Hrádek a důl Osel Kutná Hora

Czech Museum of Silver Kutná Hora - Osel Mine

Useful Information

Location: Kutná Hora (Mining Mountain or Kurrenberg) east of Prague.
Open: APR Tue-Sun 9-17. MAY-JUN Tue-Sun 9-18. JUL-AUG Tue-Sun 10-17. SEP Tue-Sun 9-18. OCT Tue-Sun 9-17. [2006]
Fee: Adults CZK 50, Children CZK 25.
Classification: ExplainSilver Mine
Light: electric
Dimension: L=850m.
Guided tours: L=250m.
Address: České muzeum stříbra, Barborská 28, 28401 Kutná Hora, Tel: +420-327-512-159, Fax: +420-327-513-813. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1312 Hradek first mentioned.
16th cty Osel Mine closed.
1967 medieval mines were discovered beneath the fort.
1992 further 600m of corridors and mining pits discovered.
1995 Historical Town Centre inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The museum is in the Hrádek or old fort which was once a mint. Here you are given a white coat and helmet and lamp as part of your visit to the medieval mines which were discovered beneath the fort as recently as 1960. This is one of the many silver mines in the area which were responsible for the town's prosperity in the thirteenth century. However, cheap imports of Spanish silver from South America caused the mines to close in the sixteenth century.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

The České muzeum stříbra (Czech Museum of Silver) offers a tour through a medieval silver mine. Tour B of the museum is named The Trail of the Silver. Those mines are located right in the middle of the town, but were forgotten for centuries. They were rediscovered during hydro-geological investigations, a test shaft in front of the Jesuit College hit one of the tunnels in a depth of 22m.

The most famous mine in the area is the Osel Mine, the deepest and richest mine at Kutná Hora, but abandoned and forgotten during the 16th century. The gallery which was found is not this mine itself, but an adit, a tunnel used to get rid of the water of the mine. It was built during generations, from the beginning of the 14th to end of the 15th century.

At first 250m of the adit were discovered, and the researchers guessed it were the Osel mine. They made an intensive research, but discovered it was an adit. After 25 years additional tunnels were discovered, which seem to belong to the mine. Various tunnels and pits were explored and surveyed, and extend about 600m. This part is not open to the public.

The Hradek (Old Fortress) is first mentioned in 1312, but it was completely rebuilt in late Gothic style at the end of the 15th century. At the same time it had a secret smeltery for silver ore stilling. The modern use as a mining museum is thus just a continuation of a mining related use. The exhibition shows Medieval tools, explains the history and the technology of the local silver mining, and the geology of the Osel dyke.