Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) and its past and present
Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) and the legend about its founding
In the 14th century Czech King Charles IV was often riding his horse around the Krušné (Ore) Mountains and the Slavkov Forest in Western Bohemia. Thanks to a chance his retinue one time apparently discovered the hot spring, to which the emperor soon attributed its curative power. He convinced himself about it with his own skin. Using the water from the spring he was able to heal his injured leg. According to a legend he ordered to build a town around the miraculous spring, which because of its springs still thrives and enjoys the fame far beyond the borders of our country.
The development of spa gave rise to the new social and special-purpose buildings. The first public spa house (The Mill Spa) was built early in the 18th century, along with the Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene. A further, particularly Art Nouveau development followed in the 2nd half of the 19th century, when the Mill Colonnade and Hot Spring Colonnade, the Imperial Spa and the today’s theatre building were built. Some buildings were financed from the sale of spring salt or the spa taxes, other from the contributions by the generous foreign patrons.
The appearance of the town’s historic core was mainly influenced by the 19th century Art Nouveau
The development of spa gave rise to the new social and special-purpose buildings. The first public spa house (The Mill Spa) was built early in the 18th century, along with the Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene. A further, particularly Art Nouveau development followed in the 2nd half of the 19th century, when the Mill Colonnade and Hot Spring Colonnade, the Imperial Spa and the today’s theatre building were built. Some buildings were financed from the sale of spring salt or the spa taxes, other from the contributions by the generous foreign patrons
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The spa fame also grew thanks to visits by famous celebrities
Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) was increasingly becoming an important venue for gatherings. The spa was visited by the scientific, political and artistic elite of the 19th century, such as Beethoven, Franz Joseph I, Dobrovský, Paganini, Chopin, Mozart, Gogol, Tyl, Barrande, Purkyně, Freud and many others. Nearly every important celebrity has something dedicated to it. Either it was a monument that was built, or it was the name of the forest trail. But Karlovy Vary is also popular among the contemporary VIPs. The stars as Jude Law, Antonio Banderas, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger and others show up there regularly.
The spa had to build its reputation almost from scratch a few times
In the early 20th century Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) was the most famous spa town in Europe. But both world wars had lowered the attendance to a fraction of the pre-war situation. After the war, Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) did not enjoy freedom for a long time. The spa sources and sanatoriums were nationalized in 1948. The clientele was mainly restricted to the citizens of countries of the former Soviet Union bloc. Western tourists started to come back to Karlovy Vary only after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Since that time the number of spa tourists has been increasing.
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Spa, sports and culture
Today, Karlovy Vary is a popular tourist destination. The year-round favour of the Czech and foreign guests is enjoyed by the dozens of spa hotels, guest houses, separate spa facilities, wellness centres, etc.
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Tourists who don’t come here for the spa services can benefit from the diverse range of sports and cultural activities that Karlovy Vary has to offer. A major attraction is the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, held in early July.
Karlovy Vary is literally packed with events and especially in the spa season. A number of concerts of modern, classical and folk music, theatre and other events are organized here. For example, sports are represented by the horse racing, golf tournaments, triathlon and many other events. Some of these events can be proud of a rich accompanying program, which is very popular with the Karlovy Vary population and tourists.
Current selection of events in Karlovy Vary »
Made in Karlovy Vary
Karlsbad ist aber nicht nur seines balneology and popular events that make the town famous. The entire world knows the Karlovy Vary brands such as Moser and Becherovka. The global prestige was also achieved by the spa wafers and Thun porcelain.
Looking for a suitable place for your vacation? Find it in Karlovy Vary!
Karlovy Vary offers everything you can think of. Accommodation and meals at all possible categories, unique spa treatments with dozens of wellness programs, a beautiful historic setting, numerous sports and cultural facilities and especially the amazing atmosphere. The spa is also a major shopping centre and it has a great potential for the convention tourism. The largest spa town in the Czech Republic can be visited all year round.
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Virtuální infocentrum Karlovy Vary
363 01 Ostrov
Tel.: +420 773 378 559