Guide through Carlsbad and its environs/The Walks

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VIII.—THE WALKS.

We divide these into twenty-five, of which one to thirteen are situated on the left, and thirteen to twenty-five on the right bank of the Tepl.

1. The Alte Wiese (Old Meadow), up to the Kiesweg (Gravel Walk), is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant walks, as it forms the Bazaar of Carlsbad, on account of the great number of shops on both sides. It may also be called the Salon of Carlsbad, as the better classes assemble on it twice a day (either for promenade or for drinking coffee under the chestnut trees), in the morning after taking the waters, and again in the afternoon after returning from a longer walk. Besides, there is Labitzky’s band, which plays in the afternoon twice a week, from 4 to 6 P.M., and from 7.30 to 9 in the evening.

2. To The Kaiser Park (Imperial Park).—This is the most favourite walk, as it presents many varied and picturesque views, and does not require any climbing. At the outlet of the “Puppische Allee” we come to the Kiesweg, which extends to the Karlsbrücke (Charles’ Bridge). Here we see first, at the left, the splendid monument of Goethe, then, at the right, an open space, built above a stone grotto in honour of Countess Rasumovska. A little further on, we notice a water-tower close to the other bank of the river; some distance from here we find on the right-hand side the Fürst Rohan Platz, with a little iron table, close by the Kaiserin Sitz (Empress’ Seat), in memory of the Empress Maria Ludovika. Not far off is a Restaurant called Sans Souci, for resting for the first time. Moving on, we come to a rocky prominence called Paulinen Sitz, and dedicated to the Duchess of Hohenzollern; close to it is a soda-water manufactory, and to the left the Karlsbrücke. There are several weighing-chairs stationed on this road for the use of visitors, as well as a target for shooting practice; many inscriptions can be seen on the rocks. We walk about in the broad valley for about a quarter of an hour, and arrive at the Restaurant called Posthof, possessing a beautiful garden, where we can hear Labitzky’s band on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 P.M. An avenue of fruit-trees leads from here to the Fürst Schwarzenberg Platz. Walking along the road, we first notice, on the left, the so-called Plobenbrücke; afterwards, to the right, the Antonsruhe, dedicated to the King of Saxony; and already we see in the distance one of the most favourite resting-places, with an elegant garden. A very short distance from here is situated the Sitz der Freunde (Seat of the Friends), in honour of Count Brühl and the Russian Admiral Orloff. Selecting either the high road or a forest path on yonder bank of the river, we arrive, after a quarter of an hour’s walk, at our destination, the beautifuily situated Restaurant, called Kaiser Park.

3. To the Hirschensprung (Deer Leap).—The most convenient and least steep road begins at the Hirschensprunggasse, near the house “Zur Zufriedenheit”. At the first turning we notice three roads, to the right the Jubiläumsweg, showing on the left hand the Crinolinenstiege, leading to the Gemse, while the Jubiläumsweg itself brings us to a most retired spot, called somewhat bombastically “Himmel auf Erden” (Heaven on Earth); however, we know, that sometimes a most humble place deserves this name. Moving onwards, through the centre road, we arrive at the Gemse; further on at Mayer’s Gloriet, and at the Restaurant of the Hirschensprung. The left road, however, which we most recommend, winds agreeably to the ridge of the hill. Arrived here, we notice two roads on the right-hand side; one leads directly to the Kreuz (cross) of the Hirschensprung, the other at first to the Restaurant. On the top of the rock before the cross, we behold the gigantic bust of Peter the Great by Prof. Seidan, and below is a black marble slab. On the rock before the cross we find a black marble slab, containing the names of those Russian aristocrats who have visited Carlsbad; first of all, the name of Peter the Great, in memory of whom the little space before the slab has been called Petrshöhe. A little lower we perceive a small pyramid with an open space in front, called Theresienhöhe, in memory of the sorely-tried Theresia of Angoulême. Another road leads to the place where, in the front of the Hirschenstein, another black marble slab can be seen in honour of the Duke of Weimar. It is superfluous to describe the beautiful view, as no description would be useful to him who cannot appreciate it himself.

4. To Findlater’s Tempel and the Franz Fosef’s Height.—This promenade is commenced as No. 3. We walk along on the Neue Weg (New Road), which, contrary to its name, is the oldest walk on record, behind the houses of the Alte Wiese. Here we perceive on the left several neat gardens with terraces, and arrive at a rocky prominence, adorned by a cross, and affording a good view of the Old Meadow; here on the side of a steep rock we read the words, “Plus être que paraître”. The little space in front of it is called “Mariannen Ruhe, in honour of a Saxon Princess. Turning to the right into the Buturlin Weg, which leads us gradually through the forest, we arrive in about twenty minutes at the Hammerkapelle. At this point several roads branch off; the guide-post shows the way leading either to the Franz Josef’s Height (one of the finest places), or to Findlater’s Tempel, at which place we arrive in a few minutes. This temple affords a fine view of the Hammer-Thal and the Kaiser Park. A direct road down-hill leads to the Freundschaftssaal, or we can return to town by walking forwards to Choteck’s Weg.

5. The Vieruhr Promenade (Four o’clock Promenade).—We start from the Kiesweg and arrive at a small place called Fürstinnenstein, in front of a rock; an inscription states how its name originated. A quarter of an hour's walk leads us uphill to the Dichterbank, a retired and quiet place in a rock. Near it the road branches off to the right for the Findlater’s Tempel, and to the left down-hill to a fine beech close to the high road, called the Stahl’s Buche. From this place we may either return to the Freundschaftssaal or to the Posthof. This promenade derives its name from the shade it affords at four o’clock in the afternoon.

6. The Faulenzerweg (Road of the Idle).—We ascend from the Mariengässchen, and, passing the chapel called Oelberg, we arrive at the Marienkapelle (Chapel of Mary); then to the right, after a few turnings, we arrive at the Buturlinweg, and further on at the Hammerkapelle. This is the beginning of the Faulenzerweg, that leads us in about half an hour’s time through a beautiful wood to the Marienbader Strasse, close to the Kaiser Park, where we rest.

7. To the Freundschaftshöhe and the Friedrich-Wilhelm Platz—We walk from the Mariengässchen to the Buturlinweg, and soon, turning to the right and passing a seat affording a fine view, we arrive at the summit of the mountain; a road to the right leads from here to the Hirschensprung; a road on the left (which we select) soon leads us past the favourite seat of the Grand Duchess Helena to Findlater’s Pyramid, and at last, after an up-hill walk of a quarter of an hour, we come to the Freundschaftshöhe, an oval place with a fine view. A small footpath leads further up to the Vogelhütte, this spot being, with the exception of the Aberg, the highest point on these woody mountains, belonging to the Municipality of Karlsbad. From the Freundschaftshöhe we take the road to the left, and after again turning twice to the left, arrive at the Friedrich-Wilhelm Platz, showing one of the finest views of the town. Beneath this place an open space in the wood is often illuminated. Several turnings in the road lead us soon down-hill to the Marienkapelle.

8. To the Belvedere.— We walk through the Mariengässchen up-hill to the Friedrich-Wilhelm Platz, thence to the road leading to the Aberg, and arrive after a quarter of an hour’s walk through a shady forest, at the Katharinen-Plätzchen, a cosy resting place in the middle of the forest, which derives its name from a secret love affair. A short distance hence we turn to the left, and in about ten minutes find ourselves at the Belvedere, a place affording a fine view of the ruins of Engelhaus. A fine lovely walk of about twenty minutes leads us to the Faulenzerweg, and from here in a short time to the high road close to the Kaiser Park.

9. To the Franz Fosef’s Höhe (Height).—Through the Mariengässchen we walk on to the road beyond the Marienkapelle; a short distance to the right the road becomes steep, and soon branches off right and left. The left leads to an interesting freak of nature, called “Buchen- und Tannenehe” (Marriage of the Beeches and Firs). To the right we mount a steep path to the Hammerkapelle, and walk on comfortably over the ridge of the Hammerberg to its highest place, called Franz Josef’s Height, and affording perhaps the finest and most varied view of all the mountains round Carlsbad, as the eye rests on Hammer, as well as on the greater part of the town and on the Erzgebirge. Here has been erected of late a very high and ornamental Tower at a great cost; the view from it is sublime. Descending on the other side of the Hammerberg, we reach the road leading to Findlater’s Tempel, and return, as already described, to the Freundschaftssaal, or by turning first to the left and then to the right, we get on the road to the Farnassfels, and from there to the Restaurant Sans-souci.

10. To the Russell Sitz.— We traverse the Schlossbrunngasse and pass on to the highway leading to the Jägersaal; passing the bowling-green, we reach the forest, and, after about eight minutes’ walk, an open space, where, turning to the left, we ascend for eighteen minutes, and arrive at the Russell Sitz, a neat little place on a rock, with a fine view of the Erzgebirge through an opening in the woods. The road to the left leads us to the Abergweg, above the turning to the Belvedere, whence we either return to town, passing the Friedrich-Wilhelm Platz, or descend to one of the Restaurants, as already mentioned. Another pretty pathway leads to the Russell Sitz on the left hand side, along the mountain range; behind Klein Versailles.

11. To the Weisses Kreuz (White Cross), and the Schützen-Park (Shooters’ Park) we walk either over the Schlossberg or through the valley behind the Militair-Krankenhaus, beyond the English Church, into the road leading to the Restaurant Klein Versailles; here we turn to the left alongside a forest range, and, ascending slowly through meadow grounds, reach the Marien-Sophienweg, which, winding to the right into the forest, leads us in about six minutes to a rocky prominence bearing a cross, called Weisses Kreuz; further on we arrive at a carriage road, and following this for a short time, turning at first to the left and then to the right, after having walked around the mountain slope, arrive at a place presenting a beautiful view of the broad valley of the Eger. Descending the hill, we reach the Bahnhof Strasse, close to the custom-house, and traversing this, arrive at the Restaurant of the Schützen-Park, whence we finally return to town through the Gartenzeile.

12. To the Aberg.—This walk takes us to our destination in an hour and a half. Starting either from the Schlossberg or through the Mariengässchen, we walk, as already described, to the Katherinenplätzchen, and on an even path, for about an hour through the forest, arrive at the Bild, a much-frequented place for pilgrimage, where we can rest. The straight road leads us up-hill in about half an hour to the plateau of the Aberg, where we partake of refreshments in a very handsome Refreshment-room; adjoining this, is a tower from which we have one of the finest views imaginable. For the return journey, we select the walk leading down-hill to a hut; thence we follow the carriage-road, and after eight minutes’ walk arrive at a chapel. Forty yards further on are the ruins of St. Leonard’s Church (belonging formerly to a village called Thiergarten), situated on a small hill, and surrounded with underwood; its villagers were most probably the first inhabitants of Carlsbad. Walking towards the town, we pass a spot where an echo of five or six syllables can be heard. Moving on, we reach the Jägersaal, and, either by walking over the Schlossberg, or by turning to the right along the fields, and descending the Jägersaalweg, we return to town through the Mariengässchen.

13. On the Esterhazyweg to Hammer.—We walk, as in the last instance, down nearly to the Echo, where we turn to the left into a forest-path, which leads us to the already-mentioned Bild, and crossing the road to the Aberg, arrive in about twenty or thirty minutes on the high road to Marienbad. Turning to the left, we reach the village of Hammer, and after taking refreshment in the Mühlengrund, we return to town by omnibus.

14. To the Panorama and Waldschloss.—Starting from the Schulgasse, to the left of the church, we arrive first at the Stephansplatz; then at the villa Lützow, containing several pretty statues of animals; further on at the Stadtgarten, and an open space with a column bearing the statue of the Emperor Charles IV. From this spot a fine view can be obtained. Moving on, we reach the Panorama, where we stop for refreshment, and look at a fine collection of stuffed animals, killed principally in this neighbourhood. By taking the high road to Prague, and turning to the right, we soon arrive at the town. Walking through the forest above the carriage-road, we arrive at the Bellevue Tempel, which presents a charming view, especially about sunset. Descending to the Prager Strasse, we reach the garden of the Eisenquelle, and taking the Eger Strasse, return to town,

15. To the Dreikreuzberg, &c. (Mountain of the Three Crosses).—Starting either from the Schulgasse and over the Panorama, or the Andreas-gasse, or the Eger and the Bellevuestrasse, where the proper Dreikreuzberg begins, and walking principally through beech wood, we arrive in about half an hour at the Restaurant called Camera Obscura, because there is in fact such a thing; the gallery surrounding it affords a most magnificent view of the Egerthal and the town. Ascending the hill, we reach in about ten minutes the Dreikreuzberg, and after walking twenty minutes more, we arrive at the Otto- or Orientirungshöhe. For the return journey, we choose either the same route, or take a shorter but steeper road, which leads us into the Panorama Strasse, close to the Hotel Zur Sonne.

16. To the Wiener Sitz.—The starting point is the Marienbader Strasse. Not far from the Protestant Church we see a steep projecting rock with many inscriptions, and the enormous head of a leopard, carrying a serpent in its mouth, a present from the sculptor Kiss; a little further on is an open space close to the rock, bearing the Dorotheentempel and facing the Protestant Church, which presents a most picturesque view; altogether this spot, called Dorotheenau, abounds in pretty country views. From the Karlsbrücke we walk up-hill to the Dorotheentempel, erected in honour of the beautiful Duchess of Curland; turning to the left we pass the Böhmische Sitz, a pretty little place, covered with a roof shaped like a screen. Ascending the hill, but turning to the right, we see a rock shaped like a chair, and called the Deutschlandsfels (Rock of Germany), because in the time of the First Napoleon it had inscribed on it: “Rise to arms, O Germany, bold as this rock.” Walking on a little further, we arrive at the Wiener Sitz, presenting a fine panoramic view; sixty yards further on is a fine garden, called Helenenhof. We now take the road leading past the house Zur Stadt Lemberg, to the Prager Chaussee, and walk on as far as the Panorama to partake of refreshments, returning from here to the town through the Lützow Weg. Another way leads from the Wiener Sitz a short distance back, and turning to the right, brings us to the Laurenz Kapelle, whence we return either on the right through the Helenen Strasse, or arrive in town by taking the road to the left leading to the Bezirksbürgerschule.

17. Past the Schweizerhof to the Bergwirthshaus (Mountain Inn).—We walk, as in the last instance, to the Dorotheentempel, and, turning to the right, reach the Sauerbrunn, whence there are roads right and left leading up-hill to the quietly situated coffee house, called Schweizerhof. Having partaken of refreshments, we walk up-hill, step on the Prager Chaussee, and, following it, arrive at the Bergwirthshaus in about half an hour. This high road affords such beautiful views, that the authoress Johanna Schopenhauer enthusiastically exclaimed: “Truly it is worth while to visit Carlsbad every year, if it was only for the pleasure of arriving!” Returning, we leave the road close to the Restaurant Zum Sandwirth, descend a footpath lying beyond it, and arrive at a rocky prominence, situated on the left-hand side, some distance from the road, and formerly much frequented. It is called Friederikensfels, in honour of the Duchess of Cumberland. Walking further on beyond the carriage-road we return, passing the “Marienhof”, by taking a route already known.

18. To Schönbrunn and the Schwindelweg.—Starting along the Kiesweg, we leave the carriage road after a short time, and passing a bridge on the left-hand side, arrive at the nicely-situated Restaurant Schönbrunn. A forest path along a steep mountain slope (and for this reason called Schwindelweg), leads from this place through several small and romantic ravines to Pirkenhammer. Several roads lead from here, on the right-hand side, first over the Plobenbrücke to the Posthof; and a little further on to the Freundschaftssaal, or some further distance to the Kaiser Park. For the return journey we select the Hammer Strasse, and, turning to the left, arrive in town by the Faulenzerweg.

19. Over the Ploben.— This path, although in its greater part affording no level walks, is nevertheless very interesting. Starting from the Schwindelweg (mentioned in the last walk) ascend a small forest road on the left, soon after passing the first turning, and arrive at the mountain ridge after about half an hour’s walk in a half-circle. Its highest point is called Veitsberg, and is formed by the cleft of a basalt rock. Walking on, we see to the right the village Espenthor, and now turn either to the left, where ascending, we soon arrive at a beautiful place, encircled and covered by beeches, which, through a small forest path with picturesque views, leads us again to the Schwindelweg; or, turning to the right, we take the road leading beyond the Prager Chaussee and past the Friederikensfels. Another road passes the summit of the mountain, and turns into the Prager Chaussee, close to the country inn Zum Bock.

20. To the Rothe Säuerling.—Starting from the Andreas Gasse, we traverse the so-called Galgenberg, passing a little monument, erected in memory of the exit of those Carlsbad citizens who refused to rejoin the Catholic religion, and who were consequently expelled by an order of the Emperor Ferdinand II., dated August 24th, 1624. Following a footpath beyond the neue Friedhof (New Cemetery), we meet the road leading to the Giesshübler Sauerbrunn, where, branching to the left, we descend to the Rothe Säuerling, and at last arrive at the valley of the Eger, close to the Eulen- or Hexenfels (Rock of the Owls or Witches), serving, according to a myth, for a meeting-place in the Walpurgisnight of the young and old witches of the neighbourhood, for the purpose of jointly ascending the Blocksberg on their brooms. We return by the road, passing the village of Drahowitz, and traversing a pretty little beechwood, where, ascending a footpath on the righthand side, we have a fine view from an open space called “Mein Lieblingsplätzchen” (My Favourite Seat). From here we descend on the other side to the Restaurant “Café Impérial”, where we partake of refreshments.

21. To Dallwitz.—The Eger Strasse leads to the little village of Drahowitz, where we cross the Eger in a little boat; turning to the right, we follow the bank of the river for about half an hour, till we come to a rivulet in a small valley, crossing which, we arrive in about ten minutes at the broadest of those beautiful Dallwitz oak trees, celebrated in a poem by Körner, and at last take some refreshments at the inn Zu den 3 Eichen. In the little castle of Dallwitz there is an exhibition of different articles of porcelain, made in the adjoining manufactory. Turning to the right after leaving the inn, we pass a beautiful and large lime tree, and return again to the banks of the Eger, by descending the steep hill.