On the upper reaches of the Elbe river, located between the towns of Jaroměř and Dvůr Králové in eastern Bohemia, there spreads the beautiful valley of Kuks - home to a famous mineral spring.
In the 17th century, the local landowner, Count Sporck, built a small church above the spring. In 1694, the first curative thermal baths were built, including visitors' buildings, a colonnade, and stables.
Today, visitors can admire the town's monumental hospital on the southern side of the valley, the unusual Church of the Holy Trinity, the Sporck family tomb, and the exceptionnal collection of allegorical statues of the Vices and Virtues by sculptor Matthias Bernard Braun. Even better known are Braun's "Forest Sculptures" located in the nearby woods. The sculptures are serious threatened by weathering and were placed on the the 2000 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.In honor of its baroque heritage, every year Kuks hosts the Theatrum Kuks festival of baroque theater, opera, and music.
Getting there: Kuks is located 135 km east of Prague. By car, take the D11/E67 to Hradec Králové, then road 33/E67 north towards Jaroměř.The trip takes a little under 1.5 hours.
Kuks can also be reached by bus from Prague, Hradec Králové, or Brno; or by train from Prague (with a transfer in Jaroměř). To plan your route, click here.
Where to stay: Kuks itself has no accommodations, but why not see some other towns in the region? Just 30km farther is the pretty town of Náchod.