Teplitz - Encyclopedia

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TEPLITZ (Czech, Teplice), or Teplitz-Schonau, as it is officially called since the incorporation of the village of Schonau in 1895, a town of Bohemia, Austria, 80 m. N.N.W. of Prague by rail. Pop. (1900) 24,420. It is picturesquely situated in the plain of the Biela, which separates the Erzgebirge from the Bohemian Mittelgebirge, and is a favourite watering-place, containing a large Kurhaus and numerous handsome bathhouses. The environs are laid out in pretty and shady gardens and promenades, the finest being in the park which surrounds the château of Prince Clary-Aldringen, built in 1751. The other chief buildings are the Roman Catholic Schlosskirche, built in 1568 and altered to its present form in 1790, the Protestant church, the Jewish: synagogue with a conspicuous dome, and the theatre. In the garden of the château are two ancient towers, probably the remains of the Benedictine convent, but ascribed by local tradition to the knight Kolostuj, the legendary discoverer of the springs. The saline-alkaline springs of Teplitz, ten to twelve in number, ranging in temperature from 90° to 117° Fahr., are classed among what are called "indifferent" waters. Used almost exclusively for bathing, they are prescribed for gout, rheumatism, and some scrofulous affections, and their reputed efficacy in alleviating the effects of gun-shot wounds had gained for Teplitz the sobriquet of "the warriors' bath." Military baths are maintained in the town by the governments of Austria, Prussia and Saxony, and there are also bath-houses for the poor. Teplitz is much visited for the after-cure, after Carlsbad and similar spas. The number of patients is about 6000 and the passing visitors about 25,000. The presence of a bed of lignite in the neighbourhood has encouraged the industrial development of Teplitz, which carries on manufactures of machinery and metal goods, cotton and woollen goods, chemicals, hardware, sugar, dyeing and calicoprinting.

The thermal springs are fabled to have been discovered as early as 762, but the first authentic mention of the baths occurs in the 16th century. The town is mentioned in the 12th century, when Judith, queen of Ladislaus I. of Bohemia, founded here a convent for Benedictine nuns, which was destroyed in the Hussite wars. In the 17th century Teplitz belonged to the Kinskys, and after Kinsky's murder (25th February 1634) the lordship was granted by Ferdinand II. to Johann Count Aldringen. His sister Anna, who inherited it, married Freiherr Hieronymus von Clary, who assumed the additional name and arms of Aldringen. The family, which was raised to the rank of count in 1666 and of prince of the Empire in 1767, still retains the property. Teplitz figures in the history of Wallenstein, and is also interesting as the spot where the monarchs of Austria, Russia and Prussia first signed the triple alliance against Napoleon in 1813. It is a curious fact that on the day of the earthquake at Lisbon (1st November 1775) the main spring at Teplitz ceased to flow for some minutes.

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