A town in the middle of the green of the Slavkov Forest. A town with a worldwide reputation. A town where water heals and sings. Even though Mariánské Lázně is located in the middle of a forest, don’t expect foxes to say goodnight. That would be a mistake! Mariánské Lázně has a very specific and unique charm that will pleasantly absorb you. In short, an unmistakable genius loci. Let yourself be carried away by the pleasant tones and the healing effects of the mineral springs. Follow in the footsteps of the king!

A town with a global reach

Did you know that Mariánské Lázně is the youngest of the famous triangle of West Bohemian spa towns? In addition, since 2021 they have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the category of Great Spa Towns of Europe. The meticulously landscaped parks, magnificent architecture and the beauty of the surrounding nature make them a recognised cultural and social centre.

It’s not surprising that world figures have been drawn here. For example, the British King Edward VII fell in love with the city so much that he came here nine times. The composers Antonín Dvořák, Richard Wagner and Frederic Chopin, the opera singer Emma Destinová, the writers J. W. Goethe, Franz Kafka and Mark Twain and the inventor Thomas Alva Edison also came to relax.

From the swamp to the spa

It’s hard to believe. Where today elegant spa houses and landscaped parks stand, long ago there was only a wild forest with swamps and dangerous ravines. But the springs flowed until their healing power was discovered by monks from the monastery in nearby Teplá. At first they used the evaporated salt as a laxative, but later they discovered the healing effects of the local water. With exaggeration, we can say that a spa was born. The first sick people began to flock to the springs.

The greatest credit for the establishment of the spa goes to the physician Johan Josef Nehr. It was he who convinced the monks to undergo the spa treatment. After the monks’ digestion and sleep improved, the doctor decided to build the first bathhouse. In 1805, the spa house U Zlaté koule (At the Golden Ball) was inaugurated. Thirteen years later, the independent village of Mariánské Lázně was established and the number of guests grew steeply. A great credit for the development of the town goes to the monastery abbot Karel Kašpar Reitenberger, who invested in the spa and got a talented garden architect Václav Skalník. He had the ravines filled in, the marshes drained and designed the beautiful parks that have been preserved to this day.

Beneficial springs

Not really into jumping? Head to the Mariánské Lázně for the healing power of nature! Thanks to the chemical diversity of the local springs, Mariánské Lázně is suitable for treating a wide range of illnesses. Due to their diversity, the local mineral waters form the basis of spa care. There are over 100 mineral springs in the immediate vicinity and around 40 in the town itself.

Right next to the colonnade you will come across probably the most famous Cross Spring (Křížový pramen), which is strongly mineralized with a laxative effect. Therefore, it helps in the treatment of the entire digestive system. Rudolf’s Spring (Rudolfův pramen) is excellent in calcium and treats kidney and urinary tract diseases. In the pavilion below the Church of the Assumption you will find Karolina’s spring (Karolinin pramen), which is suitable for treating urological diseases and kidney stones thanks to its magnesium content. The Forest Spring (Lesní pramen), on the other hand, alkalizes the stomach contents and helps to cure digestive diseases, while the Ambrose Spring (Ambrožův pramen) has a high amount of iron and helps people with anaemia. For example, the oldest documented spring, Ferdinand’s Spring (Ferdinandův pramen), cures digestive and metabolic diseases. After a visit to Mariánské Lázně and a drinking cure, you will feel twenty again!

Singing Fountain and other attractions

Although Mariánské Lázně is mainly famous for its healing springs, the town has much more to offer. The inseparable symbol of Mariánské Lázně is the Singing Fountain, which plays the most famous melodies every odd hour from 7 am to 7 pm every day. At 9 and 10 pm, the fountain even sings with the accompaniment of projections and coloured lighting. The opening ceremony takes place every year on 30 April at 9 pm and the closing ceremony takes place on 31 October at 8 pm. A complete music schedule can be found here.

The Main Spa Colonnade, or if you prefer the Maxim Gorky Colonnade, is one of the dominant features of Mariánské Lázně. The colonnade is a historical monument of the Czech spa industry. It is a rare example of period buildings in our and foreign spas that were gradually destroyed or modernized. Fortunately, the local colonnade has survived in all its unique beauty.

If you want to see the city from above, go up to the Hamelika lookout tower. In addition to Mariánské Lázně, you can also see the Slavkov Forest (Slavkovský les) or the Green Mountain (Zelená hora). There are 100 steps leading up to the 20-metre high lookout tower. We can safely say that every step is worth the view. The lookout tower is open 24 hours a day and admission is free.

But if you don’t want to go anywhere, or can’t, you can see the Hamelika tower in a smaller form in the Boheminium Park. It is unique not only for its unique setting in nature, but also for its wide range of detailed models of Czech monuments in 1:25 scale. The fourth largest miniature park in Europe can be found a short distance from the city centre. Karlštejn, Ještěd, Červená Lhota Chateau, Hvězda Summer Palace or Český Krumlov Chateau are all within easy reach. However, this is just a short list of more than seventy perfect miniatures of important architectural and technical monuments from all over the Czech Republic.

It’s not a cliché. In Mariánské Lázně, water really heals and sings. We believe that a visit to this wonderful town will enchant you like the British king and you will love to come back here as much as he did.