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The Region in Legends and Tales
Tale of Baron Lützow's Cat  

Baron August von Lützow, a prominent citizen of Karlovy Vary, who built a magnificent villa in the slope above the town, was obviously a bit of an oddball. He was notorious for his constant disputes with the town councillors. He also ordered the installation of the statue of a chamois on the site known as the Jelení skok (Deer Jump) in protest at the traditional legend of the foundation of Karlovy Vary owing to a deer that jumped into the Hot Spring. Another tale is connected with the statue of a cat which stands below the baron's villa. It is said that after a monument dedicated to Charles IV had been built near Baron Lützow's villa in the Na Vyhlídce (Lookout) orchard, the baron had a statue of a sitting cat installed on a high pedestal in the terrace of his garden pavilion. The cat originally faced the centre of the town; however, it was later turned in the direction of Na Vyhlídce (Lookout) Street. The eccentric baron allegedly deliberately turned the statue to show its back at the town hall in the valley in order to mock the councillors. At the same time, the cat is installed opposite the monument of Charles IV, whereby the baron wanted to let the councillors known that it was good for nothing, not even for a cat. In his opinion, a cat should have been placed in the forsaken hillside instead of an emperor, moreover in incorrect proportions. Another story claims that the statue of Charles IV was erected with the consent of the town by Baron Lützow himself. Similar consent was given to the placement of the statue of the chamois; it was all a clever conspiracy between the town and the baron.

Baron Lützow's villa is the only Empire villa in Karlovy Vary. It was reportedly built in 1844 according to the design of an architect from Berlin. The baron had the villa surrounded by a terraced garden. The bronze cat installed on a roundel was created at some time after 1858 when the monument dedicated to Charles IV was erected in the nearby orchard. The villa is currently a private property.

Adapted from: Resource documents provided by Lubomír Zeman
http://www.karlovyvary.cz