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Karlovy Vary
Mariánské Lázně
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The History of the Town 

Marianske Lazne was blessed with both the richness of natural beauty and the inexhaustible resources of mineral springs. The first written record about the local springs dates from 1528 when they are mentioned in a letter from the Emperor Ferdi­nand I to the abbot of the Tepla Abbey. The first written study of the Tepla acidulous waters was carried out by Bohuslav Balbin in 1679. News began to spread about the healing effects of the mineral water and sick people started visiting the springs. Monks from the Tepla Abbey had the springs cleaned and the road leading to the springs was maintained.

Josef Jan Nehr, an abbey doctor, campaigned for the foundation of a spa. In 1779 he persuaded the abbot and several monks to undergo spa treatment. Dr Nehr carried out a chemical analysis of the springs and decided to use the water for treating the sick. In 1808 he opened the first spa season at the Cross Spring.

In 1818 Marienbad was awarded the status of a Spa Town. The town was named Marienbad after the Mary Spring, and the spring was named after a picture of the Virgin Mary that was pla­ced near the spring by a soldier returning from the wars in gratitude for recovering from his wounds after bathing in the water. The Abbot of the Tepla Abbey, Kaspar Keitenberger, can be credited with the further development of the spa as at the beginning of the 19th century he started to build houses and pavilions. The Prague landscape architect, Vaclav Skalnik, was employed to drain the boggy land and the originally unwelcoming wooded areas were turned into large English style parks.

In 1897 the future British King Edward VII came to Marianske Lazne. During his first visit he wished to be known as the Duke of Lancaster and he must have fallen in love with the spa since he paid it a total of nine visits.

After WW1 and the creation of the Czechoslovak Republic visitors started returning to the spa. A rapid growth of the transport in­frastructure attracted even more visitors. Unfortunately, the economic crisis of the 1930s put a stop to the development of the town. The Second World War luckily spared the town and the spa character of the town remained preserved.
Nowadays, Marian­ske Lazne is amongst the most sought after spa towns in Europe.