Karlovy Vary and the legend of its foundation
In the heart of Europe, in western Bohemia, between the Ore Mountains and the Slavkov Forest, Czech King Charles IV often wandered around in the 14th century. on horseback It is said that his retinue once accidentally discovered a hot spring, to which the emperor soon gave healing powers. He convinced himself of this himself. Thanks to the water from the spring, he healed his injured leg. According to legend, he built a city around a wonderful source, which still flourishes thanks to its sources and enjoys fame far beyond the borders of our country.
The city was founded in the second half of the 14th century under the rule of King Charles IV. However, it did not experience more construction and spa prosperity until 200 years later. In the 17th century, Karlovy Vary faced difficulties associated with the Thirty Years War and natural disasters. However, the city quickly coped with the consequences of natural disasters and was able to continue its resort, architectural and cultural development. Over time, the spa has become more and more popular. The fact that the rich nobility came here for treatment also contributed greatly to this. The most important patient of the 18th century Karlovy Vary was undoubtedly the Russian Tsar Peter the Great.
Mainly 19th century Art Nouveau took care of the city’s appearance
With the development of the resort, new social and purpose-built buildings began to appear. At the beginning of the 18th century, the first public spa house (Mlýnské lázně) was built, as well as the Baroque St. Baroque church. Mary Magdalene. Others, especially Art Nouveau construction, followed in the second half of the 19th century, when the Mill and Colonnade with hot springs, the Imperial Spa or the building of the modern theater were built. Some of the buildings were financed by profits from the sale of hot springs of salt or spa fees, others by generous contributions from foreign patrons.
Spa fame has grown with celebrity visits
Karlovy Vary has increasingly become a place of important gatherings. The resort was visited by scientific, political and artistic figures of the 19th century such as Beethoven, Franz Josef I., Dobrovsky, Paganini, Chopin, Mozart, Gogol, Tyl, Barrande, Purkine, Freud and many others. There is something about the name of almost every important guest. Either a monument was built for him, or at least a forest trail was named after him. But Karlovy Vary is also popular with modern VIPs. Stars such as Jude Law, Antonio Banderas, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger and others regularly appear here.
The spa had to build its reputation several times almost from scratch
At the beginning of the 20th century, Karlovy Vary was the most famous spa town in Europe. However, both world wars reduced attendance to a fraction of the pre-war period. After the war, Karlovy Vary did not enjoy freedom for a long time. In 1948 the resort resources and sanatoriums were nationalized. The clientele was limited mainly to citizens of the countries of the former Soviet Union. Only after the Velvet Revolution (1989) did Western tourists start returning to Karlovy Vary. Since then, the number of visitors to the resort has grown again.