MARIENBAD, a town of Bohemia, Austria, 115 m. W. of Prague by rail. Pop. (1900), 4588. It is one of the most frequented watering-places of Europe, lying on the outskirts of the Kaiserwald at an altitude of 2093 ft., and is 40 m. S.W. of Carlsbad by rail. Marienbad is enclosed on all sides except the south by gently sloping hills clad with fragrant pine forests, which are intersected by lovely walks. The principal buildings are: the Roman Catholic church, which was completed in 1851; the English church, the theatre, the Kurhaus, built in 1901, and several bathing establishments and hospitals. The mineral springs, which belong to the adjoining abbey of Tepl, are eight in number, and are used both for bathing and drinking, except the Marienquelle, which is used only for bathing. Some of them, like the Kreuzbrunnen and the Ferdinandsbrunnen, contain alkaline-saline waters which resemble those of Carlsbad, except that they are cold and contain nearly twice the quantity of purgative salts. Others, like the Ambrosiusbrunnen and the Karolinenbrunnen, are among the strongest iron waters in the world, while the Rudolfsbrunnen is an earthy-alkaline spring. The waters are used in cases of liver affections, gout, diabetes and obesity; and the patients must conform during the cure to a strictly regulated diet. Besides the mineral water baths there are also moor or mud-baths, and the peat used for these baths is the richest in iron in the world. About 1,000,000 bottles of mineral water are exported annually.
Amongst the places of interest round Marienbad is the basaltic rock of Podhorn (2776 ft.), situated about 3 m. to the east, from which an extensive view of the Bohmerwald, Fichtelgebirge and Erzgebirge is obtained. About 7 m. in the same direction lies the old and wealthy abbey of Tepl, founded in 1 193. The actual building dates from the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, and contains a fine library with a collection of rare manuscripts and incunabula; near it is the small and old town of Tepl (pop. 2789). To the north-east of Marienbad lies the small watering-place of Konigswart; near it is a castle belonging since 1618 to the princes of Metternich, which contains an interesting museum, created by the famous Austrian statesman in the first part of the 1pth century. It contains, besides a fine library, a collection of the presents he received during his long career; numerous autographs, and other historical relics, a collection of rare coins, armour, portraits and various minerals.
Marienbad is among the youngest of the Bohemian wateringplaces, although its springs were known from of old. They appear in a document dating from 1341, where they are called " the Auschowitzer springs belonging to the abbey of Tepl;" but it was only through the efforts of Dr Josef Nehr, the doctor of the abbey, who from 1779 until his death in 1820 worked hard to demonstrate the curative properties of the springs, that the waters began to be used for medicinal purposes. The place obtained its actual name of Marienbad in 1808; became a watering-place in 1818, and received its charter as a town in 1868.
See Lang, Fuhrer durch Marienbad und Umgebung (Marienbad, 1902); and Kisch, Marienbad, seine Umgebung und Heilmittel (Marienbad, 1895).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)