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The world of spas at the end of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, when the emperor, the aristocracy, and famous visitors from all aver Europe would take the waters, is long gone. Elegant ladies and gentlemen would come to these towns for health, diversion, amusement, and tranquility. This country´s many smaller and lesser-known spas offered seclusion and relaxation, while the beautiful promenades, cafés, and casinos of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázne and Frantiskovy Lázne offered entertainment, conviviality, and romance. All of this was captured by photographers whose pictures can now take us back to a lost world. These pictures guide us through spa towns in an age when Austro-Hungarian emperor´s portrait still hung in schools and public buildings. There are numerous spa treatments. Some have been abandoned, while other age-old remedies are still practised today. Besides the treatments, a stay at a spa was also a social event, and Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázne, and other towns were once central to European high society, politics, and culture.

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