Are you considering a really good relaxing spa stay but don’t know where to go for it? We can recommend Bohemian and Moravian spas. Their quality has been proven by their long tradition and the satisfaction of visitors, both now and in the past. When planning your spa trip, let yourself be inspired by world greats, such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Peter I, Empress Sissi, or perhaps the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. They visited Bohemian and Moravian Spas several times, both to relax and to socialize. Bohemian and Moravian spas, such as Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Luhačovice have always been places that are well worth visiting!
Spas in West Bohemia may even cure a broken heart.West-Bohemian spas, known due to their location as the Spa Triangle, have played an important role in the history of the Czech Republic. That is why they are among the historic sites trying to make their way onto the UNESCO list to join the other Czech entrants. The spas also played an important role in the fate of one composer and one poet, namely the Polish genius Frédéric Chopin and the German master Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Both of them tried to recover from a broken heart in the relaxing atmosphere of West Bohemian Spas.
Frédéric Chopin visited Mariánské Lázně to be close to his sweetheart, the young artist Maria Wodzinska. He spent more than a month in the scenic spa resort, surrounded by dense forests, hoping for marriage. The marriage was finally banned by Maria’s parents and so he was left with nothing but tears and sorrow. While Mariánské Lázně was left with a Chopin Monument commemorating this famous visitor and the Chopin Festival, organized annually. Of course, the Polish composer was not the only celebrity to set out for Mariánské Lázně. The list of famous guests includes Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud and Thomas Alva Edison.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe loved West Bohemian spas so much that he even considered moving to their centre —Karlovy Vary. He was excited by how the original wild landscape was changing into lively and elegant towns full of celebrities and cultural life. Goethe stayed in Karlovy Vary thirteen times and spent three years of his life there. He also visited Teplice, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně. It was right here where he met his last love, 17-year old Ulrika von Levetzow. However Ulrika’s mother stood in the way of their love and put an end to their romantic plans. The reason for this was the age of the German poet. At the time when he met Ulrika, he was 72 years old. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending to the tale. Goethe sadly died ten years later. But it is nice to know that the atmosphere and air in West Bohemian spas inspires love even in elderly people.
Karlovy Vary still attracts celebrities in the present day. They have always sought rest and relaxation here, but for many decades now, they have had another reason to visit the spa town and that is the International Film Festival – the largest cultural event in the Czech Republic. During this cinematic feast held in early July, Karlovy Vary has been visited by such stars as Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Antonio Banderas, Renée Zellweger, Oliver Stone, Jamie Dornan and many others.
Spa triangle and a healthy lifestyleLudwig van Beethoven was one of those who visited spas in West Bohemia for health reasons. In Teplice he was treated for a hearing impairment. But even that did not stop him from working on his 7th and 8th Symphonies. Beethoven also visited Karlovy Vary, which now features a larger than life size monument in his honour. You can get there by way of a pleasant walk from the city centre. Your destination will be one of the most beautiful Beethoven monuments in the world.
Even the Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, came to Karlovy Vary twice for health reasons. First in 1711 and again in 1712, when his spa stay proved successful. During his visits he surprised the locals with his physical prowess. Once he helped some labourers and worked all day on the construction of a house called Dům u Páva, which now bears his commemorative plaque. Another time he rode out on an unsaddled horse to the viewing point called Deer Leap Lookout. When you visit Karlovy Vary you can judge for yourself, just how high the hill is.
Another person to improve her physical condition in West Bohemia was the cherished and still popular Austrian Empress Sissi. She was known for her beauty and elegant figure, which she worked hard to keep. She was a fan of strenuous horse rides as well as long walks and the woods around the West Bohemian spas provided her with perfect opportunities for both activities. It is even said that while walking around Karlovy Vary the diminutive Sissi used to leave her bodyguards far behind. It was not that she tried to run away from them, but when the well trained Empress set out on her way and quickly overcame every obstacle, her bodyguards simply couldn't keep up with her.
Moravian Spa TownsEven in the east of the Czech Republic, in Moravia, you will come across many opportunities to enjoy the spa atmosphere. For example, Luhačovice was visited by members of Czechoslovak high society during the interwar period. One of them was the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who used to arrange official meetings here. Luhačovice also welcomed the famous architect Dušan Jurkovič and thanks to houses designed by him the town gained its fabulously picturesque appearance.
In Luhačovice spa rest and relaxation was also enjoyed by the famous Czech composer Leoš Janáček and the popular comedian Vlasta Burian.