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

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.

Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.

Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.

Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.

The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.