After the 20th European Psychiatric Association Congress, we made our way home with a detour in Karlovy Vary—Karlsbad—famous for its therapeutic hot springs. This Czech city was founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1370 and ever since that time people have been flocking to Karlsbad to “take the cure.”
In the 19th and early 20th centuries it became a popular destination for writers, artists, nobility, and other celebrities, including Sigmund Freud, JS Bach, Karl Marx, and Leo Tolstoy.
In 1915, Freud stayed in the spa residence Rudolfshof, which is now part of the Carlsbad Plaza, and the hotel proudly displays a bronze plaque on its wall to that effect. While staying in Karlsbad, Freud wrote to Sandor Ferenczi, “. . . Now, however, you have given me the desire for a more extensive presentation, which I will attempt and will show you before I make a decision about publication. Much depends on my mood; when one is in good spirits, one is bolder. Yesterday, on the second day, I began to continue the work, and I find that it isn’t going badly in the comfort of the Karlsbad cure.”