In the dark mines beneath Kutná Hora the tap of miners tools has not been heard for centuries and the silver they extracted is no longer transformed by skilful hands into the famous Prague grosch. Silver mining, thanks to which Czech rulers became some of the richest rulers on the Continent, came to an end, leaving the town remains with a unique collection of sights, most built by the biggest names of the Gothic and Baroque eras.
In this region you can certainly find places of natural beauty to enjoy such as the area around Vlašim, in the land of the Knights of Blaník dominated by the legendary Velký Blaník, along the Sázava River and in the Příbram District. Popular among canoeists, yachtsmen, cyclists and walkers are the valleys of two rivers, the Vltava and the Sázava. An area known as Lada´s Country, as well as other locations where painter Josef Lada drew life-long inspiration, are ideal for families with children. Heading out of the region, on the border between Central and South Bohemia, lies picturesque Sedlčansko, an area of forest, unusual boulders and cliffs of all shapes and sizes. If it’s peace and quiet you’re looking for, head for Příbram’ Svatá Hora and the vaulting of the ancient monastery or cathedrals in Sázava and Sedlec.
Highlighted from the area:
Kutná Hora – This town, listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site, was once the treasury of the kingdom and one of the sources of power for Czech rulers. During the reign of Wenceslas II the Italian Court housed the only mint in the kingdom.
Cathedral of St Barbora in Kutná Hora – This impressive cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of all miners, St Barbora and is the work of architects Matěj Rejsek and Benedikt Rejt. Along with the historical city centre, this exquisite example of High and Late Gothic architecture is a UNESCO-listed site.
Kačina Chateau– Inside this huge Empire mansion house you´ll find the National Agricultural Museum, focusing on life in the Czech countryside. Tours include the building´s period interiors, including a library, pharmacy, gallery, theatre, orangery and botanical gardens of medicinal herbs; the large chateau park is ideal for relaxing walks.
Žleby Chateau – An idyllic fairytale chateau with mock medieval defences and an English park. Nearby you´ll find a special area for training precious birds and a white deer enclosure.
Konopiště Chateau – This romantic chateau was established as a Gothic fortress along the lines of a French castle at the end of the 13th century, but in the early 20th century it became the residence of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand d´Este. The period interiors are adorned with art collections and hunting trophies; the chateau is set in a large park incorporating a rose garden, glasshouses and a shooting range.
Jemniště Chateau – This Baroque chateau was built by architect F. M. Kaňka. The chateau contains a coffee house and restaurant and is a popular venue for engagements and weddings. You can also arrange a picnic in the extensive chateau park.
Český Šternberk – This essentially medieval castle, with an outer coat of Baroque, belonged to the Šternberk family and stands on a rocky promontory above the River Sázava. The tour takes in the period interiors with their elaborate stucco work and painted decoration, precious fittings and furnishings and family heir looms.
Aquapalace in Čestlice – The largest indoor swimming complex in the country has three different areas under a glazed roof – the Palace of Waves, Palace of Adventure and Palace of Relaxation. All the interiors are linked by a 350m-long artificial river, and the complex also includes an outdoor area with heated swimming pools, various types of sauna, a Spa & Wellness centre, fitness centre, bars, restaurants and a hotel.
Příbram– This town, above which towers the famous Svatá Hora pilgrimage site, has a long-standing mining tradition. The Mining Museum offers tours of the old buildings belonging to the Příbram mines, and there´s also an exhibition and trips underground including a ride on the mine train into Prokop, the deepest mine (1,600m deep).
Dobříš Chateau – This Rococo mansion with three wings, mansard roofs and a colourful facade is adjoined by a set of French gardens, a unique example of Rococo garden design featuring terraces on several different levels and ramps. The chateau grounds also include a freely accessible English park.
Rozhledny na Sedlčansku – čtyři vyhlídkové věže vznikly v krátkém rozmezí let 1999-2004. První stojí na Veselém vrchu nad Mokrskem, druhá na kopci Drahoušek u nedalekých Osečan, třetí se nachází poblíž Kuníčku u Petrovic na vrchu Hodětín a čtvrté na místě zvaném Onen svět nad Lašovicemi.