Tips for trips
The town itself and the spa centre offer a number of walking routes in a pleasant environment of spa parks that were praised by J.W. Goethe as far back as in 1820. Among the most important monuments of the spa centre is the baroque revival colonnade. If you as are an admirer of architecture, you would also be taken by a few other buildings – the spa hotel Nové Lázně, the Casino Cultural and Conference Centre, and the spa hotel Hvězda - Skalník.
Places where the springs discharge are covered with pavilions in an interesting way, and are also popular destinations for walking.
Natural reserves in the surroundings of Mariánské Lázně
If you are interested in trips to the surrounding woods, you can choose one of the natural trails and experience an interesting introduction to the escaping of carbon dioxide from moffettes on the 'Smraďoch' mini natural trail.
There are a number of nature reserves in the neighbourhood of Mariánské Lázně. Kladská Moors, which is situated 10 – 13 km north-west of Mariánské Lázně, contains very valuable mountain moors. These moors are a water reservoir for spa springs.
Near Kladského rybníka, Prince Otto Schönburg-Waldenburg built a hunting manor in the style of Swiss hunting lodges in 1877 - 78. The manor is a simple building with a wooden floor. At the turn of the century a further five log cabins arose in the neighbourhood. The whole area of log cabin development in the Swiss-Tyrolean style is protected as a cultural monument.
Other reservations are Planý Hill, Vlček, Křížky, Domin’s Rock and Svatošské Rocks.
There are many fascinating views on these trails, which have been gradually renovated since 1998. Many famous personalities, for example the famous Czech writer Vladimír Páral, have participated in the monument renovation project in the Mariánské Lázně woods.
An older baroque building from the end of the 17th century was rebuilt in 1820 - 1833 for the Chancellor Klement Václav Lothar, Prince of Metternich-Winneburg.
The chateau is a unique example of a country diplomatic residence in the style of Imperial Viennese classicism, sensitively embedded in a vast natural landscape park. During the life of Prince Metternich, a large number of art pieces, coin collections, medals, curiosities, ceramics, weapons and a library with unique manuscripts and incunabula were located there.
The history of the Teplá monastery, a Premonstratensian order, dates back to 1193, when the Czech courtier Hroznata founded it.
Hroznata was declared blessed at the end of the 19th century. In the history of the monastery, periods of prosperity and failure have often changed hands. At the turn of the 17th and 18th century, the monastery was rebuilt in the baroque style by a German architect, Christopher Dientzenhofer. Like many other Czech and Moravian monasteries, the Teplá Monastery was devastated after the expulsion of monks in 1950. In 1990, the monks returned to the monastery, and since that time it has been slowly renovated.
These days the monastery lives a rich religious life and is open to visitors year-round. The library in the monastery is, by quantity (about 100,000 volumes), the second largest in the Czech Republic. There are valuable manuscripts, incunabula and books in all European languages. The abbatial Church of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is a valued example of the transition from gothic to romance style. The baroque interior contains valuable pieces of art from the 18th century.
The town of Františkovy Lázně was founded in 1793 and it is famous for curing circulatory and gynaecologic illnesses. The basis of the cure originates from 24 springs, which are sources of sulphur-ferrous peat and natural gas with a high content of carbon dioxide.
It is the smallest spa town in West Bohemia, and thanks to the uniform classicist architecture of the spa buildings and spring pavilions, Františkovy Lázně has kept the charm and atmosphere of a spa locale from the turn of the 19th century.
One of the largest and oldest spa towns in the Czech Republic, it gained considerable privilege from King Charles IV in 1370.
Karlovy Vary experienced its biggest boom in the 18th century, when the gothic style of the spa town was gradually changed into a more modern one. Especially crucial to the importance of the development of balneology in Karlovy Vary was Dr. David Becher, whose family, along with others, was responsible for originating the famous herbal liqueur Becherovka.
There are 13 mineral springs used for drinking cures and mineral baths in Karlovy Vary. The most famous of these is Vřídlo – a spring at a temperature of 73° C, which shoots jets very high into the air. Every year Karlovy Vary is also a meeting place for film stars and film lovers, who come to the International Film Festival held there.
Near Mariánské Lázně is located a medieval fortress with a slim cylindrical tower.
Loket Castle served as a military fortress as early as during the reign of Přemysl Otakar II, and during the reign of the Lucemburks it was a site of various international meetings. These days there is a museum with a historical exhibition within the castle’s premises. Loket was visited by many famous personalities, among them Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
The most significant historical monument in the neighbourhood of Mariánské Lázně is Bečov Castle.
It is a medieval castle connected to a baroque chateau founded at the end of the 13th century. It was gradually modernised in the 18th and 19th centuries. Because of this history, there is a mixture of gothic and baroque styles in the architecture. An abundant amount of gothic stonework portal and window details have been preserved, together with parts of Renaissance paintings in the residential tower.
The town of Cheb is one of the oldest towns in the Czech Republic and a place much enjoyed by tourists.
It has a preserved historical centre, which is an area protected by the city. A symbol of the square is the well-known Špalíček - a bizarre complex of 11 houses divided by Kramářská Lane built in the 13th century. One of the most beautiful medieval Romanesque Central European monuments is Cheb Castle, with its Black Tower and two-floor chapel. The town’s history is displayed to visitors in an extensive exhibition in Cheb Museum, and art lovers can visit one of Cheb’s several galleries.
The capital of the Czech Republic is situated on both banks of the River Vltava. Prague is the economical, political and cultural centre of the country and the seat of the President.
It has developed into its present appearance over 11 centuries. Today, it spreads over 496 km2, where a total of 1,187,000 inhabitants live. Nearly 3 million tourists visit Prague every year. The historical town centre with its unique skyline of Prague Castle is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.