Located only 15 minutes drive from Karlovy Vary lies a small spa town called Kyselka. It is located in a valley created by the river Ohře. The first spa buildings were built in Kyselka in the beginning of the 19th century. The golden era however came with Heinrich Mattoni, who rented the local springs in 1867 and started to bottle the water and distributed it all around the world under his name, Mattoni mineral water. Already in 1876 he was selling more than million bottles a year. The succes of his company allowed Mattoni to invest in beautification of his beloved Kyselka town. He started by building his residence and headquaters of his company, the villa Mattoni. Villa Mattoni was built in 1868 in neorenaissance style, contained 15 rooms and vast cellars. Unfortunately in 1948 it was confiscated by the communist party which did not much care for it and it became a ruin. Today it is privately owned however the reconstruction works process at a very slow pace.
Mattoni built many buildings in Kyselka, such as restaurants, hotels, spa buildings, factory buildings, culture buildings, waterfall, chapel and so on. Mattoni brought railway to the spa town so he could distribute his mineral water without all the truck traffic that would disturb the visitors at spa. He also built so called Stallburg, which was a french style palace with 7 apartments inside to accomodate the top managers at his company.
Jindřich (Heinrich in german) Mattoni’s family roots were in Milano region of Italy, from where his ancestor Octavian Mattoni migrated to Karlovy Vary in the Austrian Empire at the end of the 17th century. He lived from 1830 until 1910 and was one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the Austro-Hungarian empire. He became the exklusive distributor of mineral water to the royal family and befriended the emperor himself, Franz Joseph I., who later named him a nobleman. His bronze statue was erected in 1914 in Kyselka.
In 1945 the communist government confiscated most of the property of Mattoni’s descendants and Mattoni mineral water remains state owned until today. Today his descendants live in the United Stated.