Kuks and Betlem

Unique Baroque complex. Baroque pharmacy. Baroque park. The example of the 17th century spa.

Order Tour Code: C NNE1
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season

A unique Baroque complex of a spa house erected near the curative waters , a hospital with Trinity Church and a crypt . Very valuable is scultural decoration made by M.B.Braun. It is closed in winter. It is possible to book the private tour in advance in winter.

Matthias Bernard Braun (Czech: Matyáš Bernard Braun, 24 February 1684 in Sautens near Innsbruck - 15 February 1738 in Prague) was a sculptor and carver active in the Czech lands, one of the most prominent late baroque style sculptors in the area.
Matthias Bernard Braun was born as the fifth child of Jacob Braun and Magdalene born Neureuter. He apprenticed in Austria (Salzburg) and Italy (Venice, Bologna, Rome). And in his work, it is the Italian influence, that is the most prominent. He was inspired by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and by the Venetian sculptural school of the 17th century and thus became a great propagator of the Italian-provenience sculpture in the Central-European context.
Some time before 1710, Braun came to visit Prague, already as a full-fledged artist creating from sandstone, and soon he became domestic in Bohemia. He found his wife and friends there, and became a citizen to the New Town of Prague. Already his first work - the statuary of the Vision of St. Luthgard (Czech: Vidění sv. Luitgardy) from 1710, situated on Charles Bridge in Prague - brought to him much attention and many new orders. Braun then was able to found the biggest workshop in Prague, employing six journeymen and having an income of 900 golden a year around 1725. Soon, he himself could not manage the amount of new commissions for Prague palaces, gardens, churches and many other places in Bohemia, a situation worsened by the progressing tuberculosis. That is why he only created the designs and models, had his cooperators realize them and completed the work into the final appearance. He had five children, none of which continued his work, though. He died in Prague in 1738.
Matthias Braun is probably the most famous for his collection of the allegories of Virtues and Vices situated at the Kuks Hospital in Bohemia, a commission of count František Antonín Špork. Other notable sculptures include: the Bethlehem - monumental statues chiselled directly in sandstone rocks near Kuks, forty pitoresque statues of dwarfs at the Kuks race-course, several statuaries at Charles Bridge in Prague, statues in the St. Kliment's church (Prague), the stone pillar of the Holy Trinity in Teplice, the sculptures in the interior of Czernin palace (Prague), and many others.
There is an asteroid named Mathiasbraun (number 6768), discovered in 1983.

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A unique Baroque complex , founded by the nobleman F.A. Sporck. Its construction was started in 1692 by G.B. Alliprandi. The first facility to be built was a spa house erected near the source of curative waters. Three healing springs in the wood became an inspiration for count F.A.Spork to build a spa in 1692. The little castle with colonnades, staircase with running water, the racing course decorated with statues, the "house of philosophers", theater, calendar-clock, the restaurant and surrounding gardens offered not only the healing water but also the comfort and entertainment.
A hospital with the Trinity Church and a crypt was built on the other side of the Elbe Roiver.
The statue decoration of the church, the terrace and the creation of the sets of allegoric statues is mostly the work of a famous Baroque sculptor Matyas Bernard Braun who has joined the team of sculptors in 1712. He is also the author of a remarkable natural gallery of statues and relief made of the real rocks - known as "Betlem (The Nativity Scene)" and the most prominent sculptures including allegoric statues of twelve Virtues and twelve Vices .
What you can see there :
Hospital interiors with a Baroque pharmacy , a lapidary with sculptures by M.B. Braun, a church and a crypt.
A garden and cemetery.
Betlem – a landscape park with a gallery of Baroque sculptures dating from 1723 to 1731 .
It is closed in winter.
It is possible to book the private tour in advance in winter.
NE from Prague – 2,5hours
Trip :
1) Kuks and Betlehem trips number NNE1 – 8hour round trip
Trips combinations:
2) Kuks and Betlehem NNE1 + Glassworks Bohemia E7 or Kasak´s glassworks E3 - 9hour round trip
3)Kuks NNE1 + Hradek NNE1 - 10 hour round trip
4)Kuks NNE1 + Hradec Kralove town NNE7 - 9 hour round trip
3)Kuks NNE1 + Opocno NNE4 - 10 hour round trip
4)Kuks NNE1 + Hradek NNE1 - 9 hour round trip
5)Kuks NNE1 + Castolovice NNE3 - 9 hour round trip
6)Kuks NNE1 + Josefov fortress NNE6 - 9 hour round trip
7)Kuks NNE1 + Litomysl town and chateau NNE5 - 11 hour round trip
8)Kuks NNE1 + Hradek NNE1 + Hradec Kralove town NNE7 - 11 hour round trip
9)Kuks NNE1 + Castolovice NNE3 + Hradec Kralove town NNE7 - 11 hour round trip
10)Kuks NNE1 + Josefov fortress NNE6 + Hradec Kralove town NNE7 - 11 hour round trip
11)Kuks NNE1 + Opocno NNE4 + Hradec Kralove town NNE7 - 12 hour round trip
12)Kuks NNE1 + Litomysl town and chateau NNE5 + Hradec Kralove town NNE7 - 13 hour round trip
13)Kuks NNE1 + Castolovice NNE3 + Hradek NNE1 - 11 hour round trip
14)Kuks NNE1 + Hradek NNE1 + Josefov fortress NNE6 - 11 hour round trip
15)Kuks NNE1 + Hradek NNE1 + Litomysl town and chateau NNE5 - 13 hour round trip
16)Kuks NNE1 + Castolovice NNE3 + Josefov fortress NNE6 - 11hour round trip
17)Kuks NNE1 + Litomysl town and chateau NNE5 + Josefov fortress NNE6 - 13hour round trip
18)Kuks NNE1 + Castolovice NNE3 + Litomysl town and chateau NNE5 - 13 hour round trip
19)Kuks NNE1 + Opocno NNE4 + Litomysl town and chateau NNE5 - 12 hour round trip
20)Kuks NNE1 + Nachod NNE11 - 10 hour round trip
21)Kuks NNE1 + Nove Mesto nad Metuji NNE12 - 10 hour round trip
22)Kuks NNE1 + Nachod NNE11 + Nove Mesto nad Metuji NNE12 - 12 hour round trip
23)Kuks NNE1 + ZOO Dvur Kralove nad Labem NNE10 - 10 hour round trip

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Last updated on Feb 20, 2011