When Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was staying in Františkovy Lázně, he described the town as “heaven on earth”. To this day the smallest settlement in the famous West Bohemian spa triangle – the other two points being Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně – still boasts elegant neo-Classical colonnades, well-pruned parks, an agreeable ambience and a feeling of tranquillity, rest and relaxation. Come and see for yourself if the words of the famous German poet still hold true, and enjoy some time in the town that gave the world its first mud spa.
Locals began to notice the curative properties of the local springs around five centuries ago. The spa town itself, however, was only founded in the 18th century by Austrian Emperor Franz I, after whom it is named. At its zenith people like Johann Strauss, Prince Metternich, Kafka and Beethoven came to take the cure.
In Františkovy Lázně you can put yourself in the capable hands of no less than 20 cold mineral springs, top-quality natural mud and gases with curative properties. All of these are used in the treatment of the muscular-skeletal system, cardiovascular disease and, in particular, gynaecological problems, including infertility. However, the graceful spa houses also offer enjoyable wellness procedures, which are guaranteed to return your lost vitality, rejuvenate the body and de-stress the mind.
Little František and a water slide
It’s not just Brussels that uses the symbol of a little boy – Františkovy Lázně does too. The West Bohemian boy’s name is František and he is said to have miraculous powers. Locals believe that if a woman touches his statue in a certain place, she is guaranteed to become pregnant. Not far from the well-known statue you can drink from the František Spring. Strolling along the main avenue, don’t forget to stop by at the House U Dvou zlatých lvů (At the Two Golden Lions) where Beethoven stayed during his visits to the town. If you like a bit of watery fun, why not enliven your visit with a splash around at the Aquaforum, where both indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, whirlpools, water caves, saunas, hydromassage and beach volleyball courts await.
Widen your horizons and hit the road to discover the surrounding area. A mere 5km from Františkovy Lázně lies Cheb, one of the most attractive towns in the country with its marvellous half-timbered houses. If you like enigmatic landscapes, come and explore the unique SOOS nature reserve where mud volcanoes are the only relics of once greater volcanic activity.