Teplice SPA - meeting place in the middle of Europe
In 1835 Teplice welcomed the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand V, the Prussian king Bedrich Vilem III and the Russian Tsar Nicholas I. In 1938 Alfons Clary-Aldringen hosted Lord Runciman in his chateau.
Let's leave the political and diplomatic circles for art and the muses. At the beginning of the 18lh century the chateau theatre started to stage performances. First it was only to entertain a very closed circle of friends of the chateau owner, his family and friends. Gradually, the public was allowed to come, too. The theatre concentrated an interesting circle of people, and among them Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who visited Teplice often. In 1812 he wrote a play called Sazka (The Bet) especially for this theatre, which was staged by people near the Empress Maria Ludovica d'Este, who was staying in the spa at that time for healing purposes. Of course, Goethe met the Empress. Another legendary meeting of great personalities took place when at one time Teplice hosted Goethe, Beethoven and the Empress. They were said to meet in a chateau park and in 1994 a plaque commemorating the meeting was placed there.
Among others who visited the spa were Ulrika von Levetzow - Goethe's great love, the composers Chopin, Schubert, Wagner, Weber, Schumann, Liszt, the famous violinist Paganini, the philosophers Schopenhauer and Fichte, the natural scientist and explorer Humboldt, the writers Andersen, Sienkiewicz and Brod. The personalities of Czech cultural life came to stay here, too (Dobrovsky, Jugmann, Palacky, Neruda, Klicpera, Manes, etc.) The so-called "Czech Paganini" and outstanding violinist, Josef Slavik, gave here his first performance. Julius Payer (1842-1915), a painter and polar explorer was born here. A house, in By Stone Bath street where he was born, was named 'Payer' in his honour. Among other personalities who came from here were the poet Meissner (1822-1885), the writer and traveller Havlasa (1883-1964) and the poet Bonn (1913-1941), executed in Mauthausen.
But the tradition of a lively social and cultural life is continuing. The Krusnohorske Theatre (built in 1924) was greatly reconstructed and opened again in 1998. For more than fifty years the North Bohemian Philharmonic Orchestra has held concerts and during the summer time the concerts are performed at the colonnade. Classical music lovers know well the annual Ludwig van Beethoven Musical Festival. Celebrations at the beginning of the spa season at the end of May is quite an occasion with a busy schedule and a porcelain fair. We can also visit the observatory and planetarium, or the botanical gardens by the Sand Hill.