Numerous archaeological findings testify that the area has been continuously settled since neolithic times. Kutná Hora has developed as a result of the discovery and exploitation of the rich veins of silver ore since the end of the 13th century. In the 14th century, it became a royal city endowed with buildings that symbolized its enormous prosperity. From the 13th to 16th centuries, the city competed with Prague economically, culturally, and politically. Along with the rest of Bohemia, Kuttenberg (Kutná Hora) passed to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526. In 1546, the richest mine was severely flooded. In the insurrection of Bohemia against Ferdinand I the city lost all its privileges. Repeated visitations of the plague and the horrors of the Thirty Years War completed its ruin. The town became impoverished, and in 1770 was devastated by fire. The mines were abandoned at the end of the 18th century. Together with the rest of Bohemia, the town became part of the newly founded Czechoslovakia after World War I and the collapse of Austria-Hungary. Kutná Hora was incorporated by Nazi Germany into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in the period 1939–1945, but was restored to Czechoslovakia after World War II. The town became part of the Czech Republic in 1993, after the dissolution of Czecholsovakia.