Guide through Carlsbad and its environs/The Town

VII.—THE TOWN.

 

1. Situation.

 

Carlsbad lies in a rather narrow valley of the county of Eger, in the Kingdom of Bohemia; it is situated 1124 feet above the level of the North-sea, and close to the confluence of the Tepl and the Eger. The greater part of the mountains surrounding the town are covered with pine trees, beeches, &c., and consist of fine and coarse-grained granite. The highest of them reaches to a height of 879 feet above the Sprudel, and is called “Das ewige Leben” (Eternal Life).

 

2. The Climate and average Temperature

of these regions is the same as is common to the centre of Germany. The air is pure and healthy, the proof of which is, that up to the present time it has been perfectly free from all contagious diseases, as well as from the cholera and ague. The winds mostly prevailing are from the west and north; the latter has free access through the aperture of the Tepl valley in a northerly direction. The change of temperature, as in all mountainous regions, is sometimes rather sudden, and there is this to be noticed, that after heavy rains, which sometimes last for several days, the ground dries so rapidly, that a few hours after the rain has ceased to fall, the roads on the mountain slopes are perfectly fit for walking. The medium temperature is 5° R. (43+14° F.), and the medium barometer 27″ 7+14′′′. The vegetation is mostly very rich, and affords abundant selection to the botanist, but is not influenced in any particular way by the mineral springs.

 

3. Geological Characteristics.

The valley of Carlsbad is formed by the cleft of a mountain range, penetrated by the river Tepl, and consists of fine and coarse-grained granite, agglomerated above, under and close to each other, and here and there thoroughly mingled together. This granite rock is pierced in different places by lines of hornstone (chert), the mightiest of which can be traced nearly to the whole so-called Hoff’s line (vide map), at which point the mineral springs appear, and are for this very same reason perhaps genetically connected with them. The granite cleft, giving rise to the springs, was probably closed in previous times, so as to allow the mineral water to accumulate as in a pond; this would account for the formation of the Sprudel shell, which was deposited therein in the course of time and still can be found in perfect layers, to the height of from 20 to 50 feet above the level of the Sprudel. This pond was afterwards broken into, in consequence of the formation of the vale, and in course of time was split into what is now called the valley of the Tepl. As soon as the waters of the Sprudel could flow into the river, there was of course no possibility of any more external formation of Sprudel shell. On this Sprudel shell is built the principal part of the houses of the Marktplatz, the Mühlbrunn Sprudel and Kreuzgasse. The fragments of this shell fornt the Sprudel stones, which are mostly so hard as to allow of polishing, and are consequently turned into ornamental articles.

 

4. Extension of the Town.

 

Carlsbad possesses 859 houses, most of which are fitted up for the reception of visitors, and are marked with house plates for better distinction. The town, which is constructed on both banks of the river Tepl, partly in the valley, partly on the mountain slopes, extends almost without any interruption from the Franz Josef (Eger) bridge to the Protestant Church, a distance of about fifty minutes’ walk, and its two parts are connected by fifteen bridges.

 

5. Squares and Streets.

 

On the left bank is the Marktplatz (Market-place); down the river the Mühlbadgasse, the Parkstrasse, the Quai (embankment), the Gartenzeile, the Bahnhof Strasse; up the river the Alte Wiese (Old Meadow), at the bottom of which, to the right, the Mariengässchen, then the squares facing the Sächsische Saal and Pupp’s Establishment; at the upper part of the Marktplatz, the Schlossplatz, the Schlossberg, to the left the Hirschensprunggasse; behind the Alte Wiese, the Wiesenberg.

On the right bank the Kirchenplatz (Church Square); down the river, the Sprudelgasse, turning up the hill into the Andreasgasse and leading into the Kreuzgasse, the Kaiser- and Eger Strasse; from the Kirchenplatz up the river, the Kirchengasse, turning to the left into the Geweidiggasse, to the right into the Neue Wiese, and ending in the Marienbader Strasse; at the upper part of the Kirchenplatz, the Prager Strasse, to the left of it the Schulgasse; the Petersberg, the Panorama Strasse, and the Sonnengasse; to the right of it the Helenen Strasse, the Roehrgasse, the Jacobsberg, the Laurenzigasse, ending with the open space in front of the district citizen-school.

 

6. Public Buildings.

 

Buildings connected with the Springs.— The magnificent Sprudel hall, constructed of iron and glass, contains the Sprudel and the Hygeenspring, affording walking space for about 1000 people. A band plays here every morning. The Säulengang of the Mühlbrunn, the Marktbrunn-Halle, the coveredway near the Schlossbrunn; to these should be added the Mineralwasserversendungs-Gebäude (building for the exportation of the waters) in the Eger Strasse, the building for the preparation of the Sprudel salt near the mouth of the Tepl, the bathing establishments near the Sprudel, the comfortable bath rooms in the Mühlbadgasse, as well as the magnificent Curhaus, with its bath rooms, containing 16 rooms for mud-baths, three for fullsized baths, a Russian vapour bath, and two for douche baths. The splendid new Mudbath house (Neubad) with its 47 bathing-rooms, fitted up with every conveniency and comfort, is the latest and most magnificent addition to the bathing establishments of the town.

Hospitals and other Buildings for Charitable Purposes.—The Great Militair-Badehaus (Military Hospital) on the Quai (Embankment) for thirty-three officers and 210 privates; in the dining-hall is a great oil painting by Kandler, representing the discovery of Carlsbad, and in the Chapel several fine statues by Lewy; the Fremdenspital (Hospital for Foreigners) on the Quai for poor patients visiting Carlsbad—it contains 40 beds in eleven wards and four bath-rooms; the K. K. Militair Officierspital (the Imperial and Royal Military Hospital for Officers), at the bottom of the Marienbader Strasse, for eight patients; the hospital for poor help-deserving Jews, with twenty beds, in the Helenen Strasse; the Public Infirmary with 50 beds, near the Bellevue Strasse; the Munificentia, for ten families, in the Panorama Strasse; the Home for Little Children, in the Schulgasse.

Churches.—The St Magdalen’s Church, the Andreas Church, in the Andreasgasse; the Protestant Church, and the Greek Chapel, in the Marienbader Strasse; the English Church at the top of the Schlossberg; the Synagogue in the Parkstrasse.

Municipal and other Public Buildings.—The District Court, on the Neue Wiese; the Town Hall, the Post and Telegraph Office on the Marktplatz, the Custom-house, at the bottom of the Eger Strasse; the first public school, in the Schulgasse; the second public school in the Eger Strasse; the Bezirksbürgerschule (District Citizen School), in the house previously called Schloss Windsor, beyond the Laurenzigasse; the Sparcassa (Savings’ Bank), in the Sprudelgasse; the Stadtthurm (city tower), on the Schlossplatz; the Theater (theatre), on the Neue Wiese and near Sanssouci.