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Karlovy Vary 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 architectonic monuments originated in the 18th and the 19th century when the city lived the „period of plenitude“.
Last edited Nov 9, 09 5:01 AM. Contributors: Alina S.
Travel Tips from people who've been to Karlovy Vary
If you are in Karlovary Vary just for one day, simply walk along the small Teplá river and enjoy the parks and colonnades. You can enjoy a view over the valley from the Rozhledna Diana (Diana observation tower), accessible on foot and via ropeway. In the Vřídelní (Sprudel) colonnade you can admire the hottest spring (72 degrees Celsius). Every minute, some 2000 liters come out from a layer 2500 meters deep with a fountain that shoots up 12 meters. The building housing the spring is comparatively new. Inside the hall you can pull a cup of water by yourself from different taps with different temperatures. Among the most impressive colonnades, the Tržní (market) colonnade and the Mlýnská (miller) colonnade should be mentioned - both are quite old and charming. The whole town is car free which is rather nice.
The famous West Bohemian Spa Triangle has long been the symbol for visitors from the whole world seeking rest and health. Local healing waters are the secret of the everlasting interest in these spas, with many springs available in Karlovy Vary, Marianske and Frantiskove Lazne. Under the direction of Dr. Spisak, who has been recognized internationally, the spa has successfully treated many patients suffering from obesity. Treatments are always individualised according to the patient's condition, and are determined through initial extensive testing that reveals the individual underlining cause of each person's problem.
If you are in western europe this is the place for a spa vacation. Not only is the city beutiful the prices for spa services are some of the most resonable in europe. Things might change when this country starts using the Euro but for now go and enjoy being pampered in old world opulance.
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