The ancient silver mining town of Kutná Hora is one of the most historically significant towns in the Czech Republic and was the second most important town in the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia after Prague.
The Cathedral of St Barbara is a Roman Catholic church inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the historical centre of Kutná Hora and with the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady and St John the Baptist in Kutna Hora-Sedlec. The splendor of The Cathedral of St Barbara is tangible testament to the fame and riches of the silver Kutná Hora as well as of the deep devotion of its creators. The cathedral is dedicated to Virgin Barbara, an early Christian martyr, invoked as a helper in need, an intercessor for a good death, and a patron of all who carry on a dangerous occupation, especially miners.
The lands on which the mining settlements, and later the town itself, were established belonged to the Cistercian Order. The citizens of Kutná Hora wanted to break free from their influence. They decided to establish a Brotherhood of Corpus Christi, which took the first steps towards the construction of a new cathedral, the splendour of which would reflect the glory and wealth of the silver Kutná Hora as well as the deep religiousness of its citizens. The beginnings of the structure are linked to Parler’s famous building workshop. The construction of the cathedral was entrusted in 1388. The activities of this workshop were supplemented by the work of many other ingenious artists and builders, including the famous Benedikt Ried, among others. He is the author of the so-called empora (an indoor gallery on the first floor of the cathedral), the design of the unmistakable tent roofs and the stellar vault over the cathedral’s main nave. The cathedral‘s present-day appearance dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries, when the church underwent an extensive regothisation and a total restoration. St Barbara’s Cathedral is owned by the Roman Catholic Parish – Kutná Hora Achdeanery.