Domestic project

Historic Spa Sites as a Cultural, Urban and Landscape-forming Phenomenon

Provider: Ministry of Culture
| Project duration: 2023–2027
| Project ID: DH23P03OVV075

The aim of the project is cultural-historical research of spas between 1700 and 1950. The advent of modern forms of hygiene led to spa towns’ development in places with healing springs, but also outside them. A historical phenomenon emerged showing the influences of their urbanistic, landscape, architectural, cultural, economic and transport development. This unique segment of the nascent modern period is today a remarkable cultural and historical memory.

Historic spa locations will be mapped around the CR, with special stress on spas that disappeared due to various historical processes, and even the loss of the awareness of their period existence and significance. The output will be a database (S) in two language versions (Cz, Eng) with a map (Nimap) in the form of a web portal.

There will be comparative historical-geographical research of two samples: the UNESCO triangle of spa towns (Mariánské Lázně, Františkovy Lázně, Karlovy Vary) and the local Northeast Bohemian spa triangle (Lázně Bělohrad, Velichovky and Běloves). The research builds on the common starting points and aspects of spa development as a period phenomenon. The investigators create synergy to capture continuity and discontinuity in their development, including that of their structure and infrastructure. The research results will strengthen their cultural memory and identity. There will be 3 Historical Atlases of the Towns of the CR (B) (UNESCO triangle) and 2 Nimap (UNESCO and Northeast triangles).

The phenomenon of 18th-20th-century spa business will be displayed by a large exhibition with a critical catalogue at the Museum of Eastern Bohemia in Hradec Králové. The conception has two levels: (1) urbanistic and building-historical development of model spa towns/complexes and (2) general aspects of period treatment, how spas functioned and life in them. These will be Ekrit + B outputs.

All project outputs will utilize the digital humanities and cultural and creative branches (2D and 3D graphics, animation, etc.).



Robert Šimůnek
PhDr., Ph.D., DSc.


Museum of Eastern Bohemia in Hradec Králové


University of Hradec Králové

Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences