The first mention of Buková kyselka (Beech Acidulous Water) comes from a 1522 balneology document by Dr. Václav Payer, a spa doctor from Karlovy Vary. A small village, eventually given the name Puchstein, came into existence below Buková skála (Beech Rock or Buchstein) and, since it belonged to Kysibl (Stružná), it was referred to as Giesshübl-Puchstein or Giesshübl-sauerbrunn. In 1687, Count Hermann Jakob Czernin allowed tapping of the spring free of charge. Around 1790, the acidulous water was bottled and shipped in earthenware jugs. In the late 1820s, Count Wilhelm von Neuberg then founded a small spa near the springs. A spa house, whey sanatorium, colonnade and a wayside inn were subsequently built there. There was a circular pavilion above the spring of Buková kyselka. The source was named Otto’s Spring in honour of the visit of King Otto I of Greece in 1852, and a colonnade rose up above it the following year. However, the most significant developments began in 1867 when the distribution of Kysibl acidulous water was rented by Karlovy Vary mineral water trader, Heinrich Mattoni. Mattoni then purchased the entire estate in 1873 and started new magnanimous construction activities. The small Empire style spa became a magnificent spa resort with renowned mineral table water – Mattoni’s kysibelka. The spa and operations buildings are still a unique whole, documenting the era of the greatest flourishing of the spa resort and, together with it, the entire balneology of West Bohemia.
The surroundings of the spa resort were designed in a natural landscape spirit and adapted for walks which were recommended to spa guests as a complementary therapeutic treatment. In the spirit of local legends, the forests revived myths about elves from nearby Šemnice Rock, who were to protect the springs along with Egeria the nymph. To pay tribute to the mysterious elves, small statues of them have been installed alongside paths leading to the springs. But beware, these are not ordinary garden gnomes but elves. And one of them will be accompanying us for the entire trail.