"There is no more beautiful spa town," said Thomas Edison when he discovered Mariánské Lázně in 1911... An hour's drive from Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně - whose German name Marienbad is just as well known - deserves its nickname of "Pearl of the Spas", thanks to the beautiful 90-hectare park that surrounds it and its 40 mineral springs (pramen), all of which are used for therapeutic purposes. The city plays with sinuosity and undulations making its charm more secret than Karlovy Vary, made of elegance and romanticism. This second famous spa resort, a little further south, enjoys an exceptional geographical location at the foot of the Slavkosky Mountains, at an altitude of 630 m. Founded in 1805, the resort developed around the nearby monastery of Teplá, which gave it its name ("Mary's Baths"). The romantic character of Mariánské Láznĕ inspired many of her patients, such as Chopin, Beethoven or Liszt. It was also here that Gogol began writing Dead Souls and Goethe wrote his Elegy of Marienbad. At the age of 72, he met his last great love, the beautiful Ulrique von Levetzow, to whom he dedicated this poem, in Mariánské Lázně. Other great names are known to have frequented the place: Friedrich Nietzsche, Georges Clemenceau, Edward VII, Franz Josef I, Mark Twain, Franz Kafka, Thomas Edison, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler?

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