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    view of the main building

Holiday ***Apartments Karlovy Vary
has independent apartments in the centre of the city (5 minutes walking distance from the spa-zone - 200m). There is also city-bus stop (50m).
Apartments have 1 double-room or 2 bedrooms
All apartments are equipped with phone or cellular phone, CD player, DVD, video,  with equipped kitchen or kitchennette, 2 apartments have own air-conditioning, (other apartments do not need any air-condition) and with own WC and shower-room or bath-room. All apartments have own TV set.
Tthere are:
* many good and reasonably priced restaurants around
* local shops and supermarkets around
Our guest have their own privacy, but they can contact us any time and even in case of late arrivals or any emergency when we are not at home (there is also answering machine). 4 apartments have own intercom-phone to us and 2 have cellular phone.
Car parking:
we have safe parking in 3 garages (small - 100 crowns, bigger - 120 crowns) or in back yard (free off charge) and in the parking place with camera in front of our building. Due to limited parking place - we recommend you to reserve it also in advance



Main Building

terrace of the main building/click to enlarge  terrace of the main building/click to enlarge  terrace of the main building/click to enlarge

The main building offer large apartment  with one large bed-sitting room and another smaller living kitchen. Apartment can lodge 4-6 persons (including extra beds).


Apartment no.1 (45m2)

floor plan:

floor plan ap.1

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Apartment is on 1st floor and is equipped by SHOWER with washer, safe, WC, BEDSIT,  KITCHEN (refrigerator, microwave, el. cooktop, toaster, coffee-machine, dish-washer, kitchenware), TERRACE with fireplace, and garden furniture, GARAGE or parking place.

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Larger room has 2 single beds (doublebed available), , video, sat, CD player, radio, phone, fireplace, central heating, air-cleaner.
Smaller living-room with kitchen has double divan bed and double bunk bed, air-cleaner, central heating

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The depandance I

depandance 1

The depandance offer two studio-apartments on the 2nd floor both with one double- or two-beds room and a small kitchenette.


ap no.3,4/fireplace/garden/click to enlarge    garden/click to enlarge    terrace with fireplace/click to enlarge    garden/click to enlarge


Apartment no.3 (30 m2

floor plan:

floor plan ap.3

click to enlarge click to enlarge

Apartment is equipped by SHOWER room with WC, living room with KITCHEN (refrigerator, microwave, el. cooktop, toaster, coffee-machine, dish-washer, kitchenware, safe, double bed sofa, video, sat-TV, CD player, radio, phone, central heating, air-condition), TERRACE with fireplace and garden furniture, GARAGE or parking place.
BEDROOM has two beds, central heating.

click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge

Apartment/Studio no.4 (20 m2)

floor plan:

floor plan ap.4


Studio is equipped by SHOWER room with WC, living room with a KITCHEN line (refrigerator, microwave, el. cooktop, toaster, coffee-machine, dish-washer, kitchenware, safe), TERRACE with fireplace and garden furniture, GARAGE or parking place.
Room has a double bed and double sofa bed, video, sat,  CD player, radio, phone, central heating, air-condition.


Depandance II


Dsc00045.jpg (56092 bytes)


  The depandance offer three luxury ****flats on the 1st floor and on the 3rd floor with a lift, all with one two- or double-bed room, bathroom with shower and a kitchen. The closest apartments to the spa-zone.

Apartment 5 (42m2)

floor plan:

floor plan ap.5

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  Apartment is equipped by BATHROOM with shower, WC, safe and washer, KITCHEN (refrigerator, oven, el. cooktop, toaster, coffee-machine, mixer, dish-washer, kitchenware),

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BEDSIT has two beds or double-bed and double divan bed (also available in the kitchen), divan,  video, sat, CD player, radio, central heating, and 1-2 extra beds.

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Apartment 6 (42m2)

"floor plan:


 Dsc00075.jpg (52731 bytes) click to enlarge 

 Apartment is equipped by BATHROOM with shower, WC, safe and washer, KITCHEN (refrigerator, oven, el. cooktop, toaster, coffee-machine, mixer, dish-washer, kitchenware),

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BEDSIT has double-bed and double divan bed (also available in the kitchen), 2 sofas,  video, sat, CD player, radio, central heating, and 2 extra beds.

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Apartment 8 (45m2)

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 Apartment is equipped by BATHROOM with BATH and SHOWER, Washing-machine, KITCHEN (Refrigerator, Cooktop, Oven, Toaster, Coffee-machine)

     Dsc00256.jpg (6094 bytes)
BEDSIT has 1 Doublebed, sat, Video, CD Player, Radio, Phone, Central-heating.

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Depandance III


Apartment 7 (65m2)


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Apartment is on the 2nd floor with a LIFT and is equipped by BATHROOM with washer, safe, TOILET ROOM with WC, KITCHEN (refrigerator, microwave, cooker, toaster, coffee-machine, dish-washer, kitchenware, double divan-bed,), 2 BEDSITS, BALCONY,  parking place.

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Larger room has a double bed, double divan-bed,  video, sat, CD player, radio, phone, central heating.

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Smaller bed-room has double bed, double divan-bed, radio, central heating

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Prices of rooms :

( in Czech Crowns, 1 US$= (aprox.) 25CZK ), 1EURO=(aprox.) 30CZK

See our unique System of Discounts!!!

apartment :

1 person :

2 persons :

3 persons :

4 persons :

5 persons :

6 persons :



























































The above prices include: Apartment rental, Safe, Parking, Final Cleaning, Bed/Bath linen, Electricity, Water, Heating, Taxes, Cots (free if requested when booking is made), Pets, ice do not include: Daily Cleaning (if requested from 250 crowns), Garage (100 crowns/day)



Definitive reservation is conditioned by providing guarantee mostly of amount for 1-3 days:
a) FIRST NIGHT - in regular season and out season period
b) TWO NIGHTS - stay exceeding 5 days
c) THREE NIGHTS - stay exceeding 10 days
d) EITHER 3 NIGHTS OR ALL THE STAY - within special holidays
The guarantee does not need to be required - within REAL low season, which would specify to you individually
The guarantee amount can be:
a) transfered to our bank account in GE Capital bank a.s. in Karlovy Vary - CENTRUM, Zapadni Str.3, 36001 Karlovy Vary
account no IBAN.:  CZ10 0600 0000 0040 1763 9634    BIC: AGBACZPP
Ing.Jiri Jilek Vitezna 36, Karlovy Vary, Czech republic, 36001
please, send us a copy of your bank order by fax (+420-353220649) as soon as possible, we can confirm your reservation after that!
b) mailed to our address: Jiri Jilek, Ondrickova 26, 36001 Karlovy Vary, Czech republic
please, send us a copy of your post order by fax as soon as possible, we can confirm your reservation after that!
c) send by cheque (We usually do not cash the cheque, we keep it until guest arrival and than we return it in exchange of cash).
d) guaranteed with credit card (EC/MC, VISA, AMEX, JCB)
- we need your CC number + validity date + name of the holder
- can be provided by phone, e-mail or better as written order (letter or fax) including also declaration authorizing Holiday *Apartments to charge you the arranged amount
Explanation of difference between advance payment and guarantee:
Advance payment means:
a) mailing cash by post
b) bank transfer
c) charging to your credit card now
Guaranteeing means:
a) cheque (we hold it until your arrival as deposit)
b) credit card guarantee - we make pre-authorization for the arranged amount to your credit card, but we do not really deduct it. We wait until your arrival and the we better expect you to pay cash in our reception
we DO NOT charge any Cancellation Fee, if client gave us opportunity to sell the room to other customer. Therefore we kindly ask you to inform us immediately - once there would be any change on your side. Our experience is that the fee was charged only in case of real "No Show"
Anticipated departure gives no right to a refund. Late arrival gives no right to prolong the stay further than the expected time of departure.
CHECK IN : 11:00 - 18.00 CHECK OUT: 10:00 (in a case of later check out time we can charge 1 more night)


GE Capital Bank Karlovy Vary - Centrum, Zapadni 3, 36001 Karlovy Vary, Czech republic, Nr. 4017639634/0600, SWIFT: AGBACZPP 

Send request to:

The reservation is  considered as valid after the complete filling and sending of an e-mail or fax booking form (incl. Nr. of credit card)

please, complete the following form, where possible, and we will e-mail/fax you within 24 hours with confirmation details.

Request and Booking form :

4 maps


Spa therapy

Elixir of vigour and health

The Karlovy Vary thermal springs have risen from the river Tepla valley for millions of years. The over 600 year long tradition of the spa is based on the healing power of the mineral springs. Everyone will be fascinated by the apparent simplicity of the natural mechanism, which transmutes rainfall into extravagantly abundant fountains of life-giving moisture - a real elixir of life. How does it function?

The granite bedrock under the town buildings has a fissure through which groundwater penetrates at a depth of about 2000m. There it is warmed, enriched by carbon dioxide, mineral content and tracers. And then this regenerated water either noisily or peacefully breaks forth to the light of the day. Thus, the Vridlo geyser spouts from the ground, bringing out three million litres of water a day at a temperature of 72°C. It contains 18 tons of salt and mineral content, or 6.4g on average per litre. The other springs' waters have lower temperatures, bursting forth like branches of a tree by the left bank of the Tepla river.

Karlovy Vary's springs bring to the light of the day hot carbonated sulphate-sodium, hydrocarbonated-sodium and chloride-sodium waters with compounds of calcium, potassium, iron, lithium and bromine. Spring water contains over 50 substances and microelements that form the main part of enzymatic systems of the human body. The effect of this water on people's health was already revealed a long time ago. The emergence and development of the world science of water cure definitely owes a lot to those who spearheaded it in Karlovy Vary. No wonder that their experiments were often far from being safe and sometimes even led to deaths.

In olden times, the diseases were believed to need multiple and continuous (up to ten hours a day) immersion in curative waters, until the skin began to blister. Through these cracks the diseases were thus supposed to flush away from the organism. And later this method was enriched by drinking procedures, with consuming water, as a rule, also in enormous quantities. Naturally, not everyone could endure such a test. For anticipating it, patients would often draw up their wills before leaving for the spa. A scientifically established water cure technique was first worked out in Karlovy Vary. It brought worldwide fame not only to this place, but also to the whole Czech spa development. In the 16th century, Locket's doctor Vaclav Payer introduced a new curative therapy. In the document named "Tractatus de Termis Caroli IV Imperatoris" published in 1522, he recommended several weeks of continuous bathing only in the mineral water, followed by several weeks of drinking only.

Another doctor J. S. Strobelberger preferred drinking procedures to baths. In 1620 the patients were to drink 55 cups (up to 8 litres) of water a day. In 1772 doctor David Becher reduced the recommended quantity of water to 2.5 litres and insisted on it being drunk directly by the springs. David Becher was the first to carry out a chemical analysis of the mineral waters. Later, in experiments, the results of the analysis were proven many times over.

Nowadays, a doctor, according to the patient's disease, prescribes individual water curing procedures. The specialists determine the water spring, quantity of water to be consumed, time of consuming and associated procedures.

Water has an effect on the tissue of the alimentary canal immediately after consumption. Already in the mouth it starts to influence the production of saliva. It also influences the functioning of the gullet, stomach and bowels. The cleansing mechanism influences the body's metabolism, all major organs, most of all the liver, pancreas and kidney.

As a rule, each patient's cure by local mineral water includes three weeks of water procedures, comprising two ten-day and three seven-day individual chrono-biological cycles. The average daily dosage of Karlovy Vary mineral water is 1-1.5 litres. It is usually divided into three portions, which are drunk 30-60 minutes before the meal. The integrated balneotherapeutic cure allows different methods of treatment due to the peculiarities of the unique local mineral water.

Besides drinking, mineral water is used in various procedures, such as baths, water cure, water irrigation and detertion. Natural mud and peat are also used in a complementary manner and are very effective. Carbon dioxide, which extends the vessels, is used in carbonated baths, dry carbonated applications and is also applied under the skin to the acupunctural points - so called "gas injection technique".

A doctor will prescribe particular individual procedures after a thorough test of the patient's health. As a rule there is one main (i.e., bathing or water cure) and one supporting (electrotherapy and inhalations) procedure. The complex spa therapy in Karlovy Vary is very effective. Carried out with special knowledge from many fields of medicine, it has helped the majority of patients to improve their health profoundly.

The beauty and calm of the nature induce philosophical soul-searching, help to consolidate self-confidence and to overcome troubles of life. There is no doubt, that the Karlovy Vary spa area is a unique place in the world, which provides every opportunity for improving health and restoring one's internal balance.

Long medical practice shows. that spa curing and rehabilitation in Karlovy Vary are most effective when dealing with the following cases:

  • Digestive tract disorders:
    - Chronic functional stomach disorders and gullet diseases of a benign character
    - Ulcer diseases of the stomach and duodenum.
    - Problems after operations on the gullet, stomach and duode- num.
    - Chronic enteric disorders
    - Problems after heavy enteric infections, irritated colon, retention
    - Chronic enteric inflammation
    - Problems after an enteric operation
    - Chronic gall and bile duct diseases
    - Problems after acute pancreatic inflammations
    - Chronic hepatopathy
    - Chronic pancreatitis
  • Metabolic disorders:
    - Diabetes and sequelae
    - Obesity
    - Hyper cholesterol and hyper lipoprotein in blood
  • Motor disorders:
    - Metabolic diseases of joints, gout
    - Painful diseases of spinal column of functional or dege nerative character
  • Rehabilitation after complex treatment of cancer cases (pro-vided there has been no relapse.

The clinical effects of the Karlovy Vary's potable water:

  • Spasmolytic, meukolytic and antiflogistic effects: the water favours enteric motility and quantitative changes in the spectrum of the enteric microflora.
  • Effect on exogenous and endogenous pancreas secretion.
  • Promoting the choleric and cholekinetic functions (formation and exudation of gall) as well as blood supply to the liver.
  • Impact on metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Preventive treatment in regard to formation of choleste rol, urea, cystic and calcium-phosphate concretions.
  • Depuration of kidneys and improving of its functions.

Contraindication of the spa cure:

- Acute infections of all kinds.
- Stenosis and cancers of alimentary tract.
- Poor working of the cardiovascular system.
- Renal insufficiency with edemas.
- Pregnancy. 


One, Two & Three Week Complete Spa Therapy Packages based on:

a) accommodation: 


one-room small apartment - 1 bedsit, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 3, 4) for 1 person

7.000 crowns/apartment/week
13.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
19.000 crowns/apartment/3weeks
one-doubleroom small apartment - 1 bedsit, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 3, 4) for 2 persons
7.500 crowns/apartment/week
14.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
20.500 crowns/apartment/3weeks
one-room apartment - 1 bedsit, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 5, 6, 8) for 1 person
10.000 crowns/apartment/week
19.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
27.000 crowns/apartment/3weeks
one-doubleroom apartment - 1 bedsit, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 5, 6, 8) for 2 persons
10.500 crowns/apartment/week
20.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
28.500 crowns/apartment/3weeks

one-3bedsroom apartment - 1 bedsit, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 5, 6, 8) for 3 persons

12.500 crowns/apartment/week
23.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
33.000 crowns/apartment/3weeks


one-4bedsroom apartment - 1 bedsit, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 5, 6, 8) for 4 persons
14.000 crowns/apartment/week
26.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
35.000 crowns/apartment/3weeks

two-rooms apartment - 1 bedsit + 1 doubleroom, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 7) for 2 persons
15.000 crowns/apartment/week
28.500 crowns/apartment/2weeks
43.500 crowns/apartment/3weeks
two-rooms apartment - 1 bedsit + 1 doubleroom, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 7) for 3 - 4 persons
18.000 crowns/apartment/week
34.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
52.000 crowns/apartment/3weeks


two-rooms apartment - 1 bedsit + 1 doubleroom, bathroom with WC and shower or bath, kitchen (apartment 7) for 5 - 6 persons
20.000 crowns/apartment/week
37.000 crowns/apartment/2weeks
54.000 crowns/apartment/3weeks

b) individual treatments:

Treatments without medical prescription
Thermal water bath 355,- Underwater Massage 495,-
Pearl bath 355,- Classical Massage Partial 360,-
Whirlpool Bath 260,- Classical Massage Overall 600,-
Alternating Leg Bath 140,- Alternating Leg Shower 355,-
Water Cure Slightly Excit. 355,- Swimming pool + sauna 90,-
Foot Reflexive Massage 430,- Children to 12 Years 45,-
Aromatherapy 540,- Children to 4 Years Free
Medical Examination 940,- Check Examination 530.-
Prescription of a Drinking Cure 310,- Physician´s Consultation
(w/o Treatment Prescription)

Treatments on medical prescription only
Carbonated Water Bath 390,- Remedial Gymn. Individual 260,-
Iodine Bath 390,- Remedial Gymn. Group 175,-
Ingredient Bath Calmonal 390,- Inhalation Individual 115,-
Mud Bath 490,- Mouth Irrigation 255,-
Peat Compress 250,- Diadynamic 115,-
Mud Pack Small 470,- Diathermy 115,-
Mud Pack Big 710,- Ultrasound 185,-
Paraffin Packs 255,- 4 Tanks Bath 185,-
Lymphodrainage by Appl. 380,- Träbert´s Current 115,-
Lymphodrainage Manual 600,- Endomed-Vacotron 115,-
Reflexive Massage 375,- Magnetotherapy 185,-
Phyaction 115,- Pneumopuncture 115,-

Prices are given in CZK and without any provision

Sightseeing of Spa Building No V (Only Groups) 30 Kc / 1 person
8% discount by taking the cures for more than 4.000,- CZK (single person)
Cancellation 10% (by recommendation of physician 0%)

c)"Relaxation stays":


1. Fit for a king! And for you too! "La belle époque of Karlovy Vary

15 days - Sunday - Sunday - 30 treatments, medical examination, prescription for a drinking cure
bath (pearl bath) - 4 sessions,
bath (carbonated, calmonal or iodine) - 4 sessions,
classic back massage - 4 sessions
underwater massage - 4 sessions
water cure - 4 sessions
Mudpack - 4 sessions
6 sessions in any of the swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool
Tour of Karlovy Vary, Tour of the geyser channeling mechanism, Spa walks, 3 walks + 1 walking tours information booklet, local visits - 3 trips to Jan Becher, Moser, Leander Loucky, Travel card - 2 weekly travel cards valid for the integrated transportation system in Karlovy Vary
price: 11450 crowns
evening entertainment: á 250 crowns
additional excursions: West Bohemian Spas or Prague 500-750 crowns
2. Health and relaxation week
8 days - Sunday - Sunday - 16 treatments
bath (pearl bath) - 3 sessions,
classic back massage - 3 sessions
underwater massage - 1 sessions
hydromassage -  2 sessions
aromatherapy - 1 session
water cure - 2 sessions
4 sessions in any of the swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool
Tour of Karlovy Vary, Tour of the geyser channeling mechanism, Spa walks, 3 walks + 1 walking tours information booklet, local visit trip to Jan Becher, Travel card - 1 weekly travel card valid for the integrated transportation system in Karlovy Vary
price: 4870 crowns
evening entertainment: á 250 crowns
3. Improve your health and fitness at the spa, enjoy being lazy bone at home!
8 days - Sunday - Sunday - 20 treatments
bath (pearl bath) - 2 sessions,
classic back massage - 3 sessions
underwater massage - 2 sessions
hydromassage -  3 sessions
alternating leg shower - 2 sessions
water cure - 2 sessions
6 sessions in any of the swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool
Tour of Karlovy Vary, Tour of the geyser channeling mechanism, Spa walks, 6 walks + 1 walking tours information booklet, local visit trip to Jan Becher, Travel card - 1 weekly travel card valid for the integrated transportation system in Karlovy Vary
price: 5670 crowns
biking, golf, tennis contract price
4. Magic Water - Beauty
8 days - Sunday - Sunday - 20 treatments
classic full massage - 1 session
hydromassage -  2 sessions
aromatherapy - 1 session
massage Sigoroll - 3 times 20 minutes
peat face musk - 3 sessions
lymh drainage by appliance - 2 sessions
solarium - 3 times 15 minutes
6 sessions in any of the swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool
Tour of Karlovy Vary, Tour of the geyser channeling mechanism, Cosmetic package (hair-dresser, cosmetics, manicure, pedicure), Travel card - 1 weekly travel card valid for the integrated transportation system in Karlovy Vary
price: 4190 crowns
cosmetics - 600 750 crowns
hair dresser - 300 - 500 crowns
manicure - 250 crowns
pedicure - 330 - 400 crowns
evening of entertainment - 250 crowns
laser - price according to services
biking, golf, tennis contract price
5. (Not just) for seniors!
15 days - Sunday - Sunday - 26 treatments, medical examination, prescription for a drinking cure. The spa doctor will prescribe a suitable treatment for you (with particular reference to your locomotive organs or digestive systems)
bath (carbonated, calmonal or iodine) - 6 sessions,
classic back massage - 4 sessions
underwater massage - 2 sessions
hydro massage - 2 sessions
Mudpack or paraffin pack - 4 sessions
electrotherapy - 4 sessions
4 sessions in any of the swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool
Tour of Karlovy Vary, Tour of the Geyser channeling mechanism, Spa walks, 6 walking tours of the town + 1 information booklet, local visit trip to Jan Becher, health lecture, Travel card - 2 weekly travel cards valid for the integrated transportation system in Karlovy Vary
price: 9930 crowns
additional excursions: to Loket (bus, guide) 250 crowns
6. Karlovy Vary - cultural scene
8 days - Sunday - Sunday - 9 treatments
bath (pearl bath) - 1 session
classic back massage - 1 session
underwater massage -  1 sessions
aromatherapy - 1 session
hydro massage  - 1 session
water cure - 1 session
3 sessions in any of the swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool
Tour of Karlovy Vary, Tour of the Geyser channeling mechanism, In the footsteps of the famous, Learn about giants of the cultural world at one of talks, Local visit trip to Jan Becher, Travel card - 1 weekly travel card valid for the integrated transportation system in Karlovy Vary
price: 3960 crowns
3 scheduled cultural events á 250 crowns
cosmetic packet small - 1000 crowns
f) SPA OFFER 2003:
1. RELAXATION (water cure, classic back massage, swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool) price: 756 crowns
2. WATER TOUCH (water cure, underwater massage, swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool) price: 895 crowns
3. BEAUTY A (Hydromassage, Peat face musk, swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool) price: 650 crowns
4. BEAUTY B (Massage Sigoroll 3 times 10 minutes, Peat face musk, aromatherapy, swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool) price: 860 crowns
5. SENIORS (Exercises in the pool, remedial gymnastics on guided spa walkin tours, alternating leg shower) price: 640 crowns
6. BESPOKE PACKAGE(choice of 3 treatments : pearl bath 355 crowns, water cure 355 crowns, underwater massage 495 crowns, hydromassage 395 crowns, classic back massage 360 crowns, swimming pool, hot air bath, steam bath, whirlpool 90 crowns) 




  • E48 - 60km from the German boarder and 120 km from Prague.

  • E49 - 80 km from Plzen


  • Schirnding - Cheb - Karlovy Vary

  • Marianske Lazne - Karlovy Vary

  • Johanngeorgensstadt - Karlovy Vary

Bus Transport:

  • Region: Cheb, Sokolov, Marianske Lazne, Jachymov, Ostrov, Bozi Dar

  • Czech republic: Prague, Brno, Plzen, Kladno, Jihlava, Uherske Hradiste, Ceske Budejovice, Pisek, Jindrichuv Hradec, Melnik, Mlada Boleslav, Jicin, Hradec Kralove, Nachod


  • Austria: Vienna

  • Germany: Nuremberg, Wurzburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Marktredwitz, Weiden, Chemnitz, Annaberg

  • Netherlands: Eindhoven, Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht

  • Slovakia: Trebisov, Trencin, Liptovsky Mikulas, Poprad, Presov, 

  • Ukraine: Lvov

  • Belorussia: Brest, Minsk



airport Karlovy Vary

Carlsbad International Airport - Olšová Vrata was built in 1929 and modernized in 1999 and 2000. It can take private, charter and commercial flights. Flying companies ČSA and Aeroflot provide scheduled service Moscow - Carlsbad. Flights Tel Aviv - Carlsbad are also provided during spa season.

Flight schedules is available at The airport can be reached by public transport line No. 8 to the "Letiště" station.


Carlsbad Airport,
Olšová Vrata, tel. 333 11 02
Ticket Sale and Booking:
ČSA, Mírové nám. 2, tel. 322 78 55
Information on Flight Schedules:
ČSA, Mírové nám. 2, tel. 322 57 60
Airport Customs Checkpoint,
Olšová Vrata, tel. 333 10 33


Karlovy Vary's Airport

Karlovy Vary-AIRPORT-Karlovy Vary (only Thuersday, Sunday)

Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary Airport

Karlovy Vary

bus station




bus station

03.00 p.m.

03.10 p.m.

03.30-04.10 p.m.

04.30 p.m.

04.40 p.m.

Prague's Airport

valid from: 2.3.2003

Praha, terminal Florenc
Praha, Dejvicka
Praha, Airport Ruzyne
Karlovy Vary, Terminal
Karlovy Vary, Trznice
Days of week
1.5. - 30.9 2003
5.10.-13.12. 2003
from 2.3.03

Karlovy Vary, Atrium
Karlovy Vary, Terminal
Praha, Airport Ruzyne
Praha, Dejvicka
Praha, terminal Florenc
Days of week:
4.5. - 28.9 2003
5.10.-13.12. 2003
from 2.3.03
5.7.- 13.7. 2003


History of the Town and its Architecture


It most likely all began with the Royal Hunt ...


Loket/click to enlarge Old fortress Loket. Lithography
of T. G. Funk dated 1680

There, where the River Ohre - one of the tributaries of the Elbe - forms a curve and is configured in such a way as to remind one of an arm bent at the elbow, has stood, since the middle of the 13th century, the castle fortress of Loket (Elbow). In the 14th century here was sited one of the residences of the King of the Czech lands and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles IV, the very same man whose name is given to the town, the region, University of Central Europe, Charles Bridge in Prague and to a whole plethora of other places on Czech territory which have linked their existence to this powerful historical figure. The hilly, bush-covered forests and places carved out of river valleys which surrounded Loket seemed at the time, to the Emperor and his entourage, ideal as a place for hunting.

Discovery/click to enlarge Discovery of Vridlo.
Painting by W.Kandler, 1878

Charles IV came here quite regularly and legend has it that he discovered a mineral spring here. For decades this was passed down by word of mouth. But only in the middle of the 16th century was it first mentioned in the history book of Caspar Bruschius. Later, in 1571, the legend was described in full in the book of another historian, Fabian Sommer, and gained a semblance of verisimilitude.

According to this ancient legend, Charles IV was tracking a stag with a pack of dogs. On the bank of the river Tepla - a tributary of the Ohre - one of the dogs fell into a hot spring and scalded itself. Approaching the spring, subsequently named Vridlo (Geyser), the King was struck by this unusual creation of nature. Then, in the presence of his physicians, he supposedly declared that the waters had curative properties and could cure many serious maladies.

Incidentally, the thermal springs were long known to those living locally. Not for nothing did the Slavs call this place Vary (the plural form of their word "boiling") . But it was actually Charles IV, according to legend, having discovered this live geyser, who gave the order to found a settlement on the site, which was then elevated, around 1348, to the rank of a town, later receiving bearing his name. Quite possibly, that is how Karlovy Vary came to be.

In any case, it is certainly true that ten years later an imperial hunting lodge was constructed here, and also a prismatic tower built in Gothic style, never once reconstructed and preserved to this day.

Castle Tower/click to enlarge Prismatic Castle tower

An Imperial edict of October 14, 1370 granted the citizens of the new town various rights, freedoms and privileges, which since olden times have been preserved by the Loket town authorities. At that time, amidst the rocky crevices of the Tepla River valley, there were something like 40 dwellings.

In 1401 the son of the Great Emperor Vaclav IV gave the town a security guarantee against arbitrary rule by various predatory mercenaries who were liable to act in the interests of one warring clan or another. Probably, this was why even the bloody Hussite wars (1419-1434) avoided the geyser valley. After that, Karlovy Vary's privileges were confirmed by other Czech rulers, such as Sigismund Luxembourgsky, Ladislav Pohrobek, Jiri of Podebrad and Vladislav Jagellonsky.

Magdalene/click to enlarge Gothics church of St Mary Magdelane's

The development of Karlovy Vary continued, the town was built quickly by the standards of the day. The best building plots were allotted to Church projects.

St. Ondrej/click to enlarge St Ondrej's church

As is known, by 1485, on the right bank of the River Tepla, a single nave Gothic Roman Catholic Church began to rise - St Mary Magdalene. And the appearance in the town cemetery of the remains of St Ondrej can be dated approximately to 1500. There was also civil construction. In 1520, on the left bank of the river, a town hall building was raised, and in 1531, from monies received by way of the resort's takings, a charity hospital of The Holy Ghost was founded.

A plan of the town preserved from the 16th century confirms that the banks of the Tepla were then built on more than other places. On the left side stood the trade and administrative centre: the market, the town hall, and higher up, on the rocks, the prismatic Castle tower. On the right hand side was laid out the triangular square of St Mary Magdelane's from where the road to Prague led. The square and the centre were joined by a bridge. The architectural aspect of the buildings speaks of the predominating influence of two styles of the time - Gothic and Renaissance.

In those days ever more visitors were coming to Karlovy Vary, and the resort facilities began to be built on the basis of the scientific methodology (as then practiced) of treatment using mineral waters.

The popularisation of the resort was helped by the famous Czech humanist and poet Bohuslav Hasistejnsky (1460-1510). His ode, dedicated to the geyser at Karlovy Vary was first published in Latin and French in 1509, going on to be translated into 24 languages.

The town had become a little cramped and while the central part was creaking at the seams, it was branching out to new lands. The richest locals invested money in buying up woodlands and land plots in neighbouring villages.

However, the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the next one were in truth a black period in the life of Karlovy Vary. The town suffered a natural calamity of such destructive force that it's very future existence seemed under threat.

Picture/click to enlarge Gothic Karlovy Vary. Old engraving

First was the flooding over the banks of the River Tepla (1582). Of the 102 dwellings, flooding completely destroyed 36 and partially ruined 18.

Then in 1604 a great blaze was started, as result of which only three houses were left standing. Of everything created by the generations, only memories remained, and some preserved fundamentals, but the enterprising nature of the citizens had not disappeared, a nature that seemed to get stronger with each woe. They did not fall into despair but began to collect the means for overcoming the consequences of the fire from all across the land. Sacrifices came from towns , nobility and citizens of substance, special ambassadors went abroad returning with money. The enlightened Emperor Rudolph II of the Austrian Hapsburg dynasty was ruling at the time. He was renowned not only as a patron of the arts but as a jealous defender of the Treasury's finances. In 1609 the ruler embarked on what was then an unprecedented step for him: he freed the town from all tax obligations for five years and earmarked for construction the Treasury's own plots of land.

Ode to Vridlo/click to enlarge The marble plaque with the Latin text
The Ode to Vridlo (Mlynska Kolonada)

The town rose from the ashes, like the mythical Phoenix. Within a few years dozens of new homes had been built, and stone ones besides, not wooden like before. In 1614 neighbouring villages of Dalovice, Vseborovice and Vysoka were bought up and became new town quarters. However, the Thirty Years War between the Catholics and the Protestants in Europe, which broke out in 1618, brought new trials and tribulations. Karlovy Vary was pillaged both by interventionist forces (Saxons and Swedes), and by the Austrians called in to defend the town. The people's lot was ruin, epidemic and hunger.

Litography/click to enlarge The town of Karlovy Vary in 1650. Lithography

With the ending of military hostilities, a new era of progress quickly took hold. The essence of a new town is depicted in a 1650 lithograph: a town built on the site of the 1604 fire and reconstructed after the war. We can see that the general plan had practically stayed the same in the 17th century. Houses stretched along a narrow river valley, surrounded on all sides by hills. At the same time a broadening of the town was undertaken, by way of construction on the slopes of the hills facing the river. Multi-storeyed houses appeared with high triangular pediments. Between buildings the space in the form of gardens or courtyards had disappeared. The entrance to these houses was straight from the street.

There is documentary evidence to show that at that time in Karlovy Vary there were registered 122 houses and 1,454 inhabitants. The most prestigious place was considered to be the market area and the Geyser. The cost of land adjoining them was the highest. Therefore, only citizens of real substance built on or acquired land for housing here.

The second half of the 17th century was marked by an enlivening of all aspects of commercial activities of the town. Praise for the salubrious springs attracted ever more people to the place, all wanting deliverance from ailments or to strengthen their health.

Thanks to the efforts of the doctors and the enterprise of the citizens, the prestige of Karlovy Vary as an international resort continued to grow. It had become a fashionable place for meeting aristocrats from Austria and Germany, Russia and Poland.

At the same time, local crafts were flourishing, owing to the rich visitors. Craftsmen working with tin, made imitation silver dishes and utensils; armourers crafted masterpieces, for example swords and daggers decorated with encrusted silver and gold and which were the pride of many noblemen's arsenals and collections. Even such simple items, such as hairpins and stud pins were produced here with particular craftsmanship. There was a special branch of craft preparing glasses and cups for drinking the curative waters with glass fretwork and engraving.

The souvenirs that visitors to Karlovy Vary regarded above all else were the inlays made out of so called Vridlovec - petrified mineral salts.

Box/click to enlarge

Box garnished with Vridlovec

The economic upturn stimulated a building boom at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, during which Gothic and Renaissance styles were finally ousted as architectural schools by the new style - Baroque. It was precisely in this style, in 1701, that the first monumental public building, called the Saxon Hall was erected, and next to which later (1728) was built the Czech Hall in the same style. Both occupied the square where today stands the Grand Hotel Pupp complex. Thanks to those two buildings, there arose new universal reference points in Karlovy Vary. The resort boulevard stretched out to the new construction sites, for which on the left bank, in a place named Stara Louka (Old Mead), they had to take part of the rock, and the long axis of the town went right up to the Brezova region. The construction continued both near to the Geyser and on the right bank of the River Tepla. Today's Stara Louka and Nova Louka streets, situated one opposite the other embankment, became second only to the Geyser itself as focal points for social life and a place for parading and for holiday walks.

Vridlovec/click to enlarge Vridlovec

During the first half of the 18th century Karlovy Vary enjoyed the extreme benevolence of the ruling Hapsburg dynasty. In 1707 Emperor Joseph I granted it the status of a free royal city, something that provided a whole host of important advantages and privileges. The local authorities received the opportunity not only to set and maintain order for the inhabitants and visitors, but to finance, thanks to a special state subsidy, construction of major social projects. At that time the first official resort treatment centre appeared - Mlýnské Lázně.

Czech Hall/click to enlarge Saxon and Czech Halls. Painting dated 1802

Development of the resort business continued along many directions: new springs were equipped, the scientific-medical centre making use of the mineral waters was renovated. Outstanding local physician David Becher (1725-1792) directly took part in the construction of the resort, systematising the basic methods of curative therapy: namely the regularity of taking the waters and bathing, a programme of complementary procedures, including nature walks. The "ethos" of Karlovy Vary affected local artists and designers, by whose work today one can get a visual impression of the life of the town in that period.

Buste/click to enlarge Bust of Peter I

For marketing purposes a list was regularly published and updated of foreign VIPs who came here. The numbers grew, prompting frequent visits to the resort by representatives of the Imperial Palace. One of the famous visitors was the Russian Tsar Peter I. He took a course of treatment here in 1711-1712 and left some lasting memories of himself by way of numerous legends. For example, how he took part in the construction work on the "U Pava" House, as well as competing in prestigious shooting competitions, and how he climbed on a horse bare-back and rode cross-country to a great high point where today stands his bust.

Trinity/click to enlarge The Baroque pillar of Trinity by the sculptor Josef Oswald was erected in 1716 in order to thank the Lord because the plague epidemic, that was ravaging Czech lands at the time,
did not touch Karlovy Vary

The growth of the international significance of Karlovy Vary prompted the local authorities to initiate construction of a new temple, which in its dimensions and architectural qualities answered the spirit of the age. Emperor Charles VI, who visited the town in 1732, liked the idea and he allocated resources from the Treasury for the purpose. The venerable architect Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer was brought in. And there in 1738 on the spot of the modest Gothic Catholic Church of St Mary Magdalene arose the most sublime temple of the same name, but in the Baroque style, and today it still adorns the resort.

Church/click to enlarge Baroque church of St Mary Magdelane's

The new scale of the town urgently demanded special attention for its infrastructure. Following the cleaning of the resort's boulevard, the banks of the River Tepla were strengthened. In order to head off the constant threat of flooding, a personal edict of the Emperor's Minister and High Counsellor, Count Rudolph Chotek, allowed work to be completed to regulate the water level.

However, a great tragedy struck in 1759 Đ again not because of the water, but from fire - just as a century and a half earlier. In five hours 224 homes were razed to the ground. Many were injured and the magnificent temple of St Mary Magdalene was affected. The construction along the embankment in the upper reaches of the River Tepla was preserved, approximately from a point which is today's Elephant on the side of the Grand Hotel Pupp, where stood the Saxon and the Czech Halls. For a long time after the fire the local council held its sessions there, having lost its own building.

Post House/click to enlarge The Post House. Old painting

The basic tendency that showed itself after the fire was the systematic construction and erection of multi-storey stone houses with tiled roofs and with rich finishing and facades. In 1762 the health centre Mlynske Lazne was modernised. In 1777, under a scheme by David Becher, the Geyser's hall was built. In 1788 an existing temporary stage was replaced by a newly-built town theatre, and in 1791 a place for relaxation for guests, "The Post House", was opened, soon becoming a cultural meeting place, where the Josef Labitsky symphony orchestra and other famous musicians gave recitals. A year and the town was adorned with a new wooden colonnade over at the New Spring (what is today's Rusalcin spring).

Findlater/click to enlarge Findlater's hut

The construction projects were financed from various sources. A significant sum for these aims was sacrificed by the ruler of the Czech lands, the Austrian Empress Marie Terezie. From 1764, at the suggestion of David Becher, the preparation for export of geyser salts was launched. As for the development of the town, more and more rich and famous people were coming here - something that swelled the Treasury, facilitating an increase in expenditure on the inhabitants. In 1795 a special "resort tax" was introduced. And in 1806 Emperor Franz I granted local entrepreneurs new benefits formulated like so: Anyone building a fire-proof house in the central district of town shall be exempt from payment of taxes for 12 years. On the cusp of the 18th and 19th centuries Karlovy Vary began to take on the aspect it has today: the image of a colonnaded town, rising over curative springs, a town with wide boulevards and beautiful buildings, of sanatoria-hotels, a town with a rich cultural and social life, that enjoyed worldwide renown. In 1810 there were 450 homes in Karlovy Vary. Visitors" generosity provided an opportunity for development of a network of pleasant forest walking paths on the edge of town. A famous patron of the Arts who had a hand in the works was Lord Findlater. An important project was the laying of the winding road in the direction of Prague in 1804-1806, strengthened by support walls (today's Prazska Street).

Post card/click to enlarge Karlovy Vary dated 1790. Old postcard

In the middle of the 18th century the architectural image of the town began to change gradually under the influence of Classicism. Following the aftermath of the fire of 1759 it had begun to predominate in the kind of building facades, and was even more clearly seen in its specific variety - the Empire style, which originated in France under Emperor Napoleon I and had become fairly widespread in Europe at that time. In 1811 the Dresden architect A. Hissel erected a building in this style at the place where today's Mlynske Colonnade now stands. In 1826 an Empire style colonnade eclipsed constructions in the Baroque style which then surrounded the Geyser. In that period of years, two enchanting chapels were constructed in the style of late Empire - Doroteiny Nivy and Terezin Pramen. Finally, lamp lights came to adorn the town with general gas-light available, something that appeared on the initiative of the magistrates in 1815.

Spa Promenade/click to enlarge Spa promenade. Painting by V. Gause, 1895

The resort calling of Karlovy Vary determined and widely disseminated in the aesthetic life of the town the ideas of Romanticism, popular in Central Europe ever since the 18th century. Its influence was seen not only in architecture but in the town planning of space, in the creation of harmony in construction projects, with striking natural landscapes and picturesque Karlovy Vary countryside. The town's parks and views of the sites on walking routes made an impression on the romantic soul. The tendency to broaden the areas of greenery can be traced to a plan of the town for 1813.

Nivy/click to enlarge Dorotheiny Nivy.

In the second half of the 19th century, under the influence of change in Europe, brought about by the French revolution and the industrial revolution, the profile of visitors changed too. In place of the nobility and the high-born personages came the representatives of the new bourgeois class. Then the town became the centre of political life: it hosted meetings of European diplomats and international conferences. There were important changes for the better also in the structure of the town administration. After March 1848 the basic unit of land administration for the Austrian monarchy - which Karlovy Vary was part of - became the settlement, headed by elected councils of representatives. The combination of developing capitalism and the efforts of the town administration, intent on creating conditions for receiving a large number of visitors, brought a new phenomenon to the architecture of Karlovy Vary - Historicism. The essence of this was to marry the achievements of maximum expediency with regard to the demands and tastes of the new era - to use to the limit those achievements and the best traditions of the past. And so appeared many "Neo" styles - Neo-Classicism, Neo-Renaissance and others.

Military Resort/click to enlarge Military resort sanatorium. Painting dated 1855

A typical expression of the architectural tendencies of this period was the building of the Military resort sanatorium. With the permission of the Viennese government, Karlovy Vary doctor Gallus Hochberger and Count Evzen Cernin organised a collection of monies through a lottery. On August 18, 1853, according to a project by the architect Hagenauer, construction was begun on a monumental building on the left bank of the River Tepla, and July 12, 1855 saw the majestic opening of the sanatorium and the illumination of its chapel.

Its three-storey structure, made up of four wings, and forming a quadrangle, was distinguished by its strict symmetry, characteristic of an Austrian barracks, but enriched by elements of Neo-Renaissance. Unfortunately, the plans were lost and it is therefore difficult to reconstruct the detail of the building's interior, which has undergone great changes since then. We know that only the small chapel on the second floor is preserved today where you can find the group sculpture, created in 1856 by the Czech sculptor V. Levi.

Spa III/click to enlarge Lazne III, 1866

While continuing the search for architectural self-expression, the emerging town bourgeoisie merged with the surroundings which, in his book Historicism - architecture of the second half of the 19th century in Moravia and Silesia, the Czech researcher P. Zatloukal characterised as a striving to seem to be something else: The landowner-nobleman wants to appear as a knight of the Middle Ages, the aristocrat and cleric or merchant also want to present a different image.

It was precisely such a striving that prompted the local bourgeoisie to set about the brave projects in the style of Romantic Historicism, imbued with the traditions of English neo-Gothic and using Neo-Romanesque elements.

Mlyn Colonnade/click to enlarge Mlynska Colonnade, 1882

An example of such an approach was the erection alongside the Military sanatorium of the Lazne III building, a project that was given the blessing of the town council on April 13, 1863. The gala opening of this resort site took place on September 10, 1866. Also in the Neo-Romanesque style was constructed the Evangelical Church of St Peter on the right bank of the Tepla River. It only took on its final image after the facade was rebuilt in 1865 with its tower with pyramid roof, and alongside construction was started on a house for the clergyman, adorned, as the church, with Neo-Romanesque designs. The supporters of strict Historicism paid homage to the traditions of the past - but this style which combined in itself elements of the Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Gothic. The most significant work of strict historicism is the Mlynske colonnade, acknowledged as a masterpiece of Karlovy Vary architecture.

Geyser Colonnade/click to enlarge Vridelni Colonnade, 1900

The creation of a new colonnade right where two popular springs flow out onto the surface, was undertaken not only out of aesthetic considerations, but because the two colonnades in the Empire style which had stood here since 1827 could no longer cope with the influx of resort visitors.

Geyser Colonnade/click to enlarge Vridelni Colonnade, 1910. Interiers

At the end of the 1860s the town council turned to the Czech architect Josef Zitek, designer of the National Theatre in Prague and the city museum in Weimar (Germany). The construction started with a swing, but in 1871 was frozen in view of rising costs. Zitek was forced to re-work the project which became, as a result, a lot more modest but, as a consequence, construction of the colonnade was allowed to be completed practically in the form it is today. The architectural image of the resort at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century had been formed under the strong influence of ideas and practical work of the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, who built nearly 20 buildings in Karlovy Vary in total. They strove to take into account to the utmost requirements of the local client, using in their projects elements of the varied culture suggesting solutions that chimed in with the specific features of the surrounding landscapes.

Garden Colonnade/click to enlarge Garden Colonnade

The first of their resort projects was the Vridelni Colonnade (1879), then the colonnade at the Garden Spring and, finally, Trzni Colonnade. That was built in 1883 by the Viennese carpenter Osterreicher - in the Swedish style from wood, as a temporary construction. But it turned out that the wooden colonnade outlasted many more supposedly more durable structures of its time. And it was only after nearly 110 years that it was finally disassembled and replaced with an exact copy, preserving in such a way an original look to this very day.

Market Colonnade/click to enlarge Market (Trzni) Colonnade, 1883.
(In front of the Prismatic tower.)

In 1886 the firm Fellner and Helmer accomplished construction of a new Town Theatre. A proportionally balanced building situated in the centre of the resort zone, on the square, it took shape as a result of the demolition of the old theatre and several neighbouring buildings. The functional specifics and the value of the buildings were underlined by the diverse architecture and by other elements, carried from the Baroque and Rococo epochs. The whole interior creates the impression of harmony and comfort. The curtain on which is depicted a complex figurative composition under the name Apotheosis of poetic art, was created by the artists famous under the group name "Kunstler company", who specialised in the sphere of decorative and allegorical pictures.

The curtain/click to enlarge The curtain of the Town Theatre

Theatre/click to enlarge The Town Theatre

One of the most significant buildings, built by a Viennese firm in Karlovy Vary was the sanatorium Lazne I, previously named The Imperial. Among the latter works of the firm can be numbered the Grand Hotel Pupp complex, which had grown up on the place where stood the Czech Hall had once stood having been bought back in 1775 by the confectioner Jurgen Georgy Pupp, and subsequently run by several generations of the family as a hotel.

Spa I/click to enlarge Lazne I

The Great Concert Hall, opened in 1907, became the crown of the complex. One can find in it elements of the Neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau. The extremely complex and rich interior of the hall reminds one yet again just why the firm Fellner and Helmer received such wide renown in Europe.

GH Pupp/click to enlarge Grand Hotel Pupp

Concert Hall/click to enlarge Grand Hotel Pupp  Concert Hall

As a whole, despite the serious flooding of 1890, the final decade of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century - right up to the First World War, as a rule, is considered to be the Golden Age of Karlovy Vary. In addition to the magnificent works of this period mentioned above, one must add a multitude of distinctive dwellings and administrative buildings: the Anglican Church of St Lucas in its romantic brick Neo-Gothic style, the synagogue and a Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Peter and Paul built in the style of late Historicism in 1897.

St. Lucas/click to enlarge St Lucas Cathedral

Karlovy Vary architects and artists did not escape contemporary influences of Europe of that time - the so-called Art Nouveau which showed itself, above all, in matters of decor and design of town structures, for example, in stained glass panels and paintings, wall clocks and other works of art, that adorned the interiors. The most beautiful and stylistically pure building of this type in Karlovy Vary is considered to be the Zawojski House which appeared in 1906 not very far from Trzni colonnade. In the Art Nouveau style with elements of eclecticism it was the building of the former Savings Bank.

Flood/click to enlarge Flood in 1890

Military Resort/click to enlarge Military resort sanatorium and Garden Colonnade.
View from Dvorak Gardens

Pre-war construction was practically completed with the erection in 1912 of the majestic sanatorium Imperial which was the pre-eminent building bar none for its exquisite construction and unique conception. It met all demands for a modern hotel and resort architectural complex. Multi-storeyed, comprising two wings with towers, crowned at its central section with a lantern which highlighted the effort to strengthen to the maximum the effect of the swooping mass above. The strong relief impression creates a portal with pilasters and adornings. This is an example of eclectic architecture, conjoining elements of Classicism and later Historicism.

Russian Church/click to enlarge Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Peter and Paul

Zawoiski House/click to enlarge Zawojski House

At that time the town had become an important node of the European railway network and was used to receiving numerous travellers. Thanks to the efforts of scientists and medics, new methods of treatment using the curative waters of Karlovy Vary were discovered and mastered - even such serious illnesses such as diabetes. Famous representatives of European culture, science and politics used to come here. The number of visitors at the resort grew at a surprising rate. For example, in 1911, 70,935 people received treatment here. Not for nothing did they long remember the sunset of the Austro-Hungarian empire as the Good Old Days, the end of which heralded war and its aftermath of major changes in the life of Europe and the world.

Imperial/click to enlarge Spa hotel Imperial

Insurance / click to enlarge Frontage of the Insurance company building

Thermal/click to enlarge Spa hotel Thermal

After the emergence of the Czech Republic in 1918, the border areas with Germany, including Karlovy Vary, fell into a difficult position. Germans who had been living there for hundreds of years tried to set up an autonomous province. The army and the police got involved and in the riots people died. Friction between Germans and Czechs continued and this clearly did not add any popularity to the resort. The economic crisis of the 30s in Europe did not leave Karlovy Vary unscathed. Hundreds of small and medium-sized businessmen, including owners of hotels and guest houses, were ruined. Nevertheless, thanks to private initiative and state grants, a few new significant buildings did appear in the town between the wars. The most important was the dam on the River Tepla in Brezova (1936). It always averts the threat of high waters. The capacity for tourists grew as a result of the Lazne VI modern resort project coming on stream in 1927. The building of the hospital insurance company and the church at the Monastery of the Redeemed (1931-33) came to adorn the trading centre of Karlovy Vary. In 1932 an iron and concrete bridge, unique in its technical qualities, was thrown across the River Ohre leading in the direction of the Upper railway station. At the end of the Second World War Karlovy Vary was many times subjected to bombardment. The buildings of the Upper and Lower railway stations, the Rybare bridgehead and the northern quarter of the resort, bore a heavy brunt. In the post-war period nothing new conceptually was introduced to the image of the resort. A trading zone was actively built up and the suburban peripheral dwelling areas. Of the interesting buildings of the second half of the 20th century one can name, first of all, the spa hotel Thermal, the new Geyser colonnade and the building of the production association "Computer Technology". Following the Velvet Revolution of 1989 a period of entrepreneurial activity opened up, with a flood of local and foreign investment. Dozens of sanatoria and hotels, following reconstruction, moved to the levels of international standards. The resort town is getting younger, better and looks to the future with hope.

Geyser Colonnade Today/click to enlarge Vridelni Colonnade. Interior


Dr. Burachovic: History of the city

motto: "Karlovy Vary it is a diamond in an emerald setting" (A. von Humboldt)

The founding and evolution of the Karlovy Vary was always indivisibly combined with the beneficial effects of the warm, curing springs. They marked the history, architecture, economy and whole spirit of the city. These springs have fascinated mankind and stirred its imagination since the old ages. Legend states that the Karlovy Vary mineral hot springs were discovered during the first half of the 14th century by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV while on a deer hunting expedition. This spa city was founded at the junction of the Tepla and Ohre Rivers during the reign of Charles IV. This wasn't the accidental and romantic act that is portrayed in the old legend but a result of the natural evolution of an area already famous for its curing tradition.

The actual founding date of the city is not known but the date of settlement around the geyser has been placed at approximately 1350. Actual traces of man in areas surrounding Karlovy Vary go back much further. Archeological findings have proved that on the site of today's city there were a few settlements from the Stone Age era. Evidence exists that people lived in a settlement near Drahovice during the bronze era. In the neighbourhood of Karlovy Vary, documentation exists confirming the existence of Slavic settlements in Tasovice and Sedlec. It has been proven that people lived on the present-day site of Karlovy Vary as early as the 13th century. We assume that even at the time the curing effects of Karlovy Vary thermal springs were known and utilised. Written history of the geyser town starts on the 14th of August 1370 when Charles IV gave the already existing settlement, a list of rights and freedoms similar to those that were given to the nearby royal city of Loket. The privileged status of Karlovy Vary as a spa is documented in the numerous privileges given and ratified by rulers of the Czech country up to the year 1858. Between the Middle Ages and the end of the 16th century, Karlovy Vary's spa treatment consisted mostly of bathing in the thermal water. Treatment involving the drinking of geyser water was begun by Dr. Vaclav Payer. In  Leipzig he published the firs expert book about the Karlovy Vary cure. In this book, in addition to bathing in the geyser water, he recommended also drinking it. After 1600, local doctors Michael Reudenius and Johann Stephan Stroebelbergerbecame additional enthusiastic proponents of the drinking cure. In the 17th century the drinking cure became more popular than the bathing treatment and around the year 1750, in some cases people drank between 50 and 70 cups of water daily. 

Two natural disasters, one at the end of the 16th century and another at the beginning of the 17th century, unfortunately affected the prosperity and construction of new facilities. On May 9th, 1582, a great flood submerged Karlovy Vary. On the 13th of August 1604 the city was almost totally destroyed by fire when 99 of its existing 102 buildings burned down. Despite its privileged spa status, not even Karlovy Vary could avoid the suffering of the 30-year-war. Many times over the duration of the war, armies, fires, illnesses and hunger revaged the city. The uncertain times and economic results of the war years were evident in the decreased number of spa visitors which in turn affected the overall economy of the city. This meant that Karlovy Vary residents had to look for different sources of income in addition to the spa industry. As a result, in the 17th century there was a gradual increase in the number of typical Karlovy Vary trades. In the surrounding area there were tin mines and this led to production of tin tableware in Karlovy Vary. Other trades included gun making, production of needles, knives, scissors and medical instruments. A noticeable increase in the level of spa activity started at the end of the 17th century with the increase of rich, noble visitors from German, Russian and later, Polish royal courts. Great advertisements for Karlovy Vary were two spa stays by Czar Peter the Great in 1711 and 1712. 

Up to the end of the 17th century Karlovy Vary maintained its closed Gothic style with city gates and high density of buildings around geyser area. The dominant feature of the city was the Gothic tower of the former hunting castele of the Charles IV on the rock above the marketplace. In 1520 a city hall was built under this tower. Beside it was the city pharmacy and in 1531 the Hospital of St. Spirit was built across the street. On the right river bank of the Tepla River above the geyser stood the timber-framed, late Gothic style Church of Mary Magdalene, first mentioned in the year 1485. The St. Andrew Chapel was consecrated around the year 1500. It stands on the side of the Three Crosses Hill. The houses were mostly timber-framed with shingled roofs. 

The 18th century brought long decades of boom and glory to the spa city. In 1707 Kaiser Josef I ratified all privileges for Karlovy Vary and at the same time he proclaimed it to be a "free royal city" . In the first half of the 18th century, Karlovy Vary was favorite of the Habsburg dynasty especially the Empress Marie Teresa. The city's loyalty towards the Viennese court was positively rewarded in the financial grants given for the city's development and improvements of its government. In 1719, the city council proclaimed special city laws that regulated all spa life in detail. In 1739 new city rules called "Instructio politica" were accepted. As the spa treatments evolved, numerous public and spa buildings were erected. These included Sasky's Hall built in 1701 and the Czech hall which was constructed in 1728. The Grand Hotel Pupp later replaced these on the same site. On the site of today's Mill Spring, the first public spa building was built in Karlovy Vary in 1711. At the beginning of the 18th century the town began growing in size. The area known as Stara Louka was covered with buildings that became the centre of the social life for the spa guests. In 1717 the spa area already had its first modest theatre.

Between the years 1732 and 1736 on the site of the original Gothic church a new Baroque cathedral St. Mary Magdalene was built according to the plans of architect Kilian Ignac Dienzenhofer. A very important spa doctor, David Becher, played a major role in the modernisation of Karlovy Vary's balneology with his life-long work. Dr.Becher started a line of new curing methods such as drinking the water by the springs, walks as a part of the therapy and a balance between the drinking and bathing cures and he also helped to build up Karlovy Vary. 

On 23rd of May 1759 a catastrophic fire that destroyed 224 buildings interrupted the promising spa boom of the first half of the 18th century. The effects of the fire were overcome in a relatively short time and the rebuilding of the city was done generously and according to a plan. Instead of the original timber frame buildings, taller stone houses with more floors, rich outside decorative façades and modern roofs were built. The original city gates were not rebuilt because they slowed down the city's growth. More and more spa visitors came into the beautiful, rebuilt city. With the growing number of visitors the Karlovy Vary it was getting richer and the city officials could spend more on expensive projects to improve the city's appearance. The financing of these projects was guaranteed by the proceeds of the spa tax that was established in 1795. In 1762 the Mill Spa was modernised. A modern geyser hall was built in 1777 that allowed the use of Dr. David Becher's spa method with the accent on drinking the water by the spring. Also at Dr. Becher's instigation Karlovy Vary produced and exported the geyser salt. The profits obtained from the sale of the salt partially financed the construction of a new theatre in 1788. One of the spa visitors' most favored places to visit , "Postovni Dvur" (The Postal Court) was built in 1791. This was later made famous when concerts by Josef Lybicky and his orchestra and numerous musicians were performed there. A wooden colonnade called New Spring was built a year later and it was the first construction of its kind in Karlovy Vary. It gave spa visitors the opportunity to remain by the springs even in bad weather. This colonnade was rebuilt by Dresden builder, Giesel in 1811. 

The most famous cultural centre for the nobles at the end of the 18th century was the Czech Hall which was purchased by a pastry chef Johann Georg Pupp in 1775. This was the beginning of the development of Karlovy Vary's biggest hotel and restaurant in the city, The Grand Hotel Pupp. The increase in the number of spa visitors led to the establishing of a record of visitors. They were called "Kurlisty". The first existing records are from the end of the 17th century. Until the year 1794 these were hand-written. From 1795 on, the Kurlisty were printed in the local Franieck publishing house.

The beginning of the 19th century brought another spa boom to Karlovy Vary. The spa city's prosperity was not threatened too much by uncertain times of the Napoleon wars. In the firts half of the 19th century, Dr. Becher's established curing method was further improved by line of excellent Karlovy Vary spa doctors. Most of the credit for these improvements goes to Dr. Jean de Carro, Dr. Rudolf Mannl, and Dr. Eduard Hlawaczek.

The generosity of rich visitors to Karlovy Vary sped up the development of the walking path network surrounding the spa. Around 1800, an important sponsor and lover of the spa city was Scottish Lord J.O. Findlater. He financed the construction of numerous forest promenades. Up until the First World War the combined lenght of all spa-walking paths around Karlovy Vary totaled 130 kilometres. In the 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century, the nacionalities of visitors meeting in Karlovy Vary took on a more international flavor.  In addition to the aristocracy, the European cultural elite was meeting by the geysers. Visit s by outstanding personalities are a traditional speciality of Karlovy Vary and greatly marked the cultural history of the city. We can remind you about some of the most important visitors at the break of the 18th and 19th centuries. They were J.W. Goethe, F. Schiller, T. Koerner, L. van Beethoven, F. Chopin and N. Paganini.

From the second third of the 19th century most of the spa visitors in the city were the rich city clients. As a result of the French Revolution the nobility gradually disappeared form the spa scene. Karlovy Vary became the favored place of numerous political and diplomatic meetings. In the year 1819 an important conference of Ministers was held by the geyser and was chaired by Austrian Chancellor K.V.L. Metternich. 

An important moment in Karlovy Vary history was the year 1844 when the city started exporting the geyser water i large quantities. The chemist A.M. Pleischl and spa doctor E. Hlawaczek were instrumental in exporting the geyser outside Karlovy Vary. The selling of mineral water and geyser products was an excellent source of income for the city. After 1860 in addition to the purely German population, a small community of Czechs began to grow in Karlovy Vary. They obtained jobs and settled here. The Slavic Club was established in 1881 to represent the Czech minority living here. Leaders of the organisation in its forty-year duration were the outstanding Czech doctors, E. Engel, F. Zatloukal, V. Janatka and M. Mixa.

The last third of the 19th century was an extensive period of construction work and building of modern spa projects in Karlovy Vary. This period gave the city its present-day appearance with its distinctive mark of history in its architecture. This was the birth of Karlovy Vary's fourth visage, the beauty of which we are enjoying up to today. The first look was a Gothic and Renaissance city destroyed by the fire in 1604. Baroque Karlovy Vary was burnt again in 1759. The outdated and small town appearance of the buildings in the Rococo, Classical, Empire and Biedermaier styles were gradually torn down during the reconstruction between 1870 and 1900. In their places were built modern and comfortably equipped new buildings that reflected the city's importance as the most famous spa location in Europe. Dominant new spa buildings such as the Military Spa (1855), the Geyser Colonnade (1879), the Mill Colonnade (1871-1881), the Market Colonnade (1883), Spa III (1866), the beautiful Kaiser's Spa (1895), a new theatre (1886), the Anglican Church (1877), Synagogue (1877) and Russian Orthodox Church (1897) were built.

The construction style of the spa was greatly influenced by Viennese architecture, represented in Karlovy Vary by two architects F.Fellner and H. Helmer. These two architects  designed twenty important buildings in Karlovy Vary. This huge construction boom before the First World War included the building of the International Grand Hotel Imperial in 1912. 

Of major importance for further development of  the city was its connection to European train network. In 1870 a connection from Karlovy Vary to Cheb was established. A year later the train started running between Prague and Karlovy Vary. Around 1900 the regional train network was improved by the addition of local railway lines from Karlovy Vary to Marianske Lazne (1898), Johanngeorgenstadt (1899) and Merklin (1902). The railway connection meant a drastic improvement in the economy and an unusual increase in the number of visitors. After the year 1860, the number of visitors grew rapidly thanks to the influence of the successful treatment of diabetes in Karlovy Vary. The spa's prosperity at the end of the last century was so drastic that the period is called "the golden age of Karlovy Vary". The only black date of this famous era was the 24th of November 1890 when the centre of the city was badly damaged by a huge flood. In addition to the modernisation of the spa institutions there was further developments in the theory and practice of Karlovy Vary's balneology. Local doctors L. Fleckles, P. Cartellieri, E. Gans, E. Hertzka and V.N. Kronser recorded a beneficial study in this field. A lot of attention was given to the use of Karlovy Vary's waters to treat diabetes, job-related illnesses and obesity. 

The social standings of Karlovy Vary before 1900 was drastically influenced by visit of leading representatives of European culture, science and politics. Some of these people who stayed near the geyser in the 19th century were: K. Marx, J. Brahms, R. Wagner, E. Grieg and other famous personalities. Shortly before the N.V. Gogol, F. Lizst, S. Freund, J. Barrande, H. Schliemann, T. Fontane, A. Dvorak beginning of the First World War, Karlovy Vary had the highest number of spa visitors during its history. For example, 70.935 patients were treated here in 1911. The First World War brought to an end the increasing development of the spa city which was certainly in the good old times combined with the spirit of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The war affected the coming of spa visitors and this had serious effect on the life of Karlovy Vary. Five hundred and fifteen med from Karlovy Vary died on European battlefields. The shortage of supplies meant hunger and misery even for the privileged spas. bells from churches and dogs suitable for pulling loads were confiscated for war purposes and rations were imposed on groceries, soap and tobacco products. There were social uprising. For example by the geyser on the 17th  and 18th of July 1918, women demonstrated against hunger.

After the First World War, spa life in Karlovy Vary was renewed quickly although the city never reached its pre-war level of visitors. War was the tragic milestone that changed life in Europe. The extinction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire unfavorably affected the prosperity of all  spas in its former holdings that also included Karlovy Vary. After the creation of the Czechoslovakian Republic in 1918 a complicated situation arose along its border.  Germans living here for centuries tried to maintain their customs, economic and political positions. In the border area therefore they tried to create an autonomic province called Sudetenland with its full right of  self-government of ethnic Germans. Their efforts were stamped out by action of the Czechoslovakian army and police even in Karlovy Vary. On the 4th and 5th  of March 1919 German citizens held large demonstrations for their right to self-government. These resulted in fights between demonstrators and Czech soldiers. Tragically, six Germans died in these conflict. This month of March 1919 was beginning of two decades of national conflict between Czechs and Germans in the border regions. We have to state that these conflicts were sometimes artificially fuelled in the interest of political ambitions by nationalistic circles on both sides. The German national movement peaked in 1935 with the founding of the Sudeten-German political party was led in Karlovy Vary by K. Henlein and K.H. Frank.

The depression that hit all of Europe in the 30's didn't miss Karlovy Vary. At that time the indebtedness of hotel and pension owners grew drastically. For the small business and trade this depression had dramatic results in bankruptcies. In 1936 alone there were over 1.000 court bankruptcy orders. The city in its fight to survive had to borrow large amounts from the state. A few expensive projects were constructed in Karlovy Vary between the two World Wars despite the difficult economic depression. The most important of these was the building of the dam on the Tepla River in Brezova in 1936. This forever stopped the threat of great floods in the city. In 1927 the city's spa capacity was increased with the building of the modern Spa VI. The pride of the business section of Karlovy Vary was the Health Insurance Building (1931) and the Monk's Church of Redemption (1933). In 1932 a bridge across the Ohre River leading to the Upper Railway Station was built. It was a technically remarkable steel-concrete bridge. 

Karlovy Vary balneologists Buxbaum, Ritter, Simon, Hendrych, Stransky and others solved some of the problems with the spa treatments.

Despite the euphoria of the German population of the spa city, the Second World War created economic hardships here. The spa business was dramatically limited as a result of the war. Already in 1940 there were problems, beginning with food supplies. The number of spa guests diminished and many spa facilities were changed into military hospitals. In October 1938 after the visit of Reich leader A. Hitler, the German army occupied Karlovy Vary. As part of  Sudetenland, the city was annexed into "the Third Reich". Shortly before the occupation the last Czechs, mostly state employees, left the city. On September 12th 1944, April 17th and 19th 1945 Karlovy Vary was the target of few air raids of allied bombers that destroyed the upper and lower railway stations. The area of the city known as Rybare and the northern part of the spa center suffered heavy damage. During the air raids a few hundred people were killed.

In Karlovy Vary on the sixth of May 1945, the Czech Revolutionary national Commitee was established and two days later, without any conflict, they took over the city administration with the assistance of the American army. The Red Army reached Karlovy Vary on May 11th, 1945.

In 1945 and 1946, the Postupim agreement brought about removal from their homes and eviction from the country for most of German residents of Karlovy Vary. The complicated process of re-establishing the Czech population in the border regions began simultaneously with the eviction of the Germans. The Czechs gradually found e new home here. The installation of the Communist regime after 1948 started the devastation of areas surrounding Karlovy Vary especially in the Ore Mountain District, Doupov Mountains and Slavkov Forest, and the destruction of numerous villages and memorials continued in the 50's and 60's. Extensive demolitions that were not will thought-out were done even in the center of the spa district.

After 1948 spa treatment in Karlovy Vary was centralized and nationalized. The curing mineral springs and spa institutions were taken over by the state. Karlovy Vary started pioneering year-ground complex spa treatment that were insoired by Soviet examples. Today's Karlovy Vary treatment is based on centuries of practical experience and actual scientific discoveries in the field of balneology and it is obtaining excellent results. Today's theory and practice of the spa treatments were enriched by the work of the Research Institute of Balneology that worked in Karlovy Vary for almost forty years. 

The construction development of Karlovy Vary during the period of the "building of socialism" (1948-1989) was evident mainly in the huge apartment blocks which were established. New subdivisions first built from bricks and later from pre-fabricated panels grew in Dvory, Tuhnice, Drahovice, Stara Role, Rybare, on Ruzovy Vrch and Cankovska Sreet. Unfortunately, the core of historical buildings was ill-maintained over the decades and resulted  in many of them  being in critical condition. This  gradually changed under the new economic and ownership conditions after 1989. Sad examples of modern architecture in Karlovy Vary are Thermal Sanatorium (1977) and the Geyser Colonnade (1975). Other construction projects built in the spa city over the past three decades include: the complex of spa buildings in Kostelni ulice (Church street) (1978-1982), Sanatorium Swiss Court (1971), Sanatorium Sanssouci (1970), the winter stadium (1983), youth dormitories in Drahovice (1982), Perla Business Center (1986), Sanatorium Druzba-Bristol, also the new building of the Czech Trust Company (1994) and the Czech Insurance (1994). Major modernisation was carried out by most of the Karlovy Vary business firms - Moser Glassworks, china factories, Beckerovka, Sedlec Kaolin Mine, There were also new business established.  Some examples of these are: Geyser Production Co-op et, Panel factory in Otovice, central heat supplier in Bohatice, Elektrosvit, etc. After the year 1990 a whole line of important historical objects were expensively renovated or replaced by replicas - Mill Colonnade, Postal Court, Little Versailles, Pupp, Bristol Hotel, Main Post Office, Imperial, Felix Zawojsky House, Mozart House, Sirius Hotel, Krivan Sanatorium, Patria Hotel etc.

The year of 1989 was the beginning of a new era of free evolution of the spa industry, travel industry and business activities in the geyser valley at the junction of the Tepla and Ohre Rivers. Harmonious combination of these three elements is a problem that hasn't been optimally solved yet. The most famous Czech spa, Karlovy Vary, today is, as it always was, the favorite meeting place of ill and healthy people from around the world. In this way it continues the tradition started centuries ago under the rule of wise King Charles IV. The international flavor and good  name of the curing springs gives us the firm belief that geyser city, as well as Prague, will remain the most famous and visited sites in Czech Republic even in  the 21st century.  ........Dr. Stanislav Burachovic

Legend about the founding of the City

One of the first to record the oldest Karlovy Vary legend about the discovery of the geysers known as Sprudel by Charles IV was the renaissance physician Dr. Fabian Sommer, a native of Karlovy Vary. In his book on the use of Karlovy Vary's waters from 1751, he relates the story thus:

"it said that Charles IV once went hunting in the woods, in the hilly areas and valleys where now the hot springs do bubble up. The woods  in this place were full of game. During the hunt, one of the hounds started to run after an animal. Whilst following it, the hound fell into a pool where hot water does now burst  from the ground. The hound began to howl in pain. The hunters ran to the hound, believing it to have been wounded by the animal it had be chasing. The marvel which they saw amazed them greatly. They stopped closer, pulled the hound from the pool, and then tasted of the hot water which had so distressed the hound. 

The entire event was reported to the Emperor Charles IV, who then went on large company himself to marvel at this singular wonder of nature. In the presence of his physicians, the wise ruler said that such hot water may drive off many grave ailments, and that it was beneficial and invigorating. Then he himself used the water (it is said that he had an afflicted leg), and sensed assuagement and improvement. The ruler was overjoyed at this, and soon gave orders that around the springs, houses be built. The place where the Emperor used that water was, according to information, in that place where once stood the municipal bath and where the guildhall now stands. At that place the springs wells up whose waters do not burst forth excessively, and are but warm. It is related that in this place, many years ago, a seat was cut into the rock on which the ruler sat, and wherefore it was named the Seat of the Emperor Charles. And yet this place is no longer to be found, and on it the guildhall has been built.

After the water had effected its cure on him, the Emperor, the Emperor Charles had a new town built on this spot. He wanted it to be walled about for protection, but his intents were thwarted by yet more pressing happenings. That it should be so can  be seen up to this day from the fragments of protective wall which are under the Deer Rock. On this Deer Rock many collapsed cellar vaults can also be seen. Aged citizens do say that it was the intention of the Emperor Charles to build on the said hill a castle for the protection of Karlovy Vary. Even the name of the town bears witness to its discoverer, for it is named the bath of the Emperor Charles, Karlovy Vary."



Environs of Karlovy Vary


Angels Hill/click to enlarge Angel Mountain and a bird's-eye view of the environs

Nature has been very generous endowing this region with minerals (various ores, coal, quality kaolin), thermal, radioactive and acid mineral waters, rivers, forests and mild climate. No wonder that from the earliest times this area was a loadstone for the people who came here to develop industry, crafts, architecture and art. Tourists and scientists from all over the world fly in, attracted by the beauty of neighbouring nature and sights. From the top of Angel Mountain, situated by the road from Prague to Karlovy Vary, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of the environs including the Krusne Hory Mountains. They also have the opportunity to observe the ruins of an ancient fortress Đ a former feudal residence dating from the beginning of the 15th century.

Becov/click to enlarge The fortress Becov. The New Castle. Baroque Chapel

Loket/click to enlarge Loket Castle

At the point where the river Ohre forms a curve, reminiscent in its configuration of an arm bent at the elbow, the monumental castle Loket towers. It is one of the most remarkable monuments of medieval Czech architecture and culture. The castle owned by Czech kings used to be the administrative centre of Loket region. Its architectural centrepiece is a prismatic tower made of specifically worked stones. The castle was reconstructed several times but it has preserved its original typical shape. Tourists fascinated by traditional lively carnivals, Christmas fairs and picturesque markets with craftsmen using their medieval instruments, can also visit a permanent exhibition of porcelain ware from local potteries.

Becov/click to enlarge The Settlement of Becov

Klinovec/click to enlarge Klinovec peak in winter

The town of Loket itself is a magnificent historical monument with the remains of fortifications, the St Wenceslas Church, the Baroque style town hall and houses with Gothic portals. A Gothic style fortress "Becov" with the so-called New Castle in the courtyard is situated in the wilderness area "Slavkovsky les", just near Karlovy Vary. Having visited the fortress you get rather quickly to the cozy town of Becov. From there you can take a walk to some other romantic places of the "Slavkovsky les" forest. One of them is the small spa town of Kyselka founded at the turn of 18th - 19th centuries. The mineral water "Mattoni", very popular in the Czech Republic, is extracted and bottled right here to be exported to many countries.

Bozi Dar/click to enlarge Bozi Dar village

Jachymov/click to enlarge Jachymov central square with the former mint in the background

The Krusne Hory mountains with the highest peak "Klinovec" (1244 m above sea level) are favourites with tourists and sportsmen all year round. This region was known for iron, silver and tin extraction from earliest times. Uranium, discovered later, has been exploited for many years.

Horni Blatna/click to enlarge Horni Blatna

Abertamy/click to enlarge Abertamy settlement

The administrative centre of this region, the spa town Jachymov, was founded at the begining of the 16th century on the southern side of the Krusne Hory. The count Slik's mint is considered the first in Europe to have stamped a metallic coin named "thaler" or "tolar" said to have given the name to the present-day dollar.

Nejdek/click to enlarge Nejdek town: the church and the tower

Marinske Lazne/click to enlarge The spa town Marianske Lazne

The radioactive water from Jáchymov springs was first used for medical treatment in 1906. The mountain village Boží Dar is located 1028 m above sea level and was founded by a Saxon Elector in the first half of the 16th century during a mining boom. Nowadays it is a very popular ski centre.

Marianske Lazne/click to enlarge Mariánské Lázně  the spa zone

Frantiskovy Lazne/click to enlarge Frantiskovy Lazne  the spa zone

The excavation of tin brought glory to Horni Blatna. A very rich and attractive exposition at the local museum represents the industry of the town. The Saint Lawrence Church with a typical tower or nearby unique technical monument Blatensky Water Dam (that in ancient times supplied water to the tin mines) are also worth mentioning.

Frantiskovy Lazne/click to enlarge Frantiskovy Lazne  colonnade

The mountain settlement Abertamy is a well-known centre of winter and summer holiday. A local art gallery exhibits a rich collection of handicrafts.

Sokolov Castle/click to enlarge Sokolov  the Castle

In the Krusne Hory forest massive we find the town of Nejdek with the remains of a small medieval castle with a Baroque church and nearby belfry. The local Ethnographic Museum exhibits traditional handicrafts that flourished here several centuries ago. Even today you can watch the master woodcarvers, industrious lace makers or listen to lyrical songs accompanied by zithers.

Kynzvart/click to enlarge Spa Kynzvart

Once you stay in Karlovy Vary you can also visit other spa towns such as Marianske Lazne, Frantiskovy Lazne, Lazne Kynzvart or West Bohemian towns as ancient Cheb with some 12th century buildings and Sokolov.



KARLOVY VARY - baths with 12 mineral springs with carbonated sulfate salt waters, chateau tower, Late Gothic chapel of St. Andrew, Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene, Baroque pillar of the Holy Trinity, Postal Court, Neo-Renaissance Mlyn colonnade, grandhotel Pupp, Vrídel colonnade, expansive parks, Friendship Heights with look-out JACHYMOV - baths - medicinal radioactive springs, Neo-Gothic church of St. Joachim, All Saints burial chapel, Renaissance town hall, old mint, Late Gothic and Renaissance houses, bath sanatorium, tourist center for the Krusny mountains, former mining of silver and later uranium ore OSTROV - burial church of St. Jacob, church of St. Michael, chateau with French gardens, Piarist monastery with summer house and chapel, uranium mining NEJDEK - Neo-Baroque chateau, Baroque church of St. Martina, remnants of the 14th century castle - squared tower later transformed into a bell tower, former mining of iron ore, lead, and tin TEPLA - Premonstratensian monastery built in 1193, deacon´s church of St. Giles, burgher residences from the 18th century, plague column BECOV NAD TEPLOU - Gothic castle from the 14th century, Baroque chateau from the 18th century, reliquary of St. Maura - valuable Romanesque monument BOZI DAR - mountain center, border crossing to Austria, town hall, St. Anne´s church, Bozi dar peat bog state nature reservation ABERTAMY - recreational center, uranium mining HORNI BLATNA - church of St. Laurence, look-out tower on Blatna ridge, originally a mining settlement, mining monuments - Vlci jamy (Wolf Ravine) a tzv. Blatná gorge NOVA ROLE - Romanesque/Gothic monument - St. Michael´s church, world renowned porcelain POTUCKY - tourist center, border crossing to Austria VYSOKA PEC - mining of iron ore, metallurgy, church of the Visitation of Our Lady, natural park, tourist center ZLUTICE - Gothic cathedral of St. Peter and Paul

INFOCENTER Karlovy Vary - Information center, Vridelni kolonada, 360 01 Karlovy Vary Tel.: 017/322 40 97 Zlutice - Information center, Dum kultury, Velke nam. 137, 364 52 Zlutice Tel.: 0169/39 31 87

The district has an area of 1628 sq. kilometers with 123000 inhabitants. The center is the town of Karlovy Vary with 56000 inhabitants. Other towns in the region are Ostrov, Nejdek, Jáchymov, Touzim, Zlutice, Nova Role, and Tepla. The highest point is the Klinovec Mt. in the Krusne hory Mountains (1244 m). These mountains are the natural northern boundary with Germany. The south is taken by the Nature reservation Slavkovsky les. The river Ohre with its contributory rivers Rolava and Tepla flow through the district. Ohře is used by water sport enthusiasts in its full length. Ski areas can be found in the entire region; "Krusne Hory" - Bozi Dar, Potucky, Horni Blatna, Nove Hamry, Pernink, Abertamy, Jachymov, and Merklin. A breat number of mineral springs led to the origin of spas and the founding of the famous spa Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne, Frantiskovy Lazne, Jachymov, and Kyselka. Great entertainment events are the Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, Dvorak's musical festival Autumn in Karlovy Vary, International Festival Tourfilm, The Charles IV. Festival - the start of the spa season, the Blooms Festival in Valec, Pilgrimage in Nova Role, Nejdek, Chyse, Abertamy, Bozí Dar, Andelská Hora, or in Skoky. Most of the sights are in Karlovy Vary - the castle tower from 1358, renovated in 1608, the Holy Trinity Column from 1716, Postovni Dvur from 1791, St. Mary Magdalen Church from 1736 built by K. I. Dienzenhofer, St. Peter and Paul Church from 1898, Zítek's Collonade from 1881, and many other. The Teplá monastery is a very outstanding sight - a religious complex with a church from 1197, monastery buildings from 1659-1663, and library from 1450. One must also mention Becov nad Teplou - a Gothic castle from the beginning of the 14th century, and a Baroque castle from 1750 - 1753. Shortly the relics of St.Mauro will be deposited in Becov nad Teplou, a very rare Romanesque memento from the 12th century, and one the most significant cultural jewels of Europe. The tourists contemplating to visit the region may use the railroad, highways from the east or the west, or even the air. The most attractive approach is through Cheb, Frantiskovy Lazne, Marianske Lazne, and Loket.

District Karlovy Vary
The district covers an area of 1,628 sq. km and has a population of 123,000. From a geographic stand point, it represents a very undulated area. The Krusne Mountains, whose highest peak Klinovec reaches 1,244 m above sea level, forms a natural border with Germany to the north. The Doupovske Mountains lie to the east and the southern part of the district is covered by the protected landscape area Slavkovsky les (Slavkov Forest). - During the Tertiary period, several volcanoes were formed (Komorni Hurka, Andelska hora, Uhelny vrch). Outbursts of underground gas vapours, mineral springs and hot and warm springs can be found all around Karlovy Vary. - The Ohre River and its tributaries, the Rolava and the Tepla, flow through the district. The Ohre River is very popular among river men. Ski centres are located throughout the entire Krusne mountain range and offer ideal conditions for winter holidays.

Historical Monuments and Places of Interest

Karlovy Vary – A town which is famous worldwide for its spa was founded by Charles IV in 1352. - Hot-spring with colonnade. - The oldest historical monument in the town is the so-called Chateau Tower built in 1358. - Church of St. Mary Magdalene with a deanery from dates 1731–1737. - The Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul from 1896. - The Column of the Holy Trinity from 1716. - The Church of St. Andrew from circa 1500. - A famous golf course. - A racecourse. - The Moser glass works. - Airport.

Becov nad Teplou – A Gothic castle from the beginning of the 14th century built on the site of a former Slavic settlement. - A baroque chateau from 1750–53.

Bozi Dar – A mountain recreation centre with a border crossing point.

Jachymov – The first radioactive spa in the world, founded in 1906. - A Renaissance town hall from 1544. - A royal mint. - Hospital Church from 1516. - The Church of St. Joachim from dates 1534–1540.

Nejdek – A castle tower from 1300. - The baroque Church of St. Martin from 1756. - Look-out tower.

Ostrov – A large chateau with summer-house situated in the centre of the town. - St. Michael’s Church.

Tepla – A large monastery complex with church from 1197, former prelate’s residence and convent from 1659–63, and library from 1450. Teplá is one of the most fascinating monasteries in the Czech Republic. It includes the monastic library, the abbey church, the monastic park and monastic hospice. The monastery of Tepla, founded 1193 by Czech gentleman blessed Hroznata, experienced in the past both periods of flourishing and decline in accordance with overall situation of the Church, country and nation. However, it was abolished only by totalitarian government in 1950. This should not have been the end of the monastery. Members of the order reintroduced monastic life in the year 1989. Decayed buildings are being renovated by making every effort and numerous spectators have the opportunity to visit the church, library, the available part of the monastery as well as of making use of the hostel, though there is yet lot of work on this project to be done.

The monastic library It belongs to the oldest and the most significant historic libraries in the Czech Republic. With its extent it is the second largest monastic library in Bohemia and has about 100 000 volumes. There are precious manuscripts, paleotypes and old theological, scientific documents in many European languages here. For the visitors the main hall is accessible with a new-baroque style decoration.

The abbey church The church was built between 1193-1232. On 20.6.1232 the Prague bishop Jan II festively consecrated it in the presence of the Czech king Václav I. The exterior of the church is a precious illustration of the change of the roman style into the gothic one. The interior is baroque and contains important works, such as statues by I. Platzer, frescoes by the local painter E. Dollhopf and chorus benches by the local woodcutter T. Pistl. In the northern side chapel the remains of the blessed Hroznata are deposited there. In the church there are also two baroque organs of high quality, which are used beside the divine service also for concerts of spiritual music.

The monastic park Its present form arose after gradual enlargement and conversion of the garden and orchard in the middle of the medieval bulwarks of the monastery. The back reconstruction of the park was accomplished at the beginning of the 20th century. For the public it has been accessible since 1946. After gradual restoration of the park with a water area and after building up a simple way of cross in a rustic style a unique place for mental and physical relaxation arose.

Zlutice – The Gothic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is one of the most valuable historical buildings in the district.

Celebrations, Pilgrimages, Festivals, etc.

The Charles IV Celebrations – Opening of the spa season – Karlovy Vary
Flower Festival – Held in Valec
International Film Festival – Held in Karlovy Vary
Dvorak Autumn in Karlovy Vary – Held in Karlovy Vary


Zapadoceske laznedot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) Karlovy Vary, a significant spa and tourist center, is located in the picturesque valley of the small river of Tepla. The town was founded in 1358 by Emperor Charles IV during whose reign the medieval Czech state flourished. Legend has it that Charles IV discovered the local warm springs during a stag hunt. In 1370 the town was awarded the Royal prerogatives. The development of Karlovy Vary continued in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1522 the physician Vaclav Payer published the first medical description of the springs. At the end of the 16th century there existed some 200 spa houses into whose cellar baths warm spa water was brought by wooden troughs. Floods and fires became disastrous for the spa - the great fire of 1604 almost destroyed it.

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) A new upsurge of the town was recorded in the 17th century and continued in the 18 and 19th centuries. The visitors spread the fame of the town, contributed to its construction and left permanent monuments to their visit. Karlovy Vary was visited by royalty, (August I, Petr I, Charles VI), by Czech, German, Russian and Polish nobility, and there was an influx of outstanding cultural figures, of them most notably Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, Chateaubriand, Chopin, Wagner.


dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) To the year 1912 Karlovy Vary experienced a period of prosperity. Proof to this are large monumental buildings and the splendid architecture from the second half of the 19th century which imprints on the town a uniform character and unique charm still admired by today's visitors (the Mill Colonnade, the Market Colonnade, the Imperial Bath and other spa houses, the building of the theatre, Grand Hotel Pupp, the Greek orthodox and Anglican churches).

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) Karlovy Vary has 12 curative springs with a temperature ranging from 42°-72°C. The hottest spring is the Vridlo which is also the oldest and which jets to a great height on Spring Colonnade (Vridelni kolonada).

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) The extraordinary therapeutic effects of the springs result from the high concentration of 32-35 liberated minerals, namely trace elements and carbon dioxide. Karlovy Vary is known for the treatment of disorders of the metabolism and gastric diseases and also other diseases. The treatment consists of drinking therapy, baths, packs and other spa procedures, active movement and the effect of the spa environment.

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes)There is a wonderful view of Karlovy Vary and its surroundings from Petr the Great Hill, Mount Friendship and from Charles IV Observation Point. 8 km southwest of Karlovy Vary are Svatosske Cliffs, a group of bizzare formations which represents a petrified wedding procession. This theme was developed by the brothers Grimm, Goethe, K.T. Korner and by composer H.A. Marschner in his opera Hans Heiling. 11 km northwest of Karlovy Vary is Loket with a large 13th century Gothic castle which houses a porcelain museum.


dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) One of the most famous products of Karlovy Vary is the world known herb liqueur Becherovka. BECHEROVKA is a speciality liqueur produced solely and only from medicinal herb extracts macerated in spirit using original Karlovy Vary water and barrels made from oak which are placed in cellars at a natural temperature. Every day their own laboratories check the chemical results of the macerating processes and the results of the maturing in barrels.

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) Becherovka is here for you:
As a complement to your digestive routine and its regular and healthy functioning.
As a ple
asant and effective aperitif before meals and digestive after meals.
As a pleasurably bitter 'long drink' for any opportunity during the day.
As a base for many delicious cocktails, especially aperitifs, like Be-Ton:

prepared directly in the glass
4-5 ice cubes 1 slice of lemon
5 cl BECHEROVKA 1 coctail cherry
10 cl Tonic water
1 cl lemon juice
a squeeze of orange peel for aroma

Among other famous products of Karlovy Vary like Becherovka or glass wonders produced by Moser you should taste delicious spa waffles. 

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) Sports oriented visitors of Karlovy Vary will find quite a few places to go too: the racing grounds, tennis courts, an open air swimming pool with thermal water, a sports shooting range, a winter sports stadium, well-kept forest paths for walking and jogging, bicycle paths, sandstone cliffs for mountaineering, a dam lake for water sports in Brezova, area for gliding and aerobatics and one of the best Golf courses in the Czech Republic. 

dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) Golf Club Karlovy Vary was established in 1904 by a "Gentleman´s Fencing Club", who wanted to increase the offer for the spa guests. So it established a 9 hole golf course among afforested hillsides in the beautiful valley of the river Teplá,with a length of 2300 m.
Golf fielddot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) The popularity and the number of players grew quickly. The golf course was often crowded, therefore was decided in 1928 to build new 18 hole golf course. Karlovy Vary´s borough council was well-disposed towards constructing a new and modern course. They asked Mr. F. Gross from Inter - Club Country in Vienna and his friends to find the most convenient ground in the surrounding of the town Karlovy Vary. They resolved to construct the new golf course near to the village called Olsova Vrata on the field  which is situated next to the motorway in the direction of Prague. The construction´s plans were committed to the French architect C. Noskowski, the most famous designer at that time. Noskowski´s work was a piece of art, the golf course was not overpowered till today.
dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) After 1948 the economic of the spa treatment changed, the life style of the communist spa modified too. The golf course in Olsova Vrata became desolated. Persons interested in golf decreased. Social regime did not want to support this sport. Fortunately, there was a group of enthusiasts, who did not want to let golf  in Karlovy Vary disappear. They started to work on the course on their own.
It took more than 5 years, then the hard work of these volunteers was appreciated. They save the big historical value of the Karlsbad´s golf course to today's golfers. 



dot_blue.GIF (121 bytes) From any point of view, Karlovy Vary is one of the most attractive towns in the Czech Republic. Thanks to springs it became the European health centre. And thanks to crowds of tourists and patients Karlovy Vary started to build the necessary equipment for people used to a luxurious style of life. Among one of the best golf courses in the Czech Republic you will find here Karlovy Vary Riding Club. The most important race is probably the Film Festival Cup held during the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. So if you are planning to enjoy the real atmosphere of the Festival, don't miss the Cup.

Well-kept forest paths for walking and jogging are a very pleasant surprise for visitors of Karlovy Vary. Around the town is a complex of paths connecting interesting places. There is a wonderful view of Karlovy Vary and its surroundings from Petr the Great Hill, Mount Friendship and from Charles IV Observation Point. 8 km southwest of Karlovy Vary are the Svatos's Rocks, a group of bizzare formations which represents a petrified wedding procession. This theme was developed by the brothers Grimm, Goethe, K.T. Korner and by composer H.A. Marschner in his opera Hans Heiling. 11 km northwest of Karlovy Vary is Loket with a large 13th century Gothic castle which houses a porcelain museum.