A godforsaken area – that´s how we might describe the Marienbad valley with its wild nature, the dense forests, swamps and moors. Yet all this harbors an immense wealth consisting of mineral springs. The first historical references to Marienbad date back to 1528. It was only as late as at the end of the 18th century when the Teplá Monastery doctor Dr. Josef Nebr started investigating its water’s healing effects systematically. He had the first bricked house, the ‘Golden Globe’ spa house built in the years of 1805-1807 next to the Cross-Spring, instead of the formerly standing wooden hut. Within a short time, the spa guest influx caused widespread construction activity and a municipality was erected on the Teplá Monastery premises, which was proclaimed a public spa town in 1818. This town was named after the image of the Virgin Mary which was near the Maria Spring. Thanks to the financial support of the abbot Karl Kaspar Reitenberger, the garden architect Václav Skalník, the architect Georg Fischer and the builder Anton Turner had a picturesque park town built on the formerly inhospitable, moorland valley in the years of 1817 until 1823 and this town was full of classicism or empire buildings, summer houses, pavilions and promenades. Many renowned people from all over the world came to Marienbad - Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Prince Friedrich von Sachsen, Graf Caspar Sternberg, and Maria Szymanowska. Many art nouveau built houses and newly built houses, hotels and churches remind us until today of Marienbad´s golden ages that existed in the 1870-1914 period. In 1872, the town received a railway connection to Vienna and Prague via Pilsen and in 1898, it was connected to Karlovy Vary as well. It was in these years that probably most spa guests came to Marienbad: Gustav Mahler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, Thomas Alva Edison, Pierre de Coubertin, the English King Edward VII., as well as Emperor Franz Josef I. During the previous years, many of the impressive 19th century buildings were refurbished with love and thus, they are again emanating the glamour of a remote era. The spa center of Mariánské Lázně has been declared an urban monument zone.
Mariánské Lázně lies at the foot of the so-called Emperor´s Forest (Slavkovský les) at 630 m above sea level. The valley, where the spa town is situated, opens up to the south and is protected towards the other sides by forest-clad hills. The wide strip of well-kept forest permeating the city is no less than 20 km broad and there are numerous pleasant walking paths.
Most important sights
The Mariánské lázně mineral springs (such as the Rudolph-, Caroline-, the Forest-, the Cross-, the Ferdinand- and the Ambrosius-Spring), the Neo-baroque Colonnade, the Singing Fountain, the Classicist Pavilion at the Cross Spring, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the New Spa, the Municipal Museum, the Casino, the Town Hall, managed park landscapes and many walking paths.
Culture, leisure time and sports
Regular promenade concerts, the Singing Fountain (projections and lighting), Regional Studies Museum, cinemas, the Municipal Theatre, galleries, dance cafés, casinos, night clubs, a golf course, minigolf, tennis courts, indoor swimming pools, fitness centers, saunas, billiard and skittles clubs, horse riding yard, squash, a speedway track. Hunting, fishing, skiing and sightseeing flights in the vicinity.
Movement apparatus illnesses, kidney or urinary tract diseases, respiratory diseases, women´s physical complaints, obesity, spine diseases – concealed syndromes of motion disorders or metabolic disorders.
Spa treatments (mineral bath, additional spa treatments, sparkling bath, carbonic acid bath), drinking water therapy, massages (classical massage, reflex zone massage, underwater massage, body massage in a water spa with a water jet), peat pack, peat bath, gas injections (a Marienbad speciality), hydrotherapy (Scotch douche, semi bath, whirl bath, sauna, vapor bath), electrotherapy (interference currents, short-wave diathermy, ultrasound, pulse magnet therapy), healing gymnastics (group and individual gymnastics, swimming pool gymnastics), inhalations, pneumopuncture, paraffin packs and oxygen therapy.