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Balneology and springs


The town of Karlovy Vary is a world-class spa. Various diseases have been treated here with the help of uniquely composed thermal mineral springs for more than 650 years. How did the Karlovy Vary spa treatments actually come about, what do they treat and which springs are actually used for the treatments?


Pamper yourself with the unique spa treatments at the Imperial Hotel or the Sanssouci Spa Resort, the premium providers of spa care in Karlovy Vary.

The history of balneology in Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary)

People have apparently attributed the healing powers to the Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) springs long before the town was founded. But the first historically preserved knowledge of treatments comes from the end of the 14th century, when Charles IV bathed his ill legs in one of the mineral water springs.
Since that time and until the 16th century the Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) doctors practiced this type of spa treatment exclusively. The impetus for reflection on the use of spring water for internal use came from Dr. Václav Payer in the year 1521. But it was only Dr. David Becher, who brought this method to perfection and who also helped to balance the drinking spa treatments.

The Golden Era of balneology

Spa experienced its ups and downs. The rate of visits was influenced both by natural disasters, as well as armed conflicts. But since the 18th century Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) began to develop rapidly and its standing among other European spas has increased considerably. The first public spa houses and buildings were established. The town was prospering not only because of the wealthy spa patients, but also thanks to the revenue from the sale of mineral water and thermal salt.

Balneology in the hard times

Popularity of Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) continued to grow and the number of visitors was increasing every year until the beginning of the World War I. Then came the global economic crisis, the World War II and eventually the nationalization of private businesses. Whenever the spa began to recover from some sort of “disaster”, then came yet another blow.

Renewal of a tradition

After the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the word democracy came back, the dilapidated buildings and spa facilities slowly began to be reconstructed and modernized. Since that time, the spa is again able to compete with other European spa towns.

Indications for the spa therapy

Due to the specific characteristics of the Karlovy Vary mineral springs and the possibility of almost universal use in Karlovy Vary, the patients with various diseases come there for treatments. Among the most frequently treated diseases are:

  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • metabolic disorders
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • obesity
  • periodontitis
  • locomotor system diseases
  • liver, pancreas, gallbladder and biliary tract diseases
  • conditions after oncological diseases
  • neurological disorders
  • and other diseases.

Karlovy Vary thermal mineral springs

Of the 79 sources with different yields, 13 are used for drinking cures. Mineral waters are similar in their basic composition, but because of different temperatures and carbon dioxide content they have different effects. The colder springs usually have a slightly laxative effect; warmer springs have a calming effect, slowing down the secretion of bile and gastric juices.


Water from the springs can be tasted from the traditional Karlovy Vary cup, which you can keep as a souvenir. The cup can be purchased in any smoke shop or newsstand. However, the prolonged use of mineral water should be always discussed with the spa doctor.

Take a pleasant stroll “in the footsteps of springs”

Start at the Thermal Hotel, walk around the Dvořák Park and continue to the first colonnade...

The Park Colonnade (1880)

  • The Snake Spring 30 °C
  • The Park Spring 47,4 °C
  • The Freedom Spring 60 °C

Detailed information about the colonnade and springs »

The Mill Colonnade (1871–1881)

  • The Rock Spring 53 °C
  • The Libuše Spring 62 °C
  • The Prince Wenceslas I 65 °C
  • The Prince Wenceslas II 58 °C
  • The Mill Spring 56 °C
  • The Rusalka Spring 60 °C

Detailed information about the colonnade and springs »

The Market Colonnade (1883)

  • The Market Spring 62 °C
  • The Charles IV Spring 64 °C

Detailed information about the colonnade and springs »

The Hot Spring Colonnade (1969–1975)

  • The Hot Spring 72 °C

Detailed information about the colonnade and the Hot Spring »

The Castle Colonnade (1911-1913)

  • The Lower Castle Spring 55 °C
  • The Upper Castle Spring 50 °C

Detailed information about the colonnade and springs »


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Virtuální infocentrum Karlovy Vary

Habrová 1445
363 01 Ostrov

Tel.: +420 773 378 559