The Town's Coat of Arms
Favorite thing: Marienbad's coat of arms is more like a painted picture than a real one which follows the rules of heraldics. It consists of three pictures which describe the main features of the town.
On the top left (heraldic right) side there is the Virgin Mary with the baby.
The top right (heraldic left) corner shows the dome over Krizovy pramen, the Source of the Cross.
The bottom half depicts a fountain basin with a snake, a reference to the healing powers of the water, between two fir trees.
The crown above the shield is shaped as town walls with pinnacles, referringt to the status as a city.
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The Typical Architecture - Art Nouveau, Or Is It?
Favorite thing: Most buildings in the spa area of the town date from Marienbad's great era, the late 19th century. Tour guides tend to sell it as "art nouveau" architecture, but most of it isn't. The typical style is that eclectic mix of neo-baroque, neo-renaissance, neo-neoclassical elements which was so popular in the 19th century. In France this era is known as the belle époque, in Germany as Gründerzeit - the era of industrialization, new material and technques, and at the same time the happy mixing of historical shapes, ornaments and styles. I have seen hardly any real art nouveau in Marienbad. Perhaps the occasional iron railing on balconies or some sculpted ornaments on a few houses.
Fondest memory: Many of these houses look like giant wedding cakes in yellow and white icing. The decorations are elaborate and abundant - see some examples of details in my travelogue page. At first sight the opulence is overwhelming, but start looking at the details.
Favorite thing: Walking along the main street of Marianske Lanze, I saw this shop selling these pottery Clowns, animals & figures. These were different and cute, but I thought may be too heavy to take home. I liked the Christmas decoration's too, they make a good light gift.
Pity the shop was closed!
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ARCHITECTURE OF MARIANSKE LAZNE
Favorite thing: The architecture was what I was interested in seeing in Marianske Lazne.
The town didn't disappoint, in-fact, it was incredible the amount of beautiful buildings that were built during the town's "golden years" in the second half of the 19th century.
The Spa houses are eclectic.
Classicism, was the first style to find its way to Marianske Lazne. Walking around the town, you won't find many of these building's left, just the Municipal Museum and the Pavilion of Ferdinand Spring. These buildings commonly have two floors and a saddle roof. Most of these Classicist town houses were turned into stately palace-like hotels in the 19th & 20th centuries. New floors were added and roof's changed. Now they have beautiful facade's designed by their architect.
The most significant architect was Josef Schaffer, who was inspired by Vienna, so he designed many of the Neo-Renaissance buildings. His masterpieces are the New Baths, the Casino Social House, Palladio building, Grammar School, and the Central Baths.
Another Viennese architect designed such hotels as the Pacifik, the Hvezda, the Kavkaz, and Bohemia Hotel.
The third architect designed the romantic Svoboda Hotel and the nearby Neo-Gothic Chapel of Love.
The question is.....Is Marianske Lazne a symbol of perfect harmony?
I think you could say that, even though there are many building styles including, classicism, new renaissance, art nouveau, they do blend together well.
What I noticed was the majority of building's were painted bright yellow or lemon, or another colour with the other. Some of the architecture is known as "whipped cream!" I guess the colour scheme was intentional!
- Historical Travel
POST OFFICE [POSTA]
Favorite thing: If you happen to be looking for the Post Office, then look for the huge building in my photo.
It is located along Postovni Street.
Here you can buy your stamps and post your oversea's postcard, and if you haven't bought a vignette for travelling along the highways, these can be bought here too!
The Post Office is open long hours 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. All week
ADDRESS: Post 160/17
353 01 Marianske Lazne
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Goethe in Marienbad - the Marienbad Elegy
Favorite thing: Goethe visited Marianske Lazne (what was then Marienbad) first in 1820, and then in several summers. In 1821, he met Ulrike von Levetzow. Goethe was 72 at that time and von Levetzow was 17. He immediately fell in love with the girl and two years later dared to do the impossible. With the help of a friend he proposed to Ulrike! More or less logically, she didn't feel like him and rejected the proposal. Later she stated that she "loved him just like a father", but not more. Goethe became really depressed when he heard about the rejection and suffered so much that he tried to compensate his suffering in writing. On his way home, he started writing the "Marienbad Elegy" in which he mourns the loss of Ulrike's love. See this link for a complete version of the elegy. Nowadays, the elegy counts as one of Goethe's main works, regarded by some as his most personal poem.
Interestingly, Ulrike von Levetzow became very important in humanist studies later. She lived until the biblical age of 95 and thus was at the end of her life (1804-1899) the only person who had met Goethe!
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