Source: Wikimedia Commons

Of the spas on the continent, Carlsbad (today Karlovy Vary) was the one Marx visited most often. He was there from 15 August to 20 September 1874 (together with his daughter Eleanor), from 15 August to 11 September 1875, and again from 16 August to 15 September 1876 (again with daughter Eleanor). When planning tours to continental spas, Marx always had to consider the current political situation in the countries he travelled through, as this determined whether he was in danger of being arrested as a politically undesirable element.

Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels, 18 September 1874, Haus Germania, am Schloßberg, Carlsbad, Austria:

Although one only drinks in the morning (in the evening before going to bed one has a cold glass of a special spring brought to the house), one is nevertheless caught up in a kind of machinery the whole day through, which hardly leaves with a spare moment. Up at 5 or half past 5 in the morning. Then take 6 glasses one after the other at different wells. There must be at least 15 minutes between one glass and the next. Then breakfast is prepared starting with the purchase of special cure rolls. Then a walk of at least an hour, finally coffee, which is excellent here, in one of the coffee houses outside the city. This is followed by a walk through the surrounding mountains; at about 12 o'clock you come home, but then have to take a bath every other day, which again takes an hour. This is followed by a change of toilet; puis 2pm lunch in an inn of your choice. Sleeping after lunch (it is allowed before) is strictly forbidden, and rightly so, as I have convinced myself after a single attempt. Then another tour either on foot or in a carriage. Return to Carlsbad 6 - 8 p.m., light evening snack, and - to bed. This is varied by theatre (which always closes at 9 o'clock, like all other entertainments), concert, reading cabinet. […]

I have so far lost 4 pounds (imperial weight) and can feel with my own hand that the fatty liver is in status evanescens. I believe that I have finally achieved my purpose in Carlsbad, at least for a year.
Karl Marx monument in Karlovy Vary today
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This site has been conceived in conjunction with the HERA-funded research project The European Spa as a Transnational Public Space and Social Metaphor. Conception: Astrid Köhler, Text © Astrid Köhler and Karen Southworth, Design © Jana Riedel.