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Beyond Prague Experience, Czech Republic Castles

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Few cities can match Prague’s over-the-top romance, evocative Old World charm — or its tourist crowds. To escape the masses and experience more of the real Czech Republic, take a bus or train ride outside of the city to see some of the many worthwhile sights just beyond. My three favorites are a rich medieval town, a sobering concentration camp memorial, and a grand Czech castle. Kutna Hora, a beautifully preserved and down-to-earth town, is just a one-hour direct train ride from Prague. With a current population of just 20,000, it can hardly be categorized as a “second city” to Prague, but it was considered the second city of Bohemia in the 17th century. Kutna Hora sits on top of what was once the world’s largest silver mine and, in its heyday, much of Europe’s standard coinage was minted here. At the town’s Czech Museum of Silver, you can join a tour and spelunk in the former miners’ passages that run beneath the town center.

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