The Spa Exposition is placed in the Renaissance wing of the Teplice Chateau, in the rooms allocated for Saxon princes and in the hall with a painted coffered ceiling. The exposition is focused not only on Teplice with the old spa traditions, its territorial mesh is much wider.
In the first part a visitor will learn a lot about water cultism and how different healing natural resources have been used in spa treatment since antique times up to the modern period. He will also get acquainted with the basic changes in the develompent of spas in Bohemia. The following section is devoted to north and north-west Bohemia where you can find almost all types of mineral waters. A visitor will note how they were utilised both in the past and at present and survey the development of spas in Libverd, Kundratice and Msene. Great attention is given to the spas Bilina-Kyselka and Dubí in the Teplice region. Old vedutes and photos show us the changing features of the spa environment and bring closer its local colour. A great number of stoneware jugs for transportation of mineral water and the inspirating advertising billboards prove the existence of a big output of „ Bílinská kyselka“ (acidulous water) and warm waters from the surroudings of Zaječice in the XIX and at the beginning of the XX century. A visitor will surely appreciate the practical construction and the period design of the moulding press from the spa Msene and the hip-bath from Bilina. The biggest part of the exposition is devoted to Teplice spas. The archeological findings near the springs prove the fact that people knew about them already in prehistoric times. Celtic and Roman coins dated as far as the turn of the I and II century B.C. up to the IV century A.D. thrown into the Prime Spring are another proof that Teplice used to be the oldest Czech and Central European spa. The first written mention of them is found in Vincenti´s chronicle (the XII century) and supports the version of the foundation of the Benedictian convent „near warm waters“ in honour of John the Baptist by the queen Judith, the wife of Vladislav II. At the end of the XIII centrury the town of Teplice was founded near the convent. Already in the XIV century „the spas near John the Baptist“ belonged to the most famous spas in Bohemia and neighbouring countries. During the time of the Hussite wars the nuns were evicted from Teplice and their property was taken by the aristocracy of that time. Thanks to Volf from Vřešovice, who owned Teplice in 1543-1569, the level of the spa treatment was raised even more. The Volf family had its own spa, which was also used by Saxon princes who came there already in 1550 with the whole court. From 1585 to 1634 Teplice belonged to the Vchynsky family. The construction of masonry buildings and of town and men´s spas at that time, the better care of emergency cases and the better curative effects made Teplice one of the best spa towns in Europe. The Aldringens became the owners of the estate and the town during The Thirty Years´ war. Their successors, the Clary-Aldringens, owned the Teplice Chateau and the estate up to the year 1945. After The Thirty Years´ war (1618-1648) the majority of the population (Czech- speaking before that time) was already German- speaking. After the improving of the international situation in the second half of the XVII century the interest in spas appeared again. The Saxon prince resumed his visits and came there with all his suite for many years. Since 1697 the spa had its own physician, later a pharmacy was opened. To be popular with the visitors and to be well attended the spa needed available transporation. Since 1732 there was a regular post connection via Teplice to Karlovy Vary and since 1752 to Drezden. This factor also contributed to the fact that Teplice in the second half of the XVIII century became the most visited spa town in Bohemia and could compete with the famous German, Austrian, French and Italian spas. Among the exhibits ( the XII – the end of the XVIII century) the most interesting are those found in 1953-1957 in the chateau courtyard during the uncovering of the basement of the convent basilica, in a shape of lion´s heads spouting water, which served for the out flow of thermal water to the pools for men bathing in Town Spa and the signs on the dwelling houses in which the spa visitors stayed. The Baroque relief by the Saxon sculptor Balehasar Permoses portray the legend about the discovery of the Teplice springs by a pig herdsman, a nobleman of Kolostuj. In June 1793 a great fire affected the dwelling houses and the spa. Together with the reconstruction of the damaged buildings the construction of new houses also proceeded. Elegant buildings in the classicist style appeared, parks and the scenery were smartened up. More and more visitors came with every year. They hoped not only to improve their health condition, but to get an opportunity to live for some time in a pleasant environment, where they could meet sovereigns, diplomats, famous artists and aristocrats. The presence of well-known people made the small town a spa of European fame.
Teplice lived through the peak of its prosperety in the first half of the XIX century, when prominent personalities met there, among whom there were, for example Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Frederyk Chopin, Josef Dobrovsky, Josej Jungmann, Frantisek Palacky and others. That period is illustrated by attractive exhibits like spa glasses with the engravings of Teplice and the region vedute, porclain pieces with samples of Teplice architecture, cups commemorating competitions in target practice and „shooting birds“, organized by the local Shooting Society and miniature portraits. A vivid picture of the Teplice spa part at the beginning of the XIX century is outlined by the arhitectural model, which also shows us the houses in the Jewish ghetto and around the Spa Square, removed after 1945. The peepshow models give us a possibility to have a look at the arched swimming-pool in Town Spa and at the private bathroom of the King of Prussia Fridrich Vilem III in the Mansion (both spas are now a part of the Beethoven spa). The „Golden Age“ of Teplice spas ended in the middle of the XIX century. The results of the industrial development and brown coal mining changed the character of the town for the worse, and,what is more, it was afflicted by the water ourbreak in the mine Dollinger near Duchcov in 1879, which locked on the main Teplice spring Pravridlo. Although the quality of the waters remained the same, Teplice could hardly compete with other spa towns. A new impulse for its rise was the discovery of the radioactive springs in 1904, which led to the introduction of new methods of treatment. During the World War I in 1914-1918 Teplice spa institutions partly attended to civilians and partly to soldiers. After the post-war economic crisis Teplice became a lively eventful town. Middle-class and clients of insurance companies came there to get spa treatment. The period form the second half of the XIX century and between the two world wars becomes clearer thanks to the documents concerning the development of the spas and due to the cultural monuments of that time. The most interesting is the model of the Art Nouveau so-called Green Church which was situated in Trnovany up to 1973, decorated elements from the houses built in the neghbourhood at the end of the XIX century and demolished in 1970´s and 1980´s. The model of the sinagogue burnt out at night on the 14-15th of March 1939 reminds us of the entrepreneurial spirit and cultural agile of the Jewish community. According to the Munich Agreement the Sudeten territory was aggregated to the German Empire, and during the World War II part of the spa institutions was used for treatment of German soldiers or occupied by clinics and hospitals from German towns. After the defeat of Nazism in 1945 the spa activities were rather quickly re-established. In 1948 the spas were nationalized. Later the intensive building of industrial and energy fundament of the state made a negative influence on the spas. In spite of it they continued their function to help people keep in good health. The joint-stock company „Teplice Spas in Bohemia“ founded in 1992 and the Military spa- the institution of the Ministry of Defence- do their best to continue this tradition. At the expositon one can see utensils for water, bathtubs, hip-baths and as a counterbalance to these useful things there are pieces of art inspired by water and spas. The sculptures of Vaclav Kyselka and Jiri Bradacek personify springs, the glass objects of Rene Roubicek symbolize spas and glass industry, which are the two main parts of the town life. The ceramic Fountain of Milan Žofka renders the country in a desperate condition, but nethertheless the healing water spouts out of it all the time.
Mgr. Jitka Budinská
- Balthasar Permoses Finding of the Teplice springs, stone, about the year 1700
- Šanov, approximately 1830, in front-Sulphurous spa, behind it – Military Spa, on the left- Stone and Snake spa
- Town Spa in Teplice after 1840
- Anonymous author, men´s swimming-pool in Town Spa, oil painting on canvas, the second half of the XIX century
- Beethoven and Goethe during their meeting with the Empress Marie Ludovika and her escort in 1812 by the artist Carl Rohling (1849-1922)
- Part of the spa exposition
- Glass with spa motif, the 1st half of the XIX century
- A model of a Jewish synagogue burned down in 1939