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Zámek - hospital Kuks.jpg
Kuks Hospital
Country Czech Republic
Region Hradec Králové
District Trutnov
Little District Dvůr Králové nad Labem
Elevation 283 m (928 ft)
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
Area 4.81 km2 (1.86 sq mi)
Population 235 (2005)
Density 49 / km2 (127 / sq mi)
First mentioned 1692
Mayor Jiří Beran
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 544 43
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Kuks
Website: www.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.

The spa[edit]

Kuks Hospital from air

On the slope of the Elbe in Kuks, there used to be mineral springs. In 1692-1696, Count Franz Anton von Sporck, the owner of the county, directed three of them at one place and built a simple spa. When the healing effects of the water were proven by professors of Charles University and experts from Baden-Baden, Špork enlarged the spa in 1707-1722 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. The German Count Georg Ludwig Albrecht von Rantzau stayed in Kuks (Kukus-Bad) together with the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick 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.


Between 1867 and 1918, Kuks was part of the Austrian monarchy, located in the Dvůr Králové nad Labem district and known in German as Königinhof an der Elbe. It was one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Bohemia.[3] A post-office was opened in 1869.

In 1938, it was occupied by the Nazi army as one of the municipalities in Sudetenland. The German-speaking population was expelled in 1945 (see the Beneš decrees) and replaced by Czech settlers.

The railroad Pardubice-Jaroměř-Trutnov, which goes through Kuks, crossed the border four times within about 40 km. A scanned image of the relevant page from the 1944 German rail timetable can be viewed here.


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).


  1. ^ Rantzow, George Louis Albert. "Mémoires du comte de Rantzow" p. 15, Oxford Univ.; German translation: "Die Memoiren des Grafen von Rantzau" p. 6
  2. ^ World Monuments Fund - Kuks Forest Sculptures
  3. ^ Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  • 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]