Top Historic Sights in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Explore the historic highlights of Karlovy Vary

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.