Františkovy Lázně is a small, beautiful spa town of 5,500 people (2019) in the Cheb district in West Bohemia. It is a short journey from Cheb and Mariánské Lázně. The core of the spa town has Classicist, Empire and Historicist buildings.
The three spa towns in West Bohemia – Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně – are known as the West Bohemian Spa Triangle, and all three are part of the "Great Spa Towns of Europe" UNESCO world heritage site shared with eight other cities around the continent. Františkovy Lázně was founded in 1793. The name is pronounced "frantɪʃkɔvɪ laːzɲɛː".
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. About 1705, an inn was erected at the site of a mineral spring later known as Franzensquelle.
In 1793, the town was 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(Cheb)-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.
The town council of Eger 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). 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. A public spa house was built in 1827. After World War I, the town's reputation began to fade. Then part of the new state of Czechoslovakia, the spa lost much of its patronage and was hit hard by the Great Depression of 1929.
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, 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 pain.
See also: Rail travel in the Czech Republic
- 1 Františkovy Lázně Nádraži. from Prague, the SuperCity Pendolino is direct and terminates here. It is about every two hours on working days. Journey time: 2 hr 47 min. Base fare: 343 Kč. Discounts for groups and advance booking on the eshop of České dráhy.
In the centre, especially in the historic part of the town, everything is easily accessible on foot.
- 1 Ruská. The main boulevard near the colonnade.
- 2 Building of Glauber Springs (Glauberový pramen).
- 3 New Colonnade with Gas Bath House. The colonnade houses several small shops.
- 4 Meteorological column (Meteorologický sloup), náměstí Míru.
- 5 Social House (INGO Casino), Národní 1.
- 6 Theater Bozena Nemcova (Divadlo Boženy Němcové), Ruská 102.
- 7 Forest Park (Lesopark).
- 8 Small Chateau Lookout (Rozhledna Zámeček).
- 1 Aquaforum, 5. května 19, ☏ . 09:00 - 21:00. The complex Aquaforum is relaxing, swimming, children's and outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool, water wall massage, air massage benches, water cave, pearl air, the air tube chairs. 130 Kč for two hours.
- 2 Miniature golf. 13:00 - 18:00. Season: May - September. 60 Kč.
- 3 INGO Casino AG, ☏ . 15:00 - 04:00. The casino offers games such as Roulette, Caribbean Poker, Black Jack and slot machines.
Eat and drink
- 1 Rybářská bašta, Dlouhá 1, ☏ . 11:00 - 22:00. Fish speciality restaurant.
- 2 Česká restaurace, Americká 66/39, ☏ . 11:00 - 22:00.
- 3 Gruzie Pilsner Restaurant, 1, Husova 528, ☏ . 18:00 - 24:00. Brewing restaurant.
- 4 Country Saloon Bažina, Americká 10, ☏ . 11:00 - 23:00. In the evening, live music.
- 1 Penzion U Dubu Matfiak Stanislav, Americká 4, ☏ . This guest house offers 2 singles, 9 doubles and 2 triples.
- 3 Kurhotel Imperial (Lázeňský hotel Imperial), Dr. Pohoreckého 3, ☏ . This 4-star spa hotel offers 10 single, 35 double rooms and 4 suites.
Local telephone code is 354. There are some restaurants with Free WiFi.
West Bohemian Spa Triangle