Although built on a bluff (landowner Count Franz Anton von Sporck alleged incorrectly that the local waters had healing properties), this East Bohemia city’s beautiful Baroque spa complex and its art incite forgiveness. Spread across both banks of the Elbe River and into the adjacent forest, the resort includes the recently restored Kuks Hospital, where you can explore an herb garden and the curiosities of the Baroque pharmacy (period ingredients include mummy powder and deer heart bone). At the front façade is the Church of the Holy Trinity, designed by Italian architect Giovanni Battista Alliprandi. Lining the hospital’s terrace, the 12 Statues of Virtues and Vices—including Avarice, Greed, Justice, and Hope—are the handiwork of Mathias Bernard Braun. Braun is also behind what is the largest open-air sculpture gallery in Europe, featuring rock reliefs and freestanding sculptures.
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