|Elevation||442 m (1,450 ft)|
|Area||25.74 km2 (9.94 sq mi)|
|Density||208/km2 (539/sq mi)|
|First mentioned||15th century|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||351 01|
Location in Cheb District
|Wikimedia Commons: Františkovy Lázně|
Františkovy Lázně (Czech pronunciation: [ˈfraɲcɪʃkovɪ ˈlaːzɲɛ]; 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, is a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage.
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 the Cheb 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 present town was officially founded under the name Kaiser Franzensdorf, after Emperor Francis II, and later renamed to 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 existing 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 of numerous women who earned their livelihood with the scooping, transport and sale of the water in Cheb. They resisted bitterly against his plans, feeling their water bearing rights were threatened, and demolished his premises.
The town council of Eger intervened and made the extension as a health resort possible. The result was a demanding recreation area, with easy access from the city of Cheb. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of the most famous guests of the early days, whose visits to Franzensbad with Johannes Urzidil were extensively reported in the book Goethe in Böhmen (1932, revised 1962 and 1965), and Ludwig van Beethoven, accompanied by Antonia Brentano and her family.
During the 19th century, numerous aristocrats, especially Russian nobles, were patients with well-known doctors bolstering the reputation of Franzensbad as an exclusive 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 perpetuated her stay in her early work Aus Franzensbad in 1858. Other notable guests included Theodor Herzl (in 1904), Emperor Francis Joseph I, and Archduke Charles I of Austria.
In 1862, Franzensbad emerged as an autonomus municipality and obtained town privileges three years later. Until 1918 it was part of the Bohemian crown land of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. After World War I, the town's reputation, however, began to fade. Then part of the new state of Czechoslovakia, the spa lost many of its guests and was hit hard by the Great Depression of 1929. After World War II, the German speaking population was expelled according to the Beneš decrees, many of them settled in Bayreuth in the German state of Bavaria. The spa facilities were nationalized under the rule of the Communist Party. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, a stock company was established which has sought to reimprove 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
Františkovy Lázně is twinned with:
- August Brömse (1873–1925), Bohemian-German painter
- Petra Edelmannová (born 1975), Czech politician
- Peter Jacques (born 1935), Swiss jazz musician
- Alois John (1865–1935), archivist, ethnographer and local author on the Egerland
- 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
- Karel Wiedermann (1815–?), Czech architect
- Martin Zaus (1861–1905), Bohemian organ builder
- Zakladatel Lázní - doktor Bernard Adler
- Archived 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.
- "Partnerstädte" (in German). Bad Soden am Taunus. Retrieved 2013-12-11.