Health Resorts of West Bohemia
Welcome to the region of healing springs, glorious history, charming nature and hospitable people. You will find the inimitable air of spa towns, a number of historical monuments and many natural sights you would seek in vain in any other region. Some of them became real symbols of this region. Judge for yourselves: The Springs of Carlsbad, the mineral waters Mattoni, Magnesia, Excelsior or Richardka, the thirteenth spring – Becherovka, spa waffles, Moser glass, Carlsbad china, Loket Castle, the cloister in Teplá, the dollar of Jáchymov. The Singing Fountain of Mariánské Lázně, Špalíček in Cheb, Chateau Kynžvart or the statuette of Francis in the spa town of the same name. Indeed, you have a wide range of options.
"The Land of Healing Waters"
Only with great difficulties could we find a name more fitting for the area situated in the westernmost part of the Czech Republic near the borders with Bavaria and Saxony. There is no region in the world which could successfully compete with the frequency of healing mineral springs in the spa triangle among Carlsbad, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně. This trio of the largest and best-known health resorts is complemented by other spas, which may fail to be so famous, but succeed in treatment of their patients with excellent results. They are Lázně Jáchymov - the first radioactive spa in the world, Lázně Kynžvart with the renowned Richardka spring, and Konstantinovy Lázně hidden in the middle of deep woods.
The flagship of the spa triangle is Carlsbad - the oldest, most famous and largest spa in the Czech Republic. The symbol of the city is "The Spring" spouting 2,000 litres per minute and spurting up to the height of 15 meters. There are a number of historical buildings in the city, whether it is the neo-Renaissance Mill Colonnade, the Art-Nouveau Bath I, Imperial Bath V, Art-Nouveau City Theatre, Grandhotel Pupp, Classicism Postal Yard, Manor and Orchard Colonnades or the Classicism Richmond Sanatorium.
Mariánské Lázně is a jewel of architecture embedded in a ring of amazingly beautiful spa parks. It is considered the largest and most beautiful garden town in the Czech Republic. There are about 140 cold mineral springs rising to the surface in the town and its environs. The most valuable architechural monuments include the neo-Baroque Colonnade, Classicism Empire-style pavilion of the Cross Spring, neo-Byzantine Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Orthodox and Anglican Church, neo-Renaissance New Bath, Town Theatre and Communal House Casino. Many a visitor has been enthralled by the Singing Fountain.
The smallest and the most charming town of the spa triangle is Františkovy Lázně. It is well known for Francis' Spring, around which various Classicism and Empire buildings were constructed. For the purity of the spa centre style, the town is listed as a historic town reserve. Its most beautiful monuments include the Empire colonnade of Meadow and Salt Springs, the neo-Renaissance Bath II, Communal House, Bath III, the atrium of Glauber's Springs and the circular pavilion above Francis' Spring. The most attractive sight for visitors of the resort is the statuette of Francis.
The first radioactive spa in the world was established in Jáchymov in 1906. Soon afterwards, the renowned medical institution Radium Palace was built. In 1975, a new large medical facility was put into service, named after academician František Běhounek.
Konstantinovy Lázně, specializing in the prevention, treatment and convalescence of cardiovascular diseases, treatment of locomotive disorders, and metabolic and respiratory diseases, is situated amid peaceful forests and virgin nature.
Lázně Kynžvart is specializes in the treatment of non-specific respiratory diseases and children.
From the Middle Ages, the most important centre of the region was the city of Cheb, which ranks among the oldest cities in Bohemia. The historic centre of the city along with the only imperial pfalz in the territory of Bohemia was listed as a historical town preserve. The symbol of the city is the world-renown Špalíček (The Block) – a group of eleven late Gothic merchant houses from the 13th century.
A historical monument of the first magnitude is Kynžvart Chateau. This is the place where the history of the entire Austrian monarchy was written. Furthermore, it was given the eminent Europa Nostra award, granted to exceptional European monuments after restoration. The region of Cheb features typical folk architecture of closed half-timbered farmsteads.
There is a fairytale castle and chateau in Bečov nad Teplou. The Reliquary of St. Moor was found in the castle chapel, a treasure of utmost significance for the Czech Republic, second only to the crown jewels. It is literally priceless. Nearby, you can visit the Premontratensian Monastery in Teplá, which was the spiritual centre of the region for centuries. And then, there is the Baroque jewel of West Bohemia – Valeč.
The splendid natural scenery of Slavkov Forest(formerly Emperor's Forest) is complimented by the remarkable historical monuments in Horní Slavkov, which was a centre of tin mining of European significance in the 16th century, and the charming historical town reserve Loket with the best preserved early Gothic castle in our lands. Surely, any visitor will appreciate a number of other historic buildings, especially the Baroque Cloister and Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Chlum Svaté Maří, the town Kynšperk nad Ohří from the 13th century famous for local cabinet-making, or the historic village reserve Královské Poříčí.
In summer, tourists go by foot or bike to relax in mountains and woods with convenient terrains for both hiking and the increasingly popular biking. The entire region is crisscrossed with a network of marked tourist trails and cycling routes, which will take you to attractive locations of historical, naturalist, or scenic significance. There is an increasing number of horseback riding offers in the region.
Also, there are many opportunities for swimming and water sports.
The water reservoirs Jesenice and Skalka near Cheb provide excellent conditions for swimmers, campers, and anglers. Especially Jesenice is the right place for windsurfers, yachters and divers.
The region is slowly becoming a paradise for golf players. The golf course in Mariánské Lázně is the oldest course in the Czech Republic. The golf course in Carlsbad also ranks among the oldest and most beautiful locations in Bohemia and continental Europe.
A number of natural sights, reserves, parks and uncountable nature trails passing through storybook nature: this could be a brief description of the scenic beauties of the spa region.
The protected natural area of the Slavkov Forest is a large protected region listed since 1974. It is situated between Carlsbad, Mariánské Lázně and Kynšperk nad Ohří. Volcanic activity of ancient times is evidenced by the remains of the volcanoes Komorní hůrka near Františkovy Lázně, Železná hůrka near Cheb and Podhorní vrch near Mariánské Lázně.
Information taken from the catalogue: Západočeské lázně ("The Health Resorts of West Bohemia"), Project implementer: Euregio Egrensis
Besides the above-mentioned opportunities, the region also offers rich cultural life. You can visit the museums in Cheb, Aš, Mariánské Lázně or Františkovy Lázně, which can tell you more about history of the region, including famous local personages. Musically oriented persons will surely appreciate the "Week of Johan Strauss" festival in Františkovy lázně or "Chopin's Festival" and "Mozart's Festival" in Mariánské lázně. These two towns also hold traditional spa season opening events. A similar event is held in Cheb, for the opening of the tourist season. Carlsbad holds an annual international film festival of world renown.
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Districts connected to the region
- Slavkovský les (Slavkov Forest) (protected landscape area)
- Chodsko (Folklore region)
- Karlovy Vary Region (Folklore region)
- Stříbro Region (Folklore region)
- The Pilsen diocese (diocese sphere)
- Plzeň (Pilsen) (Jewish community sphere)
- Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) (Jewish community sphere)
- Fishing Association - West Bohemia (fishing area)