While in the past I tended to look down on guided tours as something for the lazy tourist masses, in the course of my solo travels I've come to appreciate them, particularly in cases where my experience would benefit from expert knowledge (i.e. Vatican City) or else would allow me to go somewhere that might otherwise be difficult to organize on my own (i.e. Capri). The tour I selected for this trip accomplished the latter, taking me about 60km outside of Prague to Kutná Hora, once a prosperous silver-mining capital and now a sleepy little UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To be honest, though, the only reason I chose this tour in particular was that it included a visit to the Sedlec Ossuary, a Roman Catholic chapel containing the remains of tens of thousands of people. Our tour guide, who presumably leads this trip several times a week, insisted that he couldn't stand being inside the crypt for more than a few minutes, so after sorting out our tickets he went back to the bus to wait. I, on the other hand, couldn't be more excited. Ever since I was a child I've been oddly fascinated by death (just ask my parents), so to see such an immense volume of genuine human bones arranged so artistically was pretty mind blowing. Or maybe I'm just a morbid person. I don't know. It is pretty cool though, like something from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland but completely real.
The ossuary is located in the suburbs, so the tour continued to the central historic district starting at St. Barbara's Church, a cavernous affair with frescoes dating from before 1500 and some of the most incredible stained glass I've ever seen. It's hard to tell from this picture, but the vibrant colors and meticulous details made it seem as though the images ought to start moving...like in the beginning of Beauty and the Beast but with religious figures instead.
After walking through old town we concluded at the Italian Court, the political and economic center of Kutná Hora's glory days. King Wenceslaus IV lived here in the 14th century, and apparently must have been pretty short because the door frames in the palace are practically child-sized. Which is to say that I could pass through no problem without stooping; Wenceslaus could too but according to the guide he did so wearing a giant crown on his head. If this is all true that would make him much, much smaller than even Napoleon.
So why don't you ever hear people talking about having a Wenceslaus complex, eh?
[update] A couple days after I returned to Paris, a friend and I were having falafel in the Marais when a couple from my tour group randomly sat down next to us. They weren't very pleased with the tour, and I don't blame them - there were some logistical errors and the guide wasn't particularly informative - but I stand by what I said earlier. If I hadn't gone, I probably wouldn't have been able to get there from Prague on my own.