The town of Kuks is a unique, 300 year-old Baroque site built at the turn of 17th and 18th century by the Count of Sporck as a spa and his summer residence. In a valley divided by the river Elb into two worlds – one dedicated to the life on earth, the other to the life after death – he created a beautiful synergy of architecture, art, and landscape with body wellness and live arts. Sporck’s guests enjoyed a daily music and theatre program, spa, and walks on the left river bank while observing Braun’s statues of Virtues and Vices. They also enjoyed the hospital with church and were invited to contemplate the omnipresent sense of memento mori on the right riverbank. The cultural heritage of Kuks was passed from generation to generation of mostly German inhabitants until 1945 when they were displaced to Germany. For fifty years Kuks slept and decayed with little care given to its history. Recently, a huge revitalization of the whole village and its monuments has taken place with the help of EU funds. The Baroque spirit is still alive in the Kuks of today even though some buildings and facilities have vanished. Kuks, with its Baroque hospital and the nearby sculpture park of Braun’s Bethlehem, has become one of the most visited monuments in the Czech Republic. Also, newcomers have settled down in the village and started to revive the genius loci of the place, contributing with various activities, art, good food, and wine.
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