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Kutná Hora is another sight in the Czech Republic, which is inscribed into the UNESCO List of World Heritage. In Czech, it literary means the “Digging Mountain“ or the “Silver Pile.” This medieval mining town was founded in the 13th Century, due to the discovery of the largest pocket of silver on the European continent. Due to this, the Czech kings became the richest emperors in the then-known world, which lasted until the discovery of the Americas. Kutná Hora was one of the richest towns, comparable with its wealth to Prague, Rome, Venice or Constantinople, and dubbed the “Czech Athens.” The architectural heritage reflects this throughout the hilly town Centre. These narrow medieval streets boast a number of preserved gothic houses, castles, churches, cathedrals and mining complexes, including a newly restored 20th Century synagogue in the city center. Program includes a tour of a preserved, several-miles long, mining circuit and a baroque ossarium – a so-called “Bone Church.”
Kolín was once home to Bohemia’s second largest Jewish community, after Prague, and a religious community organization existed here – against the odds of Holocaust and communism – until the 1970‘s. Today, the significant part of the historical core is represented by a former Jewish ghetto, with a large baroque synagogue, rabbinical houses, narrow ghetto lanes and two ancient Jewish cemeteries from the 1400’s.
Čáslav is an old royal town, once a stronghold of the Hussite military warlord, Jan Žižka. A short stopover here allows us to peek into a magnificent art noveau synagogue, completed in 1899 by the famous Austro-Hungarian court architect, Wilhelm Stiassny, who also designed the Jubilee Temple in Prague and the Leopoldstätter Temple in Vienna.
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