Karlovy Vary


Karlovy Vary 

Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarlovɪ ˈvarɪ]; German: Karlsbad; is a spa town situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (81 mi) west of Prague (Praha). It is named after King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who founded the city in 1370. It is historically famous for its hot springs (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River). It is the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic.


The first Celtic settlers came there before the Middle Ages.

On 14 August 1370, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and Czech king, gave the city privileges to the place that subsequently was named after him. According to legend after he had acclaimed the healing power of the hot springs. However, earlier settlements can be found in the outskirts of today's city.

Due to publications by doctors such as David Becher and Josef von Löschner, the city developed into a famous spa resort, and was visited by many members of European aristocracy. It became popular after the railway lines to Eger (Cheb) and Prague were completed in 1870.

The number of visitors rose from 134 families in the 1756 season to 26,000 guests annually at the end of the 19th century. By 1911, that figure had reached 71,000, but World War I put an end to tourism and also led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by late 1918.

The large German-speaking population of Bohemia was incorporated into the new state of Czechoslovakia in accordance with the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. As a result, the German-speaking majority of Carlsbad protested. A demonstration on 4 March 1919 passed peacefully, but later that month, six demonstrators were killed by Czech troops after a demonstration turned unruly.

In 1938, the Sudetenland, including Carlsbad, became part of Nazi Germany according to the terms of the Munich Agreement. After World War II, in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the vast majority of the people of Carlsbad were forcibly expelled from the city because of their German ethnicity. In accordance with the Beneš decrees, their property was confiscated without compensation.

Before that, the Carlsbad Decrees of 1819 had associated the city with antiliberal censorship within the German Confederation.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of Communist rule in the Czech Republic, there has been a steady increase of the Russian business presence in Karlovy Vary.

A significant portion of the spa/historic section of Karlovy Vary is shown. Major sites in photo, from left to right, are: The dark grey, socialist-era Thermal Spring Colonnade (also called Hot Spring Colonnade or Sprudel) features a glass chimney. Directly above it sits the twin-steeple Church of St. Mary Magdalene. The large, stately building on the center hill is the Hotel Imperial. Below it, to the right of the square, is the Opera House. The Grandhotel Pupp is the large white building to the far right.


The percentage of foreigners to the population of Karlovy Vary region was in 2012 around seven percent, after Prague it is the highest proportion in the country. The largest group of foreigners were Vietnamese, followed by Germans, Russians and Ukrainians.

Year 1930 1939 1947 1991 2001 2003 2008 2013 2014
Population 54 652 53 339 31 322 56 291 53 857 52 359 53 708 53 737 49 864


Local buses and cable cars take passengers to most areas of the city. The city can be reached from other locations by inter-city buses and by train. The city is connected by expressway R6. International Karlovy Vary Airport is located 4,5 km south-east from the city, at the nearby village of Olšová Vrata.


  • Catholic Church of St. Mary Magdalene - built by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer in 1737
  • Orthodox Church of Saints Peter and Paul - 1898
  • Protestant Church of Saints Peter and Paul - 1856
  • Church of St. Anne - 1745
  • Greek Catholic St. Andrew Cemetery Church - 1500
  • Methodist Church of Saint Luke - 1877
  • St. Linharta ruins from 13th century


In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination, especially known for international celebrities visiting for spa treatment. The city is also known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which is one of the oldest in the world and has become one of Europe's major film events. And also for the popular Czech liqueur Becherovka. The glass manufacturer Moser Glass is located in Karlovy Vary. The famous Karlovarské oplatky (Carlsbad spa wafers) originated in the city in 1867. The city has also given its name to the delicacy known as "Carlsbad plums". These plums (usually quetsch) are candied in hot syrup, then halved and stuffed into dried damsons; this gives them a very intense flavour.

The city has been used as the location for a number of film-shoots, including the 2006 films Last Holiday and box-office hit Casino Royale, both of which used the city's Grandhotel Pupp in different guises.



  • Johann Josef Loschmidt (15 March 1821 – 8 July 1895), Austrian scientist.
  • Karl Hermann Frank, Nazi official
  • Károly Pulváry (1907–1999), Hungarian designer
  • Walter Serner, dadaist
  • Hana Soukupová, supermodel
  • Karin Stoiber, née Buch (born 1943, Bochov), former First Lady of Bavaria
  • Tomáš Vokoun, goaltender of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Walter Becher
  • Stanislav Birner
  • Tomáš Borek
  • Zbyněk Brynych
  • Tomáš Došek
  • Rudolf Křesťan
  • Rick Lanz
  • Ludmila Peterková
  • Karel Rada
  • Georg Riedel
  • Josef Řihák
  • Milan Šperl
  • Jana Sýkorová
  • Ignaz Ziegler
  • Princess Michael of Kent
  • Karel Dobrý

Notable people associated with Karlovy Vary

  • Peter I of Russia visited Karlovy Vary in 1711
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, as well as its first President, visited Karlsbad in 1918 for spa treatments
  • František Běhounek, scientist and novelist, died here
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe, German poet, novelist, philosopher, scientist
  • Princess Michael of Kent (born Baroness Marie Christine Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz), a member of the British Royal Family, was born in January 1945, prior to the expulsion of the German population later that year.
  • Adalbert Stifter, Austrian writer
  • Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, came for spa treatments. He and the poet Goethe would take walks together, much to the delight of the local people.
  • Fryderyk Chopin, composer, and his parents met for the last time during a holiday in Karlsbad, August/September 1835.
  • Anthony J. Drexel, senior partner of Drexel, Morgan & Co. (JPMorgan, today) and founder of Drexel University, died in Karlsbad in 1893 while spending the summer there for his health.
  • Vladimir Voronin, former president or Republic of Moldova, visits Karlovy Vary every year for spa treatments.
  • James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater, Scottish noble and an accomplished amateur landscape architect and philanthropist
  • Ivan Turgenev, the Russian novelist, visited Karlsbad on numerous occasions for its healing waters.
  • Jean de Carro, Swiss physician, published the Almanach de Carlsbad

City guide


  • Grandhotel Pupp
  • Hotel Imperial
  • Spa Resort Sanssouci
  • Hotel Thermal
  • Hotel Kolonada
  • Richmond
  • Bristol
  • Krivan
  • Hotel Ulrika

Surroundings & Leisure time

Trips in the surrounding countryside


Tourist attractions

Photo (36)

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Video (2)

Street view


13.08.2017 Omar
Quiet city , filled with beautiful views and has great weather almost all year round
10.04.2017 Helena
Amazing little town with hot springs, shops, food and drinks. Just two hour drive from Prague with buses every hour.
24.02.2017 berk
Hot water and peace
22.02.2017 Levent
Enjoy thermal springs with romantic view of the river. 2 hours drive from prague. Bus drive is quicker than train
08.01.2017 Andie
Adorable small town. Not much to do here, but it is very lovely. Only 2 hours from Praha.
11.10.2016 Merve
Be seen to have to contend with the occasional becherovka spa town definitely avoid it
16.09.2016 France
Fun going to the markets, haggling! Can just 50% care.
13.09.2016 TC
A calm and peaceful place:-)
13.09.2016 D
Excellent arthitecture, amazinn view, best natural spa in Europa. A must see...
28.08.2016 Honza
Karlovy vary I visited during the 51. film festival and this is a really beautiful city!
16.07.2016 ?
Full fairy tale town. Colorful houses, lush greenery, a peaceful environment, energy... completely.
07.07.2016 Ozlem
That Atatürk stayed is the city where the hotel is located...
07.07.2016 Ozlem
Czech Film Festival is the city of...
30.06.2016 Derya
You leave me here. In a word, fantastic, peace of mind, the sound of birds chirping, the beautiful voice of the river is like heaven. Among the places that are strongly recommended. ??
11.06.2016 Ayse
Not much to go redundant
10.06.2016 Funda
The perfect place, spas, nature is amazing, where Atatürk had made the Battle plan, also called a must-see...
24.04.2016 Cemzo
When you come from the front, don't forget to buy a bus ticket, or a 3.5 hour train ride you can!
02.01.2016 Esin
Spectacular, magnificent architectural☺️
09.12.2015 Damianos
Nice beautiful city
27.10.2015 Danna
Chic city?
17.10.2015 Cowboy
One of the most beautiful small towns in Europe, possibly the world...amazing scenery, seems unreal, like a painting, picturesque!
26.09.2015 Onur
The length of the River Walk, glorious history, nature and aesthetics. Come to the Czech Republic and you can't see it.
04.08.2015 Nataliya
Tiny and tidy town. A lot of Russian.
31.07.2015 Aykut
We came, we saw, we going ?
31.07.2015 Natalia
The town is small and cute. It is possible to see all in one day. Good panoramas, surprisingly almost anywhere there is a variety of beer (Czech Republic anyway?) the main visitors - Russian.
29.07.2015 Khaled
You'll get the chance to shoot some really cool photos! Bring your cameras with you!
29.07.2015 Khaled
Restaurants are a bit expensive because of the touristic nature of the place so it's only natural for shops and restaurants to rip off customers!
29.07.2015 Khaled
Very relaxing.. Very green.. Very natural!
29.07.2015 Khaled
Beautifully colored buildings all the way along the river.. This city was made by artists for sure!
29.07.2015 Khaled
Welcome to Russia!!!!
05.07.2015 Oksana
An amazing town with a stunning fairytale-like atmosphere and friendly people:)Here is absolutely boring!Forest in the mountains!Led trails for bikers,kayaks and milking photographers Paradise!
28.06.2015 Jasmine
It's a nice place but don't live up to the hype. Cheap authentic Cesky Krumlov..
03.06.2015 Caddebostan
Buy hand creams and oplatky before you leave. If you have a chance not to leave, stay there forever. It's so peaceful.
24.05.2015 Vova
Must see city in Czech
21.04.2015 Burak
A wonderful nature, fresh air and city! The hotel is next to the hotel which Atatürk stayed Carlsbad, and our eyes nemlendirdi!
23.02.2015 Martin
Historical center for me the most beautiful in the Czech republic. Worth seeing both during the day as in the evening. Don't forget to buy in one of the booths cup and taste the springs and purchased the traditional spa wafers.
26.01.2015 Dilara
Czech Republic to Yalova. Of course, more advanced. Very quiet to ride in the winter and more may be preferred.
30.10.2014 Maryliza
One of the most romantic places around Czech Republic
08.10.2014 Belgin
The texture of the scenery and history is very nice. The thermal waters in terms of Health...
14.08.2014 Erh@n
take a walk throgh the river side. drink hot water in front of the baths. buy a becherovka from the kiosk to accompany.
09.08.2014 Merve
Karlovy Vary, the"peace" concept itself.The color of the building, the sound of water, especially those of flowers that the human doesn't want to ever leave this town...
03.08.2014 Ergin
We heard we saw.In a word, is magnificent.
03.08.2014 Ergin
Heaven is here.
06.07.2014 milan
06.07.2014 milan
04.07.2014 Jirina
Tawan Nikolina
15.05.2014 Gizem
I Like Karlovy Vary?
23.02.2014 Tomas
Old town is gorgeous, restaurants quite expensive as city tourism is very concentrated into Russians. But you should visit KV anyway, it's worth it!
21.12.2013 A??Daily
I love this city. Here you always want to come back...
20.11.2013 Yasya
The 13th source of the treats)))
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Изменено: 2018-01-17 04:02