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Karlovy VaryKarlovy Vary Ahoj and welcome to ABC of Czech, Radio Prague's special language programme. In today's programme we're looking at one of the Czech Republic's great specialties - spas - láznì. People come from all over to enjoy the spa services - lázeòství, such as massages but mostly to drink the healing water - voda, which comes from the spa's spring - pramen. There are different kinds of springs, minerální pramen - as you might guess mineral spring and termální pramen - thermal spring.

Franti¹kovy LáznìFranti¹kovy Láznì For the most part the spas in the Czech Republic are situated right in the heart of a city. Perhaps you have heard of Karlovy Vary, one of the Czech Republic's best known spa towns - lázeòské mìsto located in western Bohemia - Západní Èechy. It was founded in the 13th century by King Charles the IV - král Karel IV., and is visited by those wishing to treat digestive and metabolic diseases. There are twelve spas - dvanáct lázní in Karlovy Vary, which emerge from the earth with temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 degrees Celsius. Karlovy Vary, which is still sometimes called its German name Karlsbad, is also known for its international film festival, held every year in July.

My personal favourite is Luhaèovice a small spa town just over the hill from Zlín in Moravia - Morava. The spa and town are located deep in a valley on the edge of a preserved area Bílé Karpaty - the White Carpathians and has been used for treating disease for over three hundred years.

LuhaèoviceLuhaèovice Some other famous spas in Bohemia are Franti¹ky Láznì and Mariánské Láznì sometimes still known as Marienbad. Mariánské Láznì became popular after a visit by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, around the turn of the century King Edward VII of England was a regular, and Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling were also seen there.

On a visit to a spa town today, you may still catch a glimpse of a star - hvìzda. But whether you do or not, be sure to try some warm spa wafers - lázeòské oplatky. If you aren't going to a spa town, you can always find prepackaged lázeòské oplatky in a supermarket and sometimes there are venders selling lázeòské oplatky in Prague by the Old Town Square, so keep you eyes open! Lázeòské oplatky come in different flavours, such as hazelnut - oøí¹kové, chocolate - èokoládové, and cocoa - kakaové. Traditionally the wafers were given to spa guests - lázeò¹í hosté for medicinal purposes. But beware - pozor after one bite it's hard to believe these treats are good for you!

Thanks for joining us today. We hope you have enjoyed our programme, and we haven't left drooling with the mention of spa wafers - lázeòské oplatky. Until next time! Na shledanou! Take care! Mìjte se!


See also Living Czech.


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