Top Historic Sights in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Explore the historic highlights of Karlovy Vary

Mill Colonnade

The Mill Colonnade (Mlýnská kolonáda) is a large colonnade containing several hot springs in the spa town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The structure is one of the traditional symbols of the town. The Neo-Renaissance structure has a nave, two aisles and measures 132 m long by 13 m wide. There are 124 Corinthian columns. Twelve statues representing the twelve months of the year sit above the portico. There is a rais ...
Founded: 1871-1881 | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

St. Mary Magdalene Church

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene is located in the very heart of the Karlovy Vary spa area, in the close proximity of the Hot Spring. The church bears the hallmarks of the High Baroque architecture and it is one of the most important Baroque monuments not only in Karlovy Vary, but in the entire Czech Republic. It was built in 1737 on the site of the former Gothic church. Its interior is decorated with a ...
Founded: 1737 | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary Spa Town

Karlovy Vary lies on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá. It is named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Bohemia, who founded the city. Karlovy Vary is the site of numerous hot springs (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River), and is the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic. In 2021, the city became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul

The beautifully decorated, Byzantine style Orthodox Church of Saint Peter and Paul was erected between the years 1893 and 1898 according to the design of architect Gustav Widemann from Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad). It was built in the fashion of the Byzantine-old Russian church in Ostankino near Moscow. The funds necessary for the construction of the church were raised among wealthy Serbian and Russian clientele and ...
Founded: 1893-1898 | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Andelská Hora Castle

Andělská Hora, originally called Engelsburg, is a castle above the village of Andělská Hora, about 7 kilometres southeast of Karlovy Vary. The ruins of the castle stands upon a rock overlooking the village of Andělská Hora which lies just below. It was founded at the turn of the 14th to the 15th century by Boreš z Rýznburk, a noblemen from the Rýznburk family, as protection for their estates. The castle was destr ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.