Teplice nad Becvou - place for healing

It Started at the Time of the Renaissance – Teplice Above the River Becva

The spa is among the oldest in this coun­try. It all started with Jan Kropac from Nevedomi, the owner of the Teplice estates, who realised the healing potential of the local mineral water springs. He was an enlight­ened and truly a Renaissance man, inclined towards implementing new scientific dis­coveries and modern methods in medicine. He diverted the water running uselessly into the river Becva to a reservoir so all that need­ed it could use it for drinking and bathing. A tragic accident interrupted the work when one of the laborers died from breathing in too much carbon dioxide that leaked through the opening in the rock. The pool and the bathtubs were however finished. The spa and its treatments of illnesses were described by a physician Tomas Jordan from Klausenberg in his book on Healing Waters and Mora­vian Spas in 1580.

The spa was also on a map of Moravia made by Jan Amos Komensky and published in Amsterdam in 1 627. The expected flourishing of spas was interrupted by the Thirty Years War followed by the peasants7 rebellion. It was not until 1711 that a first brick bath house was raised on the bank of the river Becva. There were bathtubs in the building and the water was carried to the building in cans. An inn with stables provided comfortable accommoda­tion. To satisfy spiritual needs of patients the Chapel of St. Peregrin was commissioned by Karel from Dietrichstein in 1775. The num­ber of patients and their demands were gradually increasing. In 1813 a new comfortable bath house was built and the water was di­rected to bathrooms from a reservoir. The aesthetic impressions were not forgotten. The Hranice captain, and later highest Prague's Burgrave, Karel Chotek, initiated the adapting of the hillsides above the spa into a park. We know how the spa looked in those days because the picture was issued in a brochure about spas published in Olomouc in 1820.

In 1856 the owner of the local estates, Josef from Dietrichstein, had the Teplice mineral water analysed and when the result was favourable he planned a grand rebuilding of the spa complex. Unfortunately his plans were thwarted by an early death. In 1864 the task of the rebuilding was taken on by his daughter Gabriela Hatzfeid-Wildenburg. She had an Italian bath house and a Swiss style inn built and both buildings were connect­ed with a wooden colonnade. A modern pump was to pump water straight into the bathtubs. Based on the medical recommen­dations of the new water analysis the spa fo­cused on treatment of air passages, and above all tuberculosis. The bathing was com­plemented by drinking of sheep milk. A lot has changed since 1918, when the new Czechoslovak state came into existence. In 1923 the spa was bought by an Ostrava health insurance company, seven years later it moved to the possession of the Central So­cial Insurance in Prague. In 1924 a new Moravan Sanatorium was opened and in 1929 Grandhotel Key - later recon­structed into the Janacek Sanatorium. During the 1920s and 1930s several new bath hous­es were built. The Second World War put a stop to the promising development of the spa. The German military administration took over and buildings were used for the accommodation of wounded German sol­diers and German youth.

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