In 1197 on the territory where Marianske Lazne are currently located the Premostrate monastery in nearby Teplá was founded. It was the monks who discovered the salty spring in the forest. They used manufacture salt of it and sell it as laxative. The town owes its origin to the monastery physician J. J Nehr, who in 1779 persuaded the abbot and some monks to experience the spa treatment firsthand. The treatment with this wonderful water put the digestive system in order, enhanced appetite and permitted to regain healthy and refreshing sleep. Nevertheless the first attempts to create the spa resort on this place failed due to the local people did not believe in its future. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa the analysis of the mineral water was performed again and it was the time when Marienbad appeared. In 1818 Marienbad was awarded with the title of the spa town. The first patients were confined to stay in a small wooden house not far from the Maria’s spring, where they had to take baths as well. Further development of the town is connected with Teplá’s abbot Karl Reitenberger, who initiated construction of the spa buildings and spa pavilions in the beginning of the XIX century. In 1820 Johann Wolfgang Goethe arrived in Marianske Lazne and after that he came back to it twice again. His first visit made a great contribution to growing popularity of the town.
Soon the town became one of the top European spas and it was very popular with celebrities and rulers who often returned there, among them were such names as Frédéric Chopin, Nikolay Gogol, Richard Wagner, Ivan Turgenev, Thomas Edison, Prince Friedrich of Saxony, the Emperor Franz Joseph I and many others.
In 1897 British King Edward VII visited Marianske Lazne for the first time. It is unknown what urged him to come here. But even during the first visit Edward VII admired the town and came here again and again. All in all he visited the town nine times. The British King attracted the attention of the entire world to Marianske Lazne. The spa resort was improving in appearance with every other season attracting more and more guests. Many old buildings were refurbished and a lot of new hotels were constructed.
The spa treatment is targeted to cure locomotor apparatus diseases, renal and urinary disorders, respiratory apparatus diseases, metabolic interference, gynecopathy, including infertility, and oncological diseases. Treatment of the following non-core disorders such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, ischemic vascular disease of the lower limbs, sexual potency disorders.
Interesting Places and Sights
Roman Catholic Church of Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the middle of the Goethe square is a remarkable monument of culture. Its peculiarity is 33 stairs leading to the main entrance symbolizing 33 years of Jesus Christ’s life. The building of the Evangelical Church is also of great interest. In 1923 Albert Schweitzer used to play the organ there. That concert became the outstanding cultural event of the town. St. Vladimír`s Orthodox Church has been an adornment of the town for more than 100 years. It was primarily built for the patients coming to the spa resort from Russia. Its richly decorated majolica iconostasis and unusual architecture has always attracted a lot of visitors. The evangelical church was built for evangelical spa guests. British King Edward VII regularly visited it during his stays in Marianske Lazne.
There used to be the Jewish Synagogue as well, built thanks to donations from members of the local Jewish community, and Jewish spa guests and its solemn opening took place on August 1, 1884. On November 10 1938, known as the notorious Kristallnacht, the synagogue was burnt and destroyed by the Nazis.
The town museum acquaints the guests of the town with the town history, the roles of many famous people in the development of the town, paying special attention to Johann Wolfgang Goethe and his role in the town’s history as well as geographical and natural peculiarities of the town. The visitor shall visit the House of Frédéric Chopin, the Polish composer, inviting to see exhibition devoted to his visits to the town. Every year the traditional musical festival spirits up the spa town cultural life.
The spa season is always opened with the evening concert at the Colonnade. The solemn ceremony of blessing the curative springs marks the official opening of the season. This tradition is cherishingly preserved. That is why the solemn opening of the season with blessing the curative springs is the integral part of the spa resort life. The town is devotedly restoring its cultural traditions. The N.V. Gogol theatre, inviting to visit classic and modern performances, staged by various theatrical companies, is the sightseeing attraction of the town. The Casino cultural centre is the place where lots of cultural events such as concerts of the opera singers, international movie festivals are held. In 1905 the ceremonial opening of the second oldest golf course in Europe, founded by King Edward VII of England in 1905 took place and Edward VII became its first founder-member. A great number of golf tournaments are arranged there, among them the International amateur golf tournaments and the Volvo Tour professional tournament. In 2003 the British Queen Elisabeth II granted Marianske Lazne club with the prestigious title of the Royal Golf Club. The town tennis court can also boast with its rich history. A number of wonderful tennis courts are at the disposal of the guests. The Galeův Cup (Junior Davis Cup equivalent) is held here regularly. There are a lot of splendid walking and hiking trails and bicycle paths in the outskirts of Marianske Lazne. The spa town also offers many swimming-pools, fitness centres and a squash-centre. Two skiing runs and poma lifts are offered to the downhill skiing enthusiasts. In Marianske Lazne there is also a race track for motor and horse racing to be held.