Kuks

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Kuks
Village
Kuks Hospital
Kuks Hospital
Kuks is located in Czech Republic
Kuks
Kuks
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 50°24′03″N 15°53′26″E / 50.40083°N 15.89056°E / 50.40083; 15.89056Coordinates: 50°24′03″N 15°53′26″E / 50.40083°N 15.89056°E / 50.40083; 15.89056
CountryCzech Republic
RegionHradec Králové
DistrictTrutnov
Little DistrictDvůr Králové nad Labem
First mentioned1692
Government
 • MayorJiří Beran
Area
 • Total4.81 km2 (1.86 sq mi)
Elevation283 m (928 ft)
Population (2005)
 • Total235
 • Density49/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code544 43
Websitewww.kuks.cz

Kuks (German: Kukus) is a village in the Czech Republic, Hradec Králové Region, Trutnov District. Its main feature is a baroque spa building with famous sculptures by Matthias Braun.

History[edit]

In 1938, it was occupied by the Wehrmacht as one of the municipalities in Sudetenland. The railroad Pardubice-Jaroměř-Trutnov, which goes through Kuks, crossed the newly established border four times within about 40 kilometres (25 mi).[citation needed] After the war, the German-speaking population was expelled in 1945 (see the Beneš decrees) and replaced by Czech settlers.

Spa[edit]

Kuks Hospital from air

On the slope of the Elbe in Kuks, there used to be mineral springs. In 1692–96, Count Franz Anton von Sporck, the owner of the estate, directed three of them at one place and built a simple spa. When the healing effects of the water were proven by professors of the Charles-Ferdinand University and experts from Baden-Baden, Špork enlarged the spa in 1707–22 with an octagonal Church of Holy Trinity, a hospital, theatre and other buildings in the Baroque style. The interiors and exteriors were decorated with Baroque sculptures by Matthias Braun, the most famous of which are the Virtues and Vices. Count Georg Ludwig Albrecht von Rantzau stayed in Kuks (Kukus-Bad) together with two young Dukes, Charles and Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1726. In his memoirs, he calls this place the most pleasant and comfortable spa in Europe.[1]

Špork died in 1738 and his heirs were not interested in maintaining the spa. A flood in 1740 destroyed most of the infrastructure and put the spa out of business. The Hospital, Church, and Pharmacy buildings have been preserved, along with historic furnishings, and are considered masterpieces of the Baroque. Braun's exterior sculptures also survive, but have been fast eroding due to the action of water, from rainfall and moisture rising from the ground. For this reason, the Kuks Forest Sculptures were listed in the 2000 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.[2] With the financial support of American Express, pump boxes were installed to drive groundwater away from the sculptures and low-lying vegetation was removed to enhance air circulation in the damp wooded environment.

Surrounding[edit]

More Baroque statues from Matthias Braun, so-called Bethlehem (Betlém), are in a nearby village of Žireč (part of Dvůr Králové nad Labem). Other places of interest in the area are in Dvůr Králové Zoo) and Jaroměř (fortress).

References[edit]

  • Rantzow, George Louis Albert, de (German name Georg Ludwig Albrecht von Rantzau, often named Jørgen Ludvig Albert de Rantzow). Mémoires du comte de Rantzow, vol. 1, Pierre Mortier Amsterdam (1741). First translation ever published by Renate Ricarda Timmermann: Die Memoiren des Grafen von Rantzau, vol. 1, Profund-Verlag (2015), ISBN 978-3-932651-14-4

External links[edit]