Visit Czech spas as some of their famous guests did before you!
Inspiration for autumn holidays?
What do Freud, Chopin, Charles the IV and Antonio Banderas have in common? They’ve all enjoyed a relaxing dip in one of Czech Republic’s famous spas. Spa towns Mariánské Lázně, Františkovy Lázně and Karlovy Vary have all had their fair share of celebrity visitors.
It was an injured soldier who turned a malodorous spring referred to as “smelly” into the famous spa town that it is today. After the spring healed his wounds it was named Mary’s spring and the town developed into a famous spa in the early 19th century.
One of the first celebrities to visit was Johann Wolfgang Goethe, the famous German poet. His first taste of the spa in 1820 was followed by a longer stay in 1823 with his lover Ulrike von Levetzow. It was Goethe’s presence that attracted other rich and famous guests to the spa such as Opera composer Richard Wagner.
Following distinguished visitors to stay at the spa includes Eduard VII who visited the spa in 1897 before he became a British royal. Of course, Czech spa-connoisseur and Emperor Francis Joseph I met with Eduard VII at Mariánské Lázně in 1904. He stayed in the Nové Lázně hotel on August 16th.
Globally-renowned writers have been known for preferring Mariánské Lázně above all others. Franz Kafka, author of Metamorphosis, siphoned inspiration from the unique atmosphere of the second largest spa in the Czech Republic. Mark Twain, American author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer supposedly took at least one well-deserved break from writing there.
Evidence exists that even Thomas Alva Edison, the American inventor known for his creation of the electric light bulb was a guest. Other famous visitors include German writer and philosopher Friedrich Nietzche, Austrian composer Friedrich Strauss and Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.
For more about Mariánské Lázně visit www.czechtourism.com (ENG)
One of the four spas of the West Bohemian Spa Triangle (including Mariánské Lázně, Karlovy Vary and the lesser-known spa town of Jáchymov) has had its own collection of famous visitors. Although many of the famous historic figures have made their rounds all four spa towns, Františkovy Lázně was a favorite of a select few.
Marie Luisa, the daughter of Emperor Francis I came to the spa in 1812. Accompanied by her father, Marie relaxed in the spa away from her husband Napoleon. There are incredibly detailed records of their trip on the 5th of June, documenting them drinking from a spring before settling into their accommodation and leaving at 6 AM the following morning. So make sure to watch your behavior when visiting the spa, one day when you are rich and famous your activities there may become public record!
Františkovy Lázně is best known for bringing together the last Austrian emperor, Charles I and princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma. Although the couple first met as children, they were reacquainted during Charles I’s visit to the spa to see his aunt. How could you not fall in love in a place of peace and relaxation?
For more about Františkovy Lázně visit www.czechtourism.com
Last but not least, Karlovy Vary was popular among classical musicians as well as modern film stars. During the 19th century, Karlovy Vary welcomed Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Niccolò Paganini. Perhaps the mysterious Elise behind’s Beethoven’s “Für Elise” was an Eliška he met on a trip to largest spa in the Czech Republic. We will never know.
It was also the place to be if you were a great thinker like Sigmund Freud or Czech philosopher Josef Dobrovský. They found solace in the quaint valley town and its 12 mineral springs. Perhaps Becherovka, the herbal liquor jokingly referred to as the 13th spring, helped further broaden their brilliant minds.
Of course the best known figure to have relaxed in Karlovy Vary, who the town was named after, is none other than Charles IV. Following his example, the Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia Francis Joseph I pondered his imperial decisions while relaxing at the spa.
Today, it is a popular place among modern royalty a.k.a. film stars. Robert De Niro, Jude Law, Antonio Banderas, Renée Zellweger and John Malkovich are just a few of Hollywood’s finest to have graced the spas with their presence.
Check out the spas and get inspired, discover a talent you may not know you possess or just relax and clear your mind of all your worries. Karlovy Vary spas can heal your mind and body whether you want a general revitalization or want to treat a specific medical condition.
For more about Karlovy Vary visit www.czechtourism.com
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