Karlovy Vary is a spa resort that has been popular because of its thermal springs since the 19th century. Located in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. It was originally known as Carlsbad named after Charles the 4th who founded the town in 1370. Today it has over 165 hotels from bed and breakfasts to five-star luxury.
The mineral springs have been known for their curative properties since the town was founded. The first baths were located in what is now the Market Colonnade built in Swiss style and home to three springs.
Hadi or Snake Spring is the coldest of the springs but the highest in C02. It is reputed to preserve natural beauty.
In the Mill Colonade, built in 1871 are five mineral springs. The Mill Spring is reputed to nourish and strengthen hair and nails. It is also bottled at Mattoni mineral water.
Drinking the waters are only recommended for those who have consulted with a qualified spa doctor. The cure includes collecting water in a special porcelain drinking cup in the early morning , drinking it – 30 minutes before eating. Those who stroll from spring to spring take small sips of the water as they walk.
There is lots to see around town such as the Byzantine orthodox St. Paul & Peter – Russian church built in 1897. The warm water Tepla River flows through the center of town where booths sell drinking cups. There is the Vřídlo Spring which gushes up 12 meters. Those suffering from upper respiratory diseases are advised to inhale the air around that spring.
Springs 1 – 12 are used in spa treatments because of their different temperatures and C02 content. Some treatments address strengthening joints and bones. Others detoxify and have a laxative effect. Some are known for strengthening the immune system.
Bathing in a beer spa? Its uniquely Czech. It said hot beer will cleanse the skin, open the pores and drain toxins. The Beer Spa also serves cold beer to quench the thirst while in the hot tub.
The Karlovy Vary mineral springs are reported to contain most of the elements of the periodic table. Believed to occur some 2500 meters below the Earth’s surface some of these waters are bottled for commercial sale throughout the Czech Republic.
Other unique products from the area include the Karlovy Vary Spa wafers. First created in the 1800s they are made with the mineral water, salt and flavoring from chocolate to almonds and are offered to those taking the waters as a reward for drinking it.
Karlovy Vary is as unique as the waters that flow throughout the town. The beauty of the Bohemian forest and the warmth of the local residents make this a special destination in Eastern Europe.
Arthur von Wiesenberger