The Italian Court is a palace in Kutná Hora. Originally, it was the seat of the Central Mint of Prague, named after the Italian experts who were at the forefront of the minting reform. After its reconstruction at the end of the 14th century, the Italian Court became a part-time royal residence.

For many centuries, the Italian Court was the centre of the state economic power: it contained the royal mint and was the residence of the king during his visits to Kutná Hora silver mines. The history of building reaches back to the late 13th century, when it served the function of a town castle: a safe storehouse of the silver ore and an important part of the town fortifications. It was separated from the town itself by moats, which survive in the lower section as cellars; the water in the moat also protected the castle from fires.

Following the reform of the mints by King Wenceslas II, all of the previously functioning coinage-works were situated in the Italian Court and coins of a unified value “the Prague groschen” began to be struck. During the 14th century the castle was completely rebuilt; although the greatest flourishing of the building activity came at the end of the century, under the reign of Wenceslas IV. The reconstruction was done by the workshop of Petr Parléř, which was then completing the church of St. James and starting his work on St Barbara's Church.

The royal mint and the office of the supreme master minter came to an end in the 18th century after the great fire of 1770; the town hall was relocated into the Italian Court.

Currently, the building serves as a museum of coin minting; the most interesting interiors, such as the royal chapel and hall of audience are open to the public.

Inside the authentic cellars here is the museum “Unveiling of the mysterious face of Kutná Hora.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hanka Buryskova (2 years ago)
Beautiful place with strong history.
Oku Olgac (2 years ago)
Very nice especially on a sunny day.
Damian D. (3 years ago)
Nice place for all good food 10/8
Ira Latham (3 years ago)
Cool, but if it wasnt for the bone church, not worth seeing by itself.
YUVRAJ SONKER (3 years ago)
Old Building , nothing exciting inside, nice park outside , you can get a beautiful view of St.Barbara Cathedral from the park.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".