Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

Kutná Hora is a town in the Czech Republic, famous for its silver mines, from which, in the Middle Ages, up to one third of European production came to finance the construction of churches and monuments and magnificent houses. There are several sites to visit: the Sainte-Barbe church (begun in 1388 and completed in 1905), the royal castle called Italian Court, the Ursulines cloister (1735), the Corpus Christi chapel among others. The entire historic center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Tips

Do not miss the visit to the funerary chapel of All-the-Saints and its famous baroque ossuary. It is a former Cistercian abbey of Sedlec near Kutná Hora. Visit also the Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, inscribed on the UNESCO list, and the ossuary of the church of the cemetery of All Saints. If you visit these monuments late in the evening, the guides will make you a visit dressed as a Cistercian monk. The church buildings and the ossuary are lit only with candles. You can listen to Gregorian chants and the sound of the organ of the cathedral.

Vinné Sklepy is a family-run company whose goal is to renew its mature glory and rehabilitate a long-standing tradition linked to the cultivation of vines in the region of Kutná Hora. A cycling discovery route will take you from a picturesque square to the vineyards below Sukov. This 6 km route connects the historical center of Kutná Hora with the vineyards.

If you like museums, visit the Museum of Silver where an exhibition dedicated to the exploitation of silver and other subjects awaits you.

If you like art, visit the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region (Gask), which specializes in the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, but temporary exhibitions also unfold older art. You will discover, as part of a permanent collection, how Czech art developed in the twentieth century.

You can buy a combined entrance that will allow you to visit St. Barbara’s Church, the Ossuary, the Church of the Assumption and the Art Gallery and save money.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, having the most active port of the European Atlantic coast. Its Old Center is in decline demographic but they work hard to renovate the palaces and the museums because there are many unhealthy housing. Avenue De la Liberdade is considered one of the most expensive streets on a world scale. The city is known for its typical trams and funiculars.

Tips

You can buy a rechargeable card and ask for the Pass 24 to have unlimited access to public transport for 24 hours.

Do not forget to visit the Alfama district with its winding and steep alleys and its Moorish heritage: a jewel.

To have one of the most beautiful views of the city, visit the St-George Castle.

You can take the elevator from the castle which is free.

If you are there on a Tuesday or Saturday, visit the Feira da ladra, where you will find typical handicrafts, azulejos, clothes, etc.

St. Constantine and St. Helena church, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The church of St. Constantine and St. Helena is one of the oldest Christian temples of Plovdiv, located on a site that housed a Christian sanctuary already in the early fourth century. It is on the ramparts of the Acropolis, in the center of the old town. The Severian and Memnos martyrs were beheaded in 304 (at the place where the church is) because of their Christian religion. The archaeologists support that the temple was built 30 years after the death of these martyrs and that it had their name. The actual name is due to Emperor Constantine when he was canonized as a saint so they changed its name and that of his mother. Along the years, the temple was built and rebuilt and the one we see today dates from 1832. In 1950, they discovered an ossuary that preserved the bones of tens of generations of inhabitants of Plovdiv during excavations. Today they rest in a pit located beneath a tombstone found in the temple courtyard. This court has a solid stone wall around that reaches 6 to 8 meters in height and is crowned by a massive brick cornice. Some additional buildings in the courtyard gives it the appearance of a monastery. The interior has three naves with a vaulted ceiling of extraordinary richness. There are murals, an iconostasis wooden sculpted, icons and a wooden sculpted pulpit.

Tips

If you visit the church without an organized tour, enjoy to walk in the old town because there are many things to see, beautiful architecture and lots of history.