|First mentioned||15th century|
|• Mayor||Jan Kuchař|
|• Total||25.74 km2 (9.94 sq mi)|
|Elevation||442 m (1,450 ft)|
|• Density||210/km2 (550/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Františkovy Lázně ([ˈfraɲcɪʃkovɪ ˈlaːzɲɛ] (listen); German: Franzensbad) is a spa town in Cheb District of Karlovy Vary Region, in the Czech Republic. Together with neighbouring Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně, it is part of the renowned West Bohemian Spa Triangle. The historic town centre, under monumental protection since 1992, was nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage roster.
The municipal area comprises the cadastral communities of Dlouhé Mosty, Františkovy Lázně proper, Horní Lomany, Jedličná, Krapice, Slatina u Františkových Lázní, and Žírovice.
The salutary effects of the surrounding springs were known from the late 14th century on. The physician Georgius Agricola (1494–1555) mentioned the mineral water available to Eger citizens. The sources from which, according to ancient law, water was drafted and brought to the city, were first used locally for salutary purposes. Later, the water was also shipped in earthenware bottles and in 1700, it reportedly sold more water than all other spas in the Empire combined. About 1705, an inn was erected at the site of a mineral spring later known as Franzensquelle.
In 1793, the town was officially founded under the name Kaiser Franzensdorf, after Emperor Francis II (German: Franz II), and later renamed Franzensbad, under which name it became a famous spa (Bad). The spa was founded by Eger-based doctor Bernhard Adler (1753–1810). He promoted the expansion of spa facilities and the accommodation for those seeking healing and promoted the transformation of the swampy moorland with paths and footbridges to well-known sources.
When in 1791 Adler had a pavilion and a water basin erected at the Franzensquelle, he sparked the Egerer Weibersturm ("Women's storm of Eger") by numerous women who earned their livelihood in the scooping, transport and sale of the water in Eger. Feeling their water-bearing rights threatened, they demolished his premises.
The town council of Eger intervened and made the extension of Franzensbad as a health resort possible. The result was an extensive recreation area, with easy access from the city of Cheb. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of the most famous guests in the early days; his visits to Franzensbad with Johannes Urzidil were extensively reported in the book Goethe in Böhmen (1932, revised 1962 and 1965). Another famous visitor was Ludwig van Beethoven, who was accompanied by Antonia Brentano and her family.
During the 19th century, patients included numerous aristocrats, especially Russian nobles, and at the same time widely known doctors bolstered the reputation of Franzensbad as a therapeutic resort. Franzensbad offered one of the first peat pulp baths in Europe, popular especially with female guests. A public spa house was built in 1827. The writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach portrayed her stay in her early work Aus Franzensbad in 1858. Other notable guests included Theodor Herzl (in 1904), Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria and Archduke Charles I of Austria.
After World War II, the German-speaking population was expelled under the Beneš decrees; many of them settled in Bayreuth in the German state of Bavaria. The spa, officially renamed Františkovy Lázně in Czech, was nationalized under the rule of the Communist Party. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, a stock company was established to revive the status of Františkovy Lázně as a venue for international guests.
The local natural mineral water has a relatively high content of dissolved carbon dioxide. The effects of the carbonic baths are shown in the better performance of the cardiovascular system, in the mild decrease of blood pressure in the pulse, in the lower occurrence of chronic inflammatory processes in the body, and also in terms of rheumatics, and in the improved blood circulation in tissues and the vegetative stabilisation.
The local mud treatments represent a traditional curative method which has thermal, chemical and mechanical effects. The mud treatment consists of a thick mushy combination of mud and mineral water which is heated up to a temperature which is significantly higher than body temperature. The treatment has a positive effect on mobility of muscles and the pain in treated tissues.
Leisure and entertainment
The Social House is the venue of congresses, balls and other social events and the building also houses a casino.
Galleries and museums
- Town museum
- AUTO MOTO MUZEUM (Colonnade of Salt and Meadow Spring)
Arts and literature
- Theater Boženy Němcové
- August Brömse (1873–1925), Bohemian-German painter
- Peter Jacques (born 1935), Swiss jazz musician
- Ferdinand Khittl (1924–1976), German film director and screenwriter
- Josef Löbel (1882–1940?), German-Bohemian physician and writer
- Christof Loimann (1789–1862), notary and politician, the first mayor of Františkovy Lázně, Member of the Landtag
- Friedrich Stelzner (born 1921), academic surgeon
- Gustav Wiedermann (1850–1914), architect, son of Karel Wiedermann
- Martin Zaus (1861–1905), Bohemian organ builder
Twin towns — sister cities
- "Population of municipalities of the Czech republic". Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
- Zakladatel Lázní - doktor Bernard Adler
- Archive index at the Wayback Machine
- "Franzensbad - Tschechische Republik - Teletour Online - Hotel REZA Františkovy Lázně". hotelreza.franzensbad.de (in German). Archived from the original on 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
- "Partnerská města" (in Czech). Město Františkovy Lázně. Retrieved 2019-08-24.