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spa town, western Czech Republic. It is situated on the edge of the wooded hills southwest of Karlovy Vary. Its more than 40 mineral springs were long the property of the Premonstratensian Abbey (12th century) at Tepla, a few miles east of the town. When Josef Nehr, the abbey's doctor, demonstrated the therapeutic properties (efficacious for rheumatism and digestive disorders) of the peat and springs in the early 19th century, the monks subsidized the spa, which adopted its German name (Marienbad) in 1808. It received its town charter in 1868