When it comes to Czech spas with thermal springs, three are most often remembered – Karlovy Vary , Marianske Lazne and Frantiskov Lazne. And if the first of them is known all over the world, then the other two are now somewhat in the shadows, although they have the same rich history. All of them are located relatively close to each other in Bohemia – in the western part of the Czech Republic, where the country borders on Germany. This region is characterized by the fact that it is surrounded by mountains on all sides, thanks to which there is a unique natural landscape and microclimate.
Marianske Lazne is the second largest spa town in the Czech Republic, where the healing effects of mineral waters have been known for centuries. In 1197, a monastery was founded nearby, and it was the monks who were the first to notice a salt spring in their forests, and even tried to get salt from it. However, later they realized that it was drinking local water that had a healing effect on the body – news of this spread throughout the neighborhood, so more and more patients came to these regions for treatment, despite the fact that because of the strong smell, the source was popularly called “Smelly”. But only during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, who was Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia in the middle of the 18th century, the area with medicinal mineral waters received the name “Marienbad”. Then the beginning of this legendary balneological resort was laid.
In 1779, doctors here created a special room in which patients could take mineral water several times a day. All participants in the treatment noted the fact of improving digestion processes, stimulating appetite and improving sleep. At the same time, the sources were still supervised by the monastery – he also fought to obtain all the necessary permits for the construction of the resort building until 1786. And only in 1812 Marienbad was allocated as a separate municipality, and in 1818 it received the official status of a resort. Abbot Karel Kaspar Reitenberger was responsible for its further development, who at the beginning of the 19th century began the construction of spa houses and pavilions.
The fame of Marienbad began to spread throughout the world after arriving at the Goethe resort. The German poet, starting in 1820, came here several times, inspired by the success in treatment and the local natural conditions. In general, it is worth noting that if Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), thanks to the long-term incessant flow of our compatriots, can be considered almost Russian, then Marienbad is, rather, a German city – the language of Goethe will be the second most popular language here after Czech. By the way, it was this poet who urged Abbot Reitenberger to continue building spa houses, and also recommended that local doctors apply modern methods of treatment in addition to traditional spa medicine.
Following Goethe, who became a kind of impresario of Marienbad, a wave of wealthy vacationers poured into the city, among whom were our compatriots, among whom Gogol and Goncharov had a special love for these places, who wrote their key works here. Leskov, Chaliapin, Pyotr Vyazemsky and Alexei Tolstoy also visited here. By the way, it was precisely because of the large number of Russian patients that the Orthodox Vladimir Church was built in Marienbad in 1902. Maxim Gorky rested here from November 1923 to the end of spring 1924 at the Maxhof Hotel.
Among the European artists who often came to Marienbad were Wagner and Chopin, and Franz Joseph, Nicholas II, Edward VII (he came here nine times in total) and many other rulers here not only received treatment, but also made Marienbad a place where many political issues were resolved. For example, in 1904, Emperor Franz Joseph I and British King Edward VII gathered here for negotiations, and in subsequent years – the leaders of Great Britain, Russia and Bulgaria. Before the First World War, the resort was one of the most fashionable not only in Austria-Hungary, but throughout Europe.
After its completion, the city again saw a surge of tourists. The Second World War slightly affected the historical center, although after the retreat of the German inhabitants, the city was partially destroyed. During communism in the Czech Republic, the Marienbad Baths were nationalized (the city became known as Marianske Lazne) and became sanatoriums for socialist workers. In the 1950s, about 40,000 guests were treated here every year. Intensive use, lack of investment in infrastructure has led to the fact that many buildings are greatly outdated and become unusable.
The turn in the development of the city came only after 1989, when work began to restore the original appearance of Marienbad. The buildings and facilities of the resort have been renovated, modernized and opened to foreign guests. Today Marianske Lazne has become a real pearl of architecture: here you can observe a mosaic of parks, buildings in neoclassical and modernist style, natural drinking galleries, surrounded by colonnades and pavilions.
Sources and other types of treatment
First of all, Marianske Lazne owes its popularity to its thermal waters: there are about 40 springs directly on the territory of the resort, and in the immediate vicinity there are about a hundred of them. All of them belong to the class of cold acidic mineral waters with a temperature of 7 to 10 degrees. This is the key difference from Karlovy Vary, where the water is often heated to boiling water, which not everyone likes and suits for their health. Thermal water is used here for drinking in courses, as well as for inhalation and mineral baths.
In addition to water, natural gas is treated here, which consists of 99.7% of CO2 and is absorbed by the body through the skin. It lowers blood pressure, relieves inflammation and improves kidney function. Patients are offered gas wrapping, gas jet treatment or oxygen therapy in a gas bath. Here you can also improve your health with peat, which comes from the region located near the resort town. It is used in various wraps and baths to treat rheumatism, arthritis and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
Real estate market
Today the housing market in Marianske Lazne is relatively small and always in high demand. Here, not only Czechs themselves, but also Russians, Ukrainians and other citizens of the CIS are still actively buying apartments. In addition, Russian-speaking residents of Israel came to the market. If we are talking about buying for your own accommodation for relaxation and treatment at the resort, then the preference is given to the resort area. True, this is always justified, since the prices for apartments in the center are high. At the same time, there will be practically no grocery and hardware stores here, in connection with which you will have to go shopping to the other end of the city. A good option is to buy a home in an area with villas, where the main shopping area, the lower spa park with the Ferdinand and Rudolf springs and the entire city infrastructure are located nearby. In projects under construction for 150,000 euros, you can buy a small apartment on the outskirts of the city. If we are talking about apartments with several rooms located in the center of the resort or nearby, then this will already be 250,000-400,000 euros.
The local commercial real estate market is quite rich – even for about 250,000 euros there is an opportunity to purchase a small hotel in Marianske Lazne. The cost of larger buildings starts from 600,000-800,000 euros, among which you can even buy historical buildings. The cost of the most expensive lots can reach tens of millions of euros, but this will already be the level of a hotel of at least four “stars” with its own balneological clinic, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the main colonnade, but in a quiet place.
Thank you for your help in preparing the material:
Anna Koldova, expert at Europareal
Evgeniya Nevydailo, owner of Angel Real