Postcards from
Marianske Lazne


Marianske Lazne, formerly known as Marienbad, is a nineteenth century spa town set amidst thickly forested hills in Western Bohemia. Much beloved by Goethe and Franz Kafka it's clientele included Chopin and England's King Edward VII and Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph. Over the last ten years the beautiful late nineteenth century architecture has been restored to its former flamboyance and provides a peaceful window into a former age. In Mid August the town hosts an International Chopin Festival which lasts a week. We just missed it this time but last time we visited we very much enjoyed it


We stayed at the Hotel Bohemia: A beautiful late nineteeth century hotel close to the main springs.

The view from our hotel balcony window was stunning: The photograph does not do it justice.It was so quiet and peaceful.

Taking the waters and listening to the musical singing fountains are just some of the attractions at the spa: Here you can see the Colonnade and the musical fountain.

Strolling in the colonnade can be a real pleasure: But expensive because of the jewellry shops. Look for the amber bracelet on Stephany's wrist in a later photograph .


The singing fountain at night: Getting Stephany out into the cold at night was quite an achievement- but listening to Verdi as the fountain gushed its waters to the sound of the music was well worth it.

Singing fountain: In addition to the music the fountain for brief moments became a mass of coloured lights. Here's a shot of it when it was red- thought it might remind our Chilean friends of home and an active Volcan Osorno on a dark night

Back to the colonnade gardens in daylight: A tranquil place to sit and sip the waters of the spa. We each had our china mugs and sipped spa waters that were supposed to cure you from just about everything

Old World charm:The pace of life was so different that it was easy to imagine yourself here in another century


Of course, you have to go by coach: The Countess Kafkawicz in her coach.

It can be fun: Can you see the amber bracelet on her wrist?

It is not just about taking the waters:There was no stopping her once the dessert menu came out. Poor Robert, he had to follow suit despite the diet.


Going, going: