Just two hours outside Prague there is the Franzensbad spa, or the city of Frantiskovy Lazne, a diverse and luxurious complex that aims to offer better health and general relaxation for all its guests. This complex with its many treatment areas, facilities and, of course, the revitalizing carbonated waters that earned it its fame, has grown to become part of the biggest spa corporation in the Czech Republic
Franzensbad is a historic water source with the power to heal and attract guests. Before the modern days of numerous experimental treatments, twenty-six springs and therapists, the spa was a little more simplistic in its quest and treatments, although the basic aim was still the same – pain relief and health benefits through carbonic baths and hot mud treatments that are rich in minerals and humic acid. The waters, which reach an average temperature of 52 degrees, have been used for their healing properties for centuries as an aid for circulation, cardiovascular health, rheumatics and inflammation.
Franzensbad, which for most of its life was German rather than Czech, was arguably just as successful in the 1700s as the 2000s because it is said to have been the highest grossing spa in the country, selling more bottles of its precious carbonated water than the rest of the nation's spas put together. From the first treatments right through until the present day – the first believed to be in the early 1500s – the resort has been enjoyed by a wide selection of guests, with some of the more famous names including J. W. Goethe, Francis I, Chancellor Metternich, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Strauss.
Today the Franzensbad resort has expanded significantly to create a successful, “bioclimatic” spa. The carbonated water and hot mud are still available as appealing cures and sources of pain relief but now the spa offers even more specialized treatments to keep up with the demands of visitors and claims to be able to offer a greater experience through its packages and facilities. In addition to the anti-inflammatory mud baths and drinking cures, Franzensbad now claims to treat everything from cardiovascular and digestive issues to musculoskeletal conditions and skin diseases via therapies like the dry, volcanic carbon dioxide baths, electrotherapy, reflexology and oxygen therapy.
All of this has been made possible by the expansion and restoration of the many facilities around these historic water sources, a move that has included the development of the Aqua Forum water center, stunning grounds for cycling and hiking and the four-star Imperial Spa hotel. The Imperial acts as a focal point between the gardens, spas and other facilities where guests can relax either in their room or beside the pool, get a nice meal or a pedicure and book equipment and treatments for a tailor-made, rewarding stay.
The power of this extraordinary water is still going strong. The spa as a whole and in particular the Imperial hotel is constantly looking at ways of improving the appeal of this resort and its potential for the health of its clients. It was good enough for thousands of Germans in the 1700s, for Beethoven and Strauss and it is sure to remain one of the top spas in the country for a long time.