутна-Гора развивалась благодаря эксплуатации серебряных рудников. В XIV в. она стала королевским городом, богатом памятниками, которые символизировали его процветание. Церковь Св. Варвары, «жемчужина» периода поздней готики, и собор Богоматери в Седлеце, который был перестроен в соответствии со вкусами барокко начала XVIII в., оказали влияние на архитектуру Центральной Европы. Эти шедевры сегодня являются частью хорошо охраняемой средневековой городской застройки, включающей также много замечательных частных домов.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Kutná Hora: centro histórico de la ciudad,iglesia de Santa Bárbara y catedral de Nuestra Señora de Sedlec

Kutná Hora debió su prosperidad a la explotación de las minas de plata de sus alrededores, llegando a adquirir el título de ciudad real en el siglo XIV. Entre los monumentos testigos de su riqueza figuran la iglesia de Santa Bárbara, joyel del gótico tardío, y la catedral de Nuestra Señora de Sedlec, restaurada en el estilo barroco imperante a comienzos del siglo XVIII, que ejercieron una influencia considerable en la arquitectura de Europa Central. Estas dos obras maestras se insertan en el tejido urbano admirablemente conservado de la ciudad medieval, que cuenta con algunas mansiones particulares magníficas.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Historisch centrum van Kutná Hora, met de Kerk van Sint Barbara en de Kathedraal van Onze Lieve Vrouw in Sedlec

Kutná Hora – 60 kilometer ten oosten van Praag – was een van de belangrijkste politieke en economische centra van Bohemen in de 14e en 15e eeuw. Het ontwikkelde zich als gevolg van de exploitatie van de zilvermijnen en werd in de 14e eeuw een koninklijke stad. De mooie woningen en monumenten getuigen van haar welvaart. De kerk van Sint Barbara is een mooi voorbeeld van de late gotiek en de kathedraal van Onze Lieve Vrouw in de wijk Sedlec werd gerestaureerd in lijn met de barokke smaak van de vroeg 18e eeuw. De meesterwerken hebben de architectuur van Centraal-Europa beïnvloed.

Source: unesco.nl

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Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The historic town centre of Kutná Hora with the Church of St Barbara and the Church of Our Lady at Sedlec are located in Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Kutná Hora has developed as a result of the discovery and exploitation of the rich veins of silver ore since the end of the 13th century. In the 14th century, it became a royal city endowed with buildings that symbolized its enormous prosperity. The Church of St Barbara and the former Cistercian monastery church of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist in Sedlec, located at a distance of approximately 1.5 km to the north-east of the historic centre, were to influence considerably the architecture of Central Europe. Today, these masterpieces, representing cathedral architecture, form the dominants of a well-preserved medieval town-planning structure filled with Gothic and Baroque urban fabric.

The most striking of Kutná Hora is the church of Saint Barbara, the Gothic jewel whose interior is decorated with frescoes depicting the secular life of the medieval mining town of Kutná Hora. This piece of art had a major influence on the architecture of central Europe. The former Cistercian cathedral, Our Lady of Sedlec, which is at a distance of 1.5 km northeast of the historic centre, was restored in the Baroque style in the early 18th century by Jan Blazej Santini. For the first time, he used his conception of the Baroque Gothic style which strongly influenced the history of architecture.

The oldest neighbourhoods Vlassky dvur (Italian courtyard which includes the southeast tower) are dating back to the early 14th century. The royal chapel is Gothic and boasts a remarkable interior design. Attached to the Italian court, we find the church of St Jacob from the 14th century whose furniture date back mostly to the end of the Gothic period. The Hradek (little castle) is an interesting example of Gothic palazzetto of Central Europe which has kept both inside and outside in its original condition.

Throughout its extensive area, the historic centre of Kutná Hora reflects a very specific medieval structure of the city ground plan, which is determined by mining, later with only isolated partial corrections. In spite of its long dynamic development, the town retains an earlier pattern of communications predating the city's actual origin. Moreover, the historic built-up area, formed by the finest architectural works from Gothic and Baroque periods and the specific breathtaking Kutná Hora panorama, is impressively linked to a picturesque surrounding landscape.

Criterion (ii): The urban fabric of Kutná Hora was endowed with many buildings of high architectural and artistic quality, notably the Church St Barbara, which had a profound influence on subsequent developments in the architecture of Central Europe. 

Criterion (iv): The historic town centre of Kutná Hora, with the Church of St Barbara and the Church of Our Lady at Sedlec, constitutes an outstanding example of a medieval town whose wealth and prosperity was based on its silver mines.


All key elements defining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property are situated within the inscribed area. The property is also protected by a buffer zone that is clearly defined and adequate. Since the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List, no significant changes have been made within its perimeter, and there are no planned modifications for the future. So far, minor changes that have been carried out on the housing stock had neither a significant influence on its character, nor any significant impact on the urban fabric and the overall layout of the town. Nevertheless, increasing pressure to develop the attics of the houses or to add floors might have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the roofscape of the town, which is very well preserved. However, these risks are kept under control by the state heritage preservation authority. There will obviously be, in the future, partial building arrangements without significant impact on the overall character and urban structure of the town.


The property is of high authenticity; it is a proof that the original ground plan organism developed as a result of the exploitation of the silver mines. Very few of the old fortifications have survived; as regards the rest of the historic town centre, the richness of private homes is of major interest. Most of the urban fabric is intact and preserves the evidence of its organic development. Individual buildings survive with a remarkable authenticity degree of design and materials. The facades of a number of houses feature numerous Gothic elements, while others reflect an inclination to the Baroque and to the 18th century. Nevertheless, the structures of these houses are, on the whole, medieval as confirmed by a detailed scientific study that uncovered cellars with barrel vaults and lower floors in Gothic style. The authenticity of the ensemble, of the town layout and the architectural Kutná Hora features are attested by the systematic surveys that have been carried out since the end of the Second World War. The future of this level of authenticity is assured by the provisions of legislation which have strict standards designed to ensure the respect for authenticity.

Conservation works are being carried out in accordance with strict internationally recognized conservation criteria and with consistent use of historical materials and technological procedures.

Protection and management requirements

The property is protected by the Act No. 20/1987 col., on State Heritage Preservation, as amended. Under this Act, the historic centre of Kutná Hora is an urban heritage reservation, in the territory of which also the Church of St. Barbara is situated. In accordance with the existing legislation, the protective zone of the urban heritage reservation is identical with the buffer zone of the historic centre of Kutná Hora. The Church of Our Lady at Sedlec is situated within this protective zone. Hence both component parts of the property have the common buffer zone. The Church of Our Lady at Sedlec is designated, under the Act mentioned above, a cultural heritage site.

Under the law mentioned above, the Church of St Barbarba is classified as a national cultural monument and as such it has the highest level of heritage protection at the expense of the state. The Italian Court (the former royal palace with the Mint) has the same level of protection. The Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec is, under the law mentioned above, classified as a cultural monument, as well as most other historic buildings in the historic centre of Kutná Hora.

The responsibility for the property management is shared between the Roman Catholic Church and the City of Kutná Hora, which are responsible for the maintenance, conservation and presentation of the property. Any actions that might affect it must be authorized by the appropriate state or local authorities.

The rehabilitation of the property is carried out with the support of public funding; for example the city has a good quality Programme for the Regeneration of Urban Heritage Reservations and Zones.

The Management Plan of the property, which is coordinated by the Municipality of Kutná Hora, is in place and is scheduled to be updated regularly. Due to the extent of the property and the complicated structure of ownership inside the property, maintenance and conservation works is subject to individual programmes that are coherent with the Programme for the Regeneration of Urban Heritage Reservations and Zones.

Financial instruments for the conservation of the property mainly include grant schemes and funding through the programme of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic allocated to the maintenance and conservation of the immovable cultural heritage and of areas under heritage preservation, as well as financial resources allocated from other public budgets.

Since 2000, annual monitoring reports have been prepared at the national level to serve the World Heritage property manager, the Ministry of Culture, the National Heritage Institute and other agencies involved.