Legend has it that Karlovy Vary was founded by the Czech king and holy Roman emperor Charles IV in the 14th century. It is said that the ruler discovered a unique spring here while out hunting deer. Over the centuries a spa town has developed here whose fame has surpassed the borders of Bohemia, with Karlovy Vary becoming synonymous with charm and social standing. It has welcomed such figures as Goethe, Beethoven, Gogol, Paganini, Casanova, and Mozart, along with dozens of heads of state, while in recent times it has hosted many movie stars thanks to its film festival, which is one of Europe’s most important.
Discover the Healing Power of Thermal Springs
The most well-known hotels include the Grandhotel Pupp which enchants not only with its unique architecture, but also with its unrivalled comfort and first-class services, neo-renaissance Hotel Imperial, spa complex Spa Resort Sanssouci, five-star Carlsbad Plaza Medical Spa & Wellness Hotel or the Hotel Thermal, which hosts the world-famous Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Don’t forget the porcelain or the excellent liqueur
You will experience a genuine spa atmosphere on pleasant walks through its enchanting historical core, which follows the Teplá stream. You can fill a spa jug from several of the local healing springs and stroll in the shadows of elegant colonnades, such as the Mlýnská and Tržní Colonnades. Make sure to see the magnificent theatre, Císařské lázně and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. The hottest of the springs – the Vřídlo – emerges from the ground nearby. But watch out! The water has an incredible temperature of 72oC!
You can make your day in the fairy tale town even more pleasant by visiting one of Karlovy Vary’s lookout spots. For instance, a cable car will carry you comfortably to the Diana Tower, from which the town feels like it’s in the palm of your hand. And what kind of trip to Karlovy Vary would it be if you didn’t take home some local wares?! The best known include the products of the world famous Moser glassworks, Thun Karlovy Vary porcelain, or the excellent Becherovka herbal liqueur, which is often dubbed the town’s 13th spring. You also need to taste the spa wafers, which come in different flavours.
Where to next?
Would you like to see one of the most important treasures of the Czech Republic with your own eyes? If so, you should visit Bečov nad Teplou, whose chateau is home to the wonderful St. Maurus Reliquary, one of the most beautiful examples of medieval art in Europe. Another great destination for a trip is the small fairytale town of Loket, which boasts a lovely historical centre and a magnificent Gothic castle. A torture instruments exhibition and a porcelain display can be seen here.