KARLOVY VARY

 Karlovy Vary architecture - rooftops and spires.

TAKING THE WATERS

One of the deepest and most enduring preoccupations, from the baths of antiquity through to the Victorian deluge of “hydros,” has been water... the pernicious potential of standing waters, humid vapors, excessive rainfall, pestilential miasmatic fogs, and subterranean aqueous abysses... but also the curative powers of water.

In Homeric times, baths were used primarily to cleanse and refresh. By the time of Hippocrates, however, baths had acquired both general and specific healthful healing properties. The bodily humors could be heated, cooled, moistened, or dried by a combination of hot and cold baths; thermal baths soothed chest and back pains in pneumonia; cold baths relieved swellings and painful joints; and aromatic vapor baths were advised for female disorders. The waters were also drunk...
— R. PORTER - THE MEDICAL HISTORY OF WATERS AND SPAS

Karlovy Vary is a town of faded glories. Paint peeled from the walls, and from the curls of the old iron art nouveau gates.

The town seemed to come straight from the pages of Anna Karenina, reminding me of the passages about popular curative spa towns. The grand esplanades, white pagodas, and old hotels with velvet curtains all hinted at a once grand, if temporary, populace. At one point, this spa town was so renowned that it had attracted the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Freud. Yet, much like the Tolstoy's book, the town has been touched by time, and is now covered in a scattering of dust.

 

We had come to take the waters. 

 

 Old clock in a promenade, Karlovy Vary.
 Horse and carriage in the old town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
 Architecture in Karlovy Vary old town - wooden houses, parapets and spires.
 Underground spring of mineral waters, and an old spa town, Karlovy Vary

HEALING WATERS


 Wooden architecture in Karlovy Vary - pretty wooden roofs.
 Karlovy Vary porcelain shops selling fine porcelain
 Old art nouveau metal work, bohemian Czech Republic.
 Bohemian Czech Republic
 Old restaurant in Karlovy Vary