The town of Kutna Hora is about 70 kilometres east of Prague and since mediaeval days has been an important centre for silver mining. The earliest traces of silver that have been found date back to the 10th century, when Bohemia had already had been at the crossroads of long-distance trade for many centuries. By 1260 German miners began to mine for silver in the mountain region. From the 13th to 16th centuries the city competed with Prague economically, culturally and politically. Since 1995 the city centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One mine is accessible to the public - discovered in 1967 when a hydro-geological exploration of the town was underway. At a depth of approximately 22 metres an old gallery was discovered. Subsequent exploration showed it to be a perfectly preserved medieval drainage gallery, dug from the 14th to 16th centuries. The gallery was dug in the Palaeozoic Gneiss of Kutná Hora; quartz and nuggets of Cretaceous conglomerate can be seen in many places in the roof.
Traces of pick marks can be seen on many places on the walls and the roof of the gallery. There are also copious small niches dug out in the walls which miners used for their pit lamps. Around 250 metres of the gallery are accessible to visitors. The mine provides white overcoats for tourists which were originally used to try and amplify the meagre lighting. In winter, between the seasons, exploration, mapping and hydrological measuring of other publicly inaccessible areas is carried out. There is also a small museum associated with the mine.