The power of nature returning
health and energy
As early as in medieval times, people started coming to the area of the present-day Františkovy Lázně and its immediate surroundings and used the mineral springs, peat pulp and later natural carbon dioxide vents to improve their health. The local natural healing resources were subjected to scientific exploration at a much later time. Balneology – or the science of studying the healing effects of bathing and drinking natural mineral waters – emerged as a new scientific discipline only in the 1850s. The founder of balneology is considered to be German physician Emil Osann who became famous namely for his research of the curative waters in Františkovy Lázně. Aside from Osann or the well-know founder of the spa Bernard Vincenz Adler, the local natural healing resources were studied by many leading experts in the 19th century.
The most suitable use of the mineral springs for spa treatment is determined based on their regular chemical analyses. Some mineral waters are suitable for balneological purposes, others for the drinking cure, and certain springs are used for both balneological procedures and the drinking cure.
The springs rise from the ground at different locations. Those that are suitable for the drinking cure have accessible outdoor wells. The average temperature of the springs ranges between 9 – 11°C all year round. Mineral water that is drawn from the springs and used for balneological purposes (for baths, etc.) is heated to the desired temperature. In the bath, water supplied from any of the springs in Františkovy Lázně becomes slightly clouded and if you immerse your hand in it, small carbon dioxide bubbles will form on the skin. The best known is the František Spring, which belongs among the oldest of the captured springs. It is situated in the centre of the spa town and first spa houses were built around it.
Peat pulp is characterised by a dark brown colour and a very specific scent. Over centuries, it was formed largely from reed and a small amount of sedge combined with mineral waters. The mineral component consists of alluvial sandy clays, largely of outwash kaolin, fine-grained quartzites, and organic detritus deposits.
The local peat pulp is classified as iron sulphate and its dry mass contains more than 4% of iron sulphide. The peat pulp is extracted several times a year and it is processed for therapeutic balneological purposes. In a mixture with mineral water, peat pulp is used in its natural form for peat pulp baths, it is heated for wraps and compressions, and the so-called "virgin pulp" is utilised for gynaecological purposes.
After serving its purpose, used peat pulp is transported to a special repository where it regenerates for several years.
In the centre of Františkovy Lázně, you may find the Carbon Gas Bath that was built around a thermal gas vent of volcanic origin – it is carbon dioxide released by the Marie source.
Heavier than air, the gas flows down from the well gallery onto the floor of the room where people sit around the gallery.
The gas fills the room approximately to mid-calf height and it affects the entire body. It is also used for special gynaecological procedures.