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Karlovy Vary
Town
Flag
Coat of arms
Country  Czech Republic
Region Karlovy Vary
District Karlovy Vary
Rivers Ohře, Teplá
Elevation 447 m (1,467 ft)
Coordinates 50°13′42″N 12°51′58″E / 50.22833°N 12.86611°E / 50.22833; 12.86611
Area 59.10 km2 (23 sq mi)
Population 53,708 (As of 2008)
Density 909 /km2 (2,354 /sq mi)
Founded around 1350
Mayor Ing. Werner Hauptmann
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 360 01
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Karlovy Vary
Website: www.karlovy-vary.cz

Karlovy Vary (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarlovɪ ˈvarɪ]  ( listen); German: Karlsbad, also known in English as Carlsbad) is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (80.78 miles) west of Prague. 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).

In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination, especially for international celebrities visiting for spa treatment. The city is also known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the popular Czech liqueur Karlovarská Becherovka. The glass manufacturer Moser Glass is located in Carlsbad. The city has also given its name to the famous 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.

Carlsbad, New Mexico; Carlsbad Caverns National Park; and Carlsbad, California all take their names from Carlsbad.

Contents

History

On 14 August 1370, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor gave 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 could be found in the outskirts of today's city.

Due to publications by doctors like 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 already 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 German-speaking majority protested against being made a part of Czechoslovakia by the Treaty of Saint Germain. A demonstration on 4 March 1919 passed peacefully, but later that month six demonstrators were killed by Czech troops after a demonstrations turned unruly[1].

In 1938 the Sudetenland including Carlsbad became part of Nazi Germany after the Munich Agreement. After World War II, the majority of ethnic German population of the city was expelled according to the Potsdam Agreement.

Before that, the Carlsbad Decrees of 1819 had associated the city with anti-liberal 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. Major sites in photo, from left to right: The dark grey, Soviet 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.

Population

  • 1930 - 54,652
  • 1939 - 53,339
  • 1947 - 31,322
  • 1991 - 56,291 (3 March)
  • 2001 - 53,857 (1 March)
  • 2003 - 52,359 (1 January)
  • 2008 - 53,708

Notable people associated with Karlovy Vary

Gallery

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Karlovy Vary (also known as Karlsbad, its German name or Carlsbad, its English name) is a city in Bohemia, in the western Czech Republic.

Karlovy Vary

Understand

Karlovy Vary, meaning "Charles' Bath" was named after Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, who founded the city in 1370. It is famous for its hot springs and its colorful and whimsical architecture. For these reasons, it was a popular tourist destination in the 18th century with guests including Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor Franz Josef I, Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Tolstoy, and Marx. Tourism grounded to a halt during World War I and the city never regained its former glory.

The town, along with Prague, was the filming location of many scenes identified as being in Montenegro in the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

Get in

By bus

Student Agency [1] operates hourly buses to/from Prague's Florenc and Dejvicka stations between 5:00am and 8:00pm. The trip takes 2 hours and costs 110Kc for adults, or 85Kc with an under-26 Student card.

Other bus companies also run services from Prague's Florenc station but they are more expensive as not as comfortable as Student Agency's buses.

By train

Karlovy Vary has two train stations: Dolni Nadrazi (lower station) located next to the bus station, and Horni Nadrazi (upper station) located north of the city center across the Ohie River. Horni Nadrazi can be reached by a 10-minute walk or by taking buses 11,12, or 13.

Trains from Prague leave Nádraží Holešovice station and arrive at Horni Nadrazi in Karlovy Vary 3 hours later, costing 300Kc. The bus is a cheaper and more efficient method of travel from Prague to Karlovy Vary. However, rail enthusiasts may wish to make this journey by train as, per Thomas Cook european rail guide, it is one of the most scenic train routes in the Czech Republic, with much of it meandering alongside rivers.

Hourly direct trains operate between Karlovy Vary and Loket (15km, 30 minutes, 22Kc), Cheb (50km, 60 minutes, 74Kc), and Plzen (84km, 100 minutes, 156Kc).

Get around

The town can comfortably be covered on foot, however, a car or motorcycle is useful for exploring the surrounding areas.

  • Mill Colonade. Popular gathering place. Bands play here in the summer.  edit
  • Hot Springs. There are 12 hot springs - you can get a list and descriptions at the Infocentrum.  edit
    • Rock Spring - Skalni Pramen. Spurts 1.3 liters of water per minute.  edit
    • Geyser Collonade - Vridlo. 6am-7pm. Spring that spurts 2000 liters of water per minute in a 14m jet. Free.  edit
    • Lazne III. Beautiful spa building.  edit
    • Lazne I. Beautiful spa building housing Franz Josef's baths.  edit
  • Diana Lookout Tower. You can take the funicular railway or take a beautiful walk throuh the forest to get here. The funicular costs 36Kc, 60Kc return. Free.  edit
  • Karl Marx Monument.  edit
  • Church of St. Peter & St. Paul. Built in 1897. 5 golden domes and colorful exterior were modeled on the Byzantine Church of the Holy Trinity near Moscow. The interior of the church is decorated with paintings and icons, gifts of wealthy Russian aristocrates. One of the decorations is a relief representing Russian Tsar "Peter the Great".  edit
  • Church of St. Lucas. Anglican church.  edit
  • Karlovy Vary Museum, Nova Louka 23. 9am-12pm & 1pm-5pm Wed-Sun. Local history. Adult: 30Kc; Child: 15Kc.  edit
  • Jan Becher Museum, Masaryka 57. 9am-5pm. Dedicated to the local inventor of Becherovka. Adult: 100Kc; Child: 50Kc.  edit
  • Castle Spa - Zemecke Lazne. 7:30am-7:30pm. Modern spa center €20 for 1 hour, €80 for 4 hours including massage.  edit
  • Open Air Thermal Pool, Bazen (On the cliff above Hotel Thermal). 8am-8:30pm. Includes sauna and fitness club. 40Kc per hour.  edit
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, [2]. Early July  edit
  • International Student Film Festival, [3]. Late august.  edit
  • Karlovy Vary Folklore Festival. Early September.  edit
  • Jazzfest Karlovy Vary. Early Septmeber  edit
  • Dvorak Autumn. September. Classical music.  edit

Eat

Karlovy Vary is famous for its spa wafers [4]. They come in various flavors and are best when warm. The wafers are sold at street stands in Karlovy Vary, and can also be purchased at grocery stores throughout the Czech Republic.

  • Bernard, Bernard (steep small street opposite to the end of the Mlynska Colonnade). Quite cheap, but quality is better than in the expensive restaurants. Rustic interior, small, nice Czech food and good beer. Also serves as a Jazz Club with live music.  edit
  • Cafe Pizzeria Venetia, Zahdrani 43, +420 353 729 221. Looks out on the Tepla River Pizza: 120Kc.  edit
  • Galilia, Masaryka 3A, +420 353 221 183. Middle eastern food. Great Turkish bread and creamy dips. Good vegetarian options. Felafel kebab: 65Kc, Mains: 130Kc-180Kc.  edit
  • Jean De Carro. very good and spacy inside, however dishes served are of a low quality, despite being high priced.  edit
  • Parlament, Zeyerova 5. closed on Sun. Outdoor tables. Good food.  edit
  • Steakhouse Sklipek, Zeyerova 1, +420 353 229 197. Huge steak meals. Steaks: 180Kc.  edit

Drink

Jan Becherovka invented the liquor that bears his name in Karlovy Vary. However, it is an acquired taste.

Some establishments on the river charge twice the price of places 20m+ off the main drag so shop around for a place to drink.

  • Cafe Elephant, Stara Louka 30. Coffee and cake. Coffee: 45Kc.  edit
  • Juice Bar Kokopelli, Bulharska 9. Juice & Smoothies: 20Kc-37Kc.  edit
  • Kafe Brejk, Stara Louka 62. 9am-5pm. Design your own baguette. Coffee: 35Kc; Baguette: 50Kc.  edit
  • Camping Brezovy Haji, 3km south of town, +420 353 222 665, [5]. Open Apr-Oct Tent: 90Kc; Bed: 190Kc.  edit
  • Titty Twister Hostel, Moravska 44, +420 732 324 051, [6]. Accomodation is in shared apartments. From 390Kc.  edit
  • Hotel Carlsbad Plaza, (in the vicinity of the spa facility Lázně I), [7]. Deluxe hotel opened in December 2005. €133 and up.  edit
  • Hotel Cordoba, Zahradni 37, [8]. From 1,800Kc.  edit
  • Hotel Garni Palatin, Lázeňská 10. Very nice place to stay, it is ideal if you take a mineral water drinking course, because the range from this hotel to the closest spring is roughly 20 meters. The hotel is modern furnished, and despite being given only 3 stars looks like a typical four stars hotel. The only disadvantage is absence of a restaurant (breakfast is possible though).  edit
  • Hotel Kavalrie, Masaryka 43 (bove a cafe, near bus and train stations), +420 353 229 613, [9]. Single: 950Kc; Double: 1,225Kc.  edit
  • Hotel Thermal, [10]. The biggest hotel in the centre of the city, was used by USSR's political elite for recovery. However, now (in 2007 and 2008) the quality of the service significantly decreased (rooms, restaurant, treatment, cases of robbery inside the hotel building are reported, unfriendly reception). Single: From 2,350Kc; Double: From 4,320Kc.  edit
  • Hyalit Aparthotel, Stari Luka 62, [11]. 5 sylish apartments. From 1,900Kc.  edit
  • Pension Fan, +420 774 289 153. Opened in May 2004, is a two-storied building, situated in the town of Karlovy Vary-district Bohatice. Friendly atmosphere, lot of programmes available: cycling with or without a cycling guide, golf, golf-school, wellness and relax programmes  edit
  • Pension Romania, [12]. Spacious rooms. From 735Kc.  edit
  • Pension Villa Basileia, Mariánskolázeňská 4, +420 353 224 132 (), [13]. Family run pension. The parking lot is only open until 8PM. The rooms are not very nice. There's a weird atmosphere because the only person that speaks English or German is gone most of the time. They mention spa treatments on their web site suggesting that they are available at the hotel. Forget it. All they have is an exercise machine in the stairwell. I guess it could be an OK place if you knew beforehand that it's not a real hotel -- but then for half the price. For a few crowns more you can go to a real hotel (4 stars). Single: From €50; Double: From €62.  edit
  • Sanatorium Astoria, Vndelni 92 (Opposite the Mill Colonade), [14]. Single: €40; Double: €80.  edit
  • Moonstorm Internet, Masaryka 31. 9am-9pm. 48Kc per hour.  edit
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Simple English

[[File:|thumb|View of the town centre]] Karlovy Vary (in German Karlsbad) is a town in the Czech Republic. About 53708 people live there (2008). It is located in the West of the historical region Bohemia. It is popular for its spa.

Other websites

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