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Saint Barbara Church
Country Czech Republic
Coordinates 49°56′52″N 15°16′02″E / 49.94778°N 15.26722°E / 49.94778; 15.26722
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Name Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec
Year 1995 (#19)
Number 732
Region EUR
Criteria ii, iv

Website: [1]

Saint Barbara Church (often incorrectly Saint Barbara Cathedral, Czech: Chrám svaté Barbory) in Kutná Hora (Bohemia) is one of the most famous Gothic churches in central Europe and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. St Barbara is the patron saint of miners (among others), which was highly appropriate for a town whose wealth was based entirely upon its silver mines.

Construction began in 1388, but because work on the church was interrupted several times, it was not completed until 1905. The first architect was probably Johann Parler, son of Peter Parler, but studies say that Peter Parler had participated at least as a co-author of the draft design. Work on the building was interrupted for more than 60 years during the Hussite Wars and when work resumed in 1482, Matěj Rejsek and Benedikt Rejt, two architects from Prague, assumed responsibility.

The original design was for a much larger church, perhaps twice the size of the present building. Construction, however, depended on the prosperity of the town's silver mines, which became much less productive. So, in 1588, the incomplete structure was enclosed by a provisional wall until 1884 and the roof was unfinished until the 19th century.

The outside appearance is fascinating. Originally there were eight radial chapels with trapezoidal interiors. Later on, the choir was constructed, supported by double-arched flying buttresses.

Internal points of note are the glass windows, altars, pulpits and choir stalls. Medieval frescoes depicting the secular life of the medieval mining town and religious themes have been partially preserved.

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