The city lies in West Bohemia at the confluence of the Teplá River and the Ohře River, about 120 km west of Prague. It is the largest and best known spa city in the Czech Republic.
The city was founded in the 14th century by Charles IV. According to a legend, the Emperor had the city built soon after the accidental discovery of thermal springs by his hunting entourage. The spa facilities enjoyed the favor of many aristocratic houses and rich burghers as early as the 16th century. Owing to a series of natural disasters from that period only a few buildings have been preserved. Most architectoric monuments originated in the 18th and the 19th century when the city lived the „period of plenitude“.
Balneotherapy has been developed and improved since the very establishment of Karlovy Vary to this date. It mainly promotes the recuperation of patients suffering from:
The balneotherapy provided in Karlovy Vary comprises a number of curative procedures. Treatment exploits centuries-proven thermal baths and drinking cure as well as modern methods cryotherapy, floating, laser therapy, etc. Both traditional spa treatment and i wellness takes place in sanatoriums and hotels.
All year round Karlovy Vary hosts innumerable cultural and sports events. Many of them found favor with the Karlovy Vary public and with tourists. One of the most popular social events is the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival that attracts cinematography fans from all over the world every year. But Karlovy Vary is not only a place of film projection. Its unique scenery and architecture makes the city a film shooting location. Recently, the filmmakers shot James Bond: Casino Royal here.
The development of balneotherapy and of tourism in Karlovy Vary progressed hand in hand with the bloom of sports. At the end of the 19th century a house race back was built. In 1904, the first golf course in the Czech Republic was opened at the outskirts of the city to be followed, one year later, with a tennis complexsports activities with 6 courts. In addition, Karlovy Vary offers many more.
The international fame of the spa city was contributed to by its balneological heritage, the international film festival and some of Karlovy Vary’s typical products. Many people automatically associate the words Becherovka, Moser or Thun with Karlovy Vary. Of no less popularity and renown are traditional spa wafers.