Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad)

Since more than 600 years, this spa resort, situated in Western Bohemia, brings relief to patients from around the world. The town of Karlovy Vary, which was founded in the fourteenth century, is today a city of hot springs and reputed for its ultra modern balneotherapy and sophisticated treatments that join the traditional healing - healing drinks and mineral water baths of its twelve sources, of which the largest and hottest is known under the name of Vridlo (Geyser). All establishments are characterized by luxurious rooms, furnished with taste, and by a highly qualified care provided in abundance. The station is also an important cultural centre whose reputation is emphasized by congresses, and international film festivals. The major resort city, heavily sought after by tourists, Karlovy Vary extends, in a picturesque valley, traversed by a small river Teplá (meaning Hot). The city was founded, in 1358, by Emperor Charles IV, whose reign is considered as the culmination of the development of the Czech medieval state. A legend has it that Charles IV discovered the hot springs in place during the deer hunt. In 1370, the town was granted the royal city´s privileges.
The city of Karlovy Vary has continued to develop in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In 1522, the doctor Václav Payer published the first medical description of the sources. At the end of the sixteenth century, the city had two hundred bathrooms, the basement of which housed the thermal baths, where the water was brought by wooden troughs. Floods and fires ravaged the city several times.
A new development comes, at the end of the seventeenth century, and continued for the next two centuries.
Flocking in large numbers, visitors to spas spread the excellent reputation of this city of water, contribute to the building of the city in order to leave lasting traces of their stay here. The town of Karlovy Vary welcomes the crowned heads of time (Agust 1st,, Peter 1st or Charles VI), as well as an ever increasing number of visitors of spas from the Czech, German, Russian and Polish aristocratic circles. The city attracts eminent personalities of culture, we recall, at least, famous poets and musicians of the era - Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, Chateaubriand, Chopin, and Wagner.
The architecture of the second half of the nineteenth century gives the city its unique character, and exceptional charm (the Mlýnská kolonáda - the Mill colonnade, the ancient Vřídelní colonnade – the Geyser colonnade, the Tržní colonnade – the Market colonnade, baths, and other imperial cure houses, the theater, the Grand Hotel Pupp, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Anglican church).
Twelve sources having therapeutic effects spring in Karlovy Vary, reaching temperatures between 42° C and 72° C. Springing in the Vřídelní Colonnade, the source Vridlo (Geyser) is the oldest and hottest of all. The curative effects of the sources are due to a high concentration of dissolved minerals (32 - 35), of trace elements and carbon dioxide. In Karlovy Vary, are treated mainly diseases of the digestive and metabolic disorders, yet its sources can still facilitate the treatment of other diseases. The treatment consists of healing drinks directly from the sources, baths, compresses, and other thermal procedures, of active movement, as well as of the effect of the pleasant environment and invigorating climate of this spa town.
A rich cultural and social life has always existed in Karlovy Vary. Currently, visitors of the resort can find there casinos, a theater, art galleries, concert halls, and several multi-purpose facilities. Each year, the International Film Festival is organized in the town.
The centre consists of the Geyser colonnade and the Mill Colonnade, comprising four sources. In the thermal area, guests and visitors love going for walks in the Vřídelní street, full of charm, they are seduced by the wonderful Market colonnade, which has been projected all in wood, as well as by beautiful parks of Karlovy Vary.
Among the jewels of architecture, we should also mention the Holy Trinity Column, built in 1776, the church of St. Mary Magdalene (1736), and Postal Court (1791), which was, at that time, the centre of musical life in Karlovy Vary. It saw the premiere of the New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák presented in Europe.
The city is famous for Moser brand art glass, fine china, porcelain figures and for its Becherovka liqueur with herbs that are known worldwide.
A wonderful view over the city of Karlovy Vary, and its surroundings is offered from the hill of Peter the Great, the Friendship Hill, or from the lookout tower of Charles IV.