Spa Triangle

Kladská peat bogs

On large plateaux of the Slavkovský les Forest above Mariánské Lázně, we will find a landscape of exceptional beauty with waterlogged meadows and swamps, lakes and ponds. In the wet unforested moorland, where moors have such names as Taiga, Five-Pointer (Paterák), Bold Head (Lysina) and Small Peatland (Malé Rašeliniště), only scarce trees are growing – mountain and bog pines and on drier meadows lonely Carpathians birches looking like feeble old women…

Kynžvart and the Metternichs

There are town and places, for centuries connected with certain attributes. Although Kynžvart obtained in 1862 the status of spa resort and the official name Lázně Kynžvart (Kynžvart Spa), already since the 17th century it has been connected mainly with the Rhineland noble family of Metternich. Its most eminent member, Prince Klemens von Metternich (1773-1859), State Chancellor of Austria, was for thirty years the most powerful man of the Habsburg monarchy. He was influencing the history of the whole Europe and it is thus no wonder that he influenced also the small town of Kynžvart, where his family had its country residence…

The royal town of Loket

When breaking its way through the Podkrušnohorský zlom Fault, the Ohře River has caught in one of its meanders a lonely rock cliff which it has been strangling more and more. Now this rounded peninsula is connected with his “native” Slavkovský les Forest only by a very narrow neck of land…

Františkovy Lázně, small and lovely

A small naked boy is sitting on a ball and holds a big fish in his hands. He is from bronze and the whole lower half of its body is shiningly polished by thousands of woman hands. “Frankie” (František) is the symbol of Františkovy Lázně, although it is already the third copy of this sculpture at the Františkův pramen (Francis´s Spring). Though also diseases of heart, blood circulation and locomotive organs are cured here, Františkovy Lázně is known mainly for treatment of women diseases including infertility…

Golf is spa and spa is golf

The noble clientele which used to return in the 19th century to Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně missed there only one thing – a good golf course. Choosy spa visitors had to wait till the beginning of the 20th century to have the possibility to play their favourite game in the spa triangle…

Glass of kings

The second half of the 19th century was a time full of contradictions. On the one hand, it was clinging to historical styles, on the other hand, the rising machine production was undermining many traditional arts and crafts, including glass making. In spite of this tendency, Ludwig Moser, twenty-four year old glass engraver, decided to get him known just by hand work and a high quality…

The protected heart of the spas

The Slavkovský les Forest conceals a life-giving force that somehow reminds of well-protected secrets of legendary heroes whose life was also dependent on energy hidden sometimes in the heart of mountains and other times in a magic ring. The protected mountain complex of the Slavkovský les Forest situated within the spa triangle is exactly such precious source of energy. If it were not here, the towns on its perimeter would only vegetate…

Town of colonnades

Karlovy Vary has undoubtedly still other positive attributes – Goethe called it for instance “the chessboard of Europe” – and since its foundation it has been our oldest and greatest spa resort. But the spa character of this town can be best seen in its colonnades. Although they were intended to enable walking and drinking of mineral water directly at springs, at the same time, they have become a part, or even the scene, of the spa’s social life…

Beginnings of the Bohemian porcelain

For one thousand years, China succeeded to keep its secret of porcelain fabrication. When Johann F. Böttger discovered porcelain for the second time in 1709 in Meissen, Saxony did not manage to keep his “arcanum” for more than ten years. Tradition has it that the first one to find it out was a military agent of the Austrian court who then established in Vienna his own porcelain factory, which he later had to sell to the state because of his debts…

Cheb, region of beautiful houses

The romantic and at the same time mysterious landscape around Cheb was always attractive for settlers. This attractiveness is obviously seen also in the local architecture. Local Baroque buildings, both religious and profane, were designed by so eminent personalities as K. I. Dientzenhofer, A. Leuthner or G. B. Alliprandi…

Becherovka, the thirteenth spring

In 1965, when a new, already the thirteenth healing spring was found after many years in Karlovy Vary, it should, according to the local tradition, obtain the serial number of its finding. But as the number thirteen was already occupied, because the Becherovka liqueur was for years called the thirteenth spring, the new spring was named the Second Václav´s Spring…

The Svatošské skály Rocks

In the deep canyon-like Ohře valley through which the river penetrates the huge granite massif, we will find between Loket and Karlovy Vary a picturesque group of slim rocks. Granites exposed for millions of years to weathering and erosion activities of the river have disintegrated in their own way into a system of mutually nearly perpendicular fissures and the result of this process is a small rock town…

The Teplá Monastery

The Teplá Monastery is one of the nearly thirty large monasteries founded in Bohemia during the 12th century, but it is probably the only one existing thanks to a lucky chance. If we believe an old story, we must even admit that it owes its foundation to a simple human failure, to the fear of a man of an unknown natural element. This man was the Bohemian lord Hroznata who had to take part in the third crusade but still before leaving the Italian shore he was struck by panic when seeing the rough sea and he did not even enter the ship…

Cheb, ancient town near the border

Already in the remote past, Cheb was not only an entrance gate to Bohemia, but also an important centre of the westmost part of the country. Its Czech name is derived from the bend of the Ohře River, its German name Eger comes from the ancient Celtic name of the river – Agara. The historic centre of the town, significantly devastated in the 1950´s, was reconstructed at the beginning of the 1960´s. In 1981, Cheb was proclaimed urban conservation area…

Soos, the unique

In a hot summer day, the bog mud is dried and fissured into regular polygonal fields. The margins of their deep fissures are decorated by yellowish or greenish efflorescences of different mineral salts and locally even the whole surfaces are covered by white snow-like powder. These are tiny crystals of bitter Glauber salt…