The small Bohemian town ok Kuks is located south of the river Elbe, around two hours away from capital Prague, and one hour away from the charming cliff town of Pardubice. Jan Spork (the former owner) had big ambitions to turn the premises into a popular spa due to the medicinal benefits of the springs. The main construction started in 1665, during this period a grand resort building around the spa was constructed.
Many years later, in 1696, a Chapel was also built and added to the complex. Kuk's spa was the perfect oasis where guests could enjoy the magnificent garden in the back yard, celebrations and music events were also hosted. Hunting expeditions were organized on-site, as well as occasions to taste great wine. Over the years, the construction also progressed, and in 1707 the Kuks hospital was built with the Holy Trinity Church.
The Kuks spa premises were a rather short-lived oasis. Soon after its establishment, the area endured an enormous flood, and large areas of the property were destroyed. Years after, flames engulfed most of the residential area. Today, the remains of the property have become part of the National Monument, where the remains are at the Baroque hospital art museum and the pharmacy museum.
What makes the town, so special and charming is its old baroque style Kuks hospital and the pharmacy building. Before entering the building, pay attention to the sculptures that are located in front. If you look carefully, you will find beautiful pieces of art, which have been designed by the talented Czech sculptor Matyas Bernard Braun. The Braun statues were designed to portray the human virtues and vices, such as love, hope, pride, faith, greed, despair, wisdom, justice, desire, anger, and apathy.
The local baroque pharmacy is the second oldest in Europe, and it is not your traditional medicine pharmacy. Within the premises, you will find pharmaceutical glass cylinders and jars which can contain anything from medicine, as well as animal body parts like, dragon blood or wolf’s liver. To learn more about the magic of apothecary, check out the Czech Pharmaceutical Museum, which is located in the back garden of the Kuks hospital.
Once you have visited the hospital area and the Pharmaceutical Museum, explore the garden site, which is a beautiful, peaceful area that extends to the Elbe river. You can then cross the river and explore the other side of the bank. Once upon a time, this all used to belong to the same spa and used to be part of the area where guests would reside and spend free time. It used to be, probably, one of the best and most relaxing spas in Europe at the time.
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