Guide through Carlsbad and its environs/History

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A GUIDE TO CARLSBAD.


 

I.—HISTORY.

The oldest document on record about Carlsbad is dated A. D. 1325, and of this we only know that it was entitled: “King John’s Privilege, or rather, Breve Testatum and Bill of Rights, about the ‘Thiergarten’, sub anno 1325.” This shows conclusively that Carlsbad first owed its prosperity mainly to King John. Previously, it was called “Wary,” a Czechian word, meaning warm-bath. The name of Carlsbad was given to it in honour of the Emperor Charles IV., who first brought it to a prominent position as a curative agent. Consequently, it is only a myth that attributes the discovery of the Carlsbad springs to the said Emperor while out stag-hunting.

The first written document about the great curative power of the mineral waters is a fine Latin Ode: In thermas Caroli IV., by Bohuslaw of Lobkowitz, which must have been written not later than the year 1500, as the poet died in that year.

Till the year 1520, Carlsbad was only known as a bathing place, when, at the suggestion of Dr. Payer, people also began to drink the waters. It was also due to this physician that the first medical work about Carlsbad was printed in the year 1522.

The first definite examination of the physical and chemical properties of the mineral waters of Carlsbad was made by Dr. David Becher, in the year 1766, and it is but right to say, that the new medical history of Carlsbad dates its origin from the energy and zeal of this distinguished disciple of Hippocrates. Since Dr. Becher’s examination (now more than 100 years ago), the physical and chemical properties of the mineral waters of Carlsbad have not changed in the least.

It is quite unnecessary to state how Carlsbad gradually, during the six centuries since it first became known, attained its present appearance and size; suffice it to say that, considering its drinking and bathing establishments, its dwelling-houses, promenades, and places of public amusement, it is now undoubtedly one of the largest and most comfortable watering-places on the continent; the number of visitors in 1883 had risen to 20,692 parties (27,661 persons), and the reputation of the great curative powers of its waters has become known throughout the whole of the civilised world. Carlsbad is often called the Queen of Watering-places,—a name which it highly deserves, on account of its size, the number of its visitors, the beauty and variety of its environs, but chiefly on account of the restorative qualities of its waters, and the imposing spectacle of its hot Sprudel.

 
Yearly Number of Parties from 5 Years to 5 Years.
1756 . . . 134 parties. 1760 . . . 162 parties.
1765 . . . 274 parties. 1770 . . . 322 parties.
1775 . . . 294 parties. 1780 . . . 225 parties.
1785 . . . 445 parties. 1790 . . . 368 parties.
1795 . . . 638 parties. 1800 . . . 744 parties.
1805 . . . 725 parties. 1810 . . . 1255 parties.
1815 . . . 1302 parties. 1820 . . . 1461 parties.
1825 . . . 1660 parties. 1830 . . . 2448 parties.
1835 . . . 2737 parties. 1840 . . . 2882 parties.
1845 . . . 3245 parties. 1850 . . . 4227 parties.
1855 . . . 4712 parties. 1860 . . . 6366 parties.
1865 . . . 7969 parties. 1870 . . . 9729 parties.
1875 . . . 15642 parties. 1880 . . . 19502 parties.