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 under the name 'Great Spa Towns of Europe'.

From the end of the 12th century to the early 13th century, German settlers from nearby German-speaking regions came as settlers, craftsmen and miners to develop the region's economy. Eventually, Karlovy Vary/Karlsbad became a town with a German-speaking population.

In 1325, Obora, a village in the today's city area, was mentioned. Karlovy Vary as a small spa settlement was founded most likely around 1349. According to a legend, Charles IV organized an expedition into the forests surrounding modern-day Karlovy Vary during a stay in Loket. It is said that his party once discovered a hot spring by accident, and thanks to the water from the spring, Charles IV healed his injured leg. On the site of a spring, he established a spa.

An important political event took place in the city in 1819, with the issuing of the Carlsbad Decrees following a conference there. Initiated by the Austrian Minister of State Klemens von Metternich, the decrees were intended to implement anti-liberal censorship within the German Confederation.

Due to publications produced by physicians such as David Becher and Josef von Löschner, the city developed into a famous spa resort in the 19th century and was visited by many members of European aristocracy as well as celebrities from many fields of endeavour. It became even more popular after railway lines were completed from Prague to Cheb in 1870.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Czech Republic


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dirk De Groote (10 months ago)
Maybe due to corona rules, this hotel does not deserve its 5 star rating. The rooms are very nice and clean. But the catering is below par. Breakfast and diner are ok at most, not brilliant. Room service is not available at all advertised times. Facilities ok for those seeking wellness or health therapy. Little else to do in the hotel or town. I would rate the hotel 4 stars, not 5.
Susana Novak (2 years ago)
One of the best Hotels ever! Will for sure come back. Amazing breakfast, friendly staff, comfortable bed, amazing Spa zone. Just a beautiful place to stay.
Katalin Soltesz (2 years ago)
Very friendly staff. Room equipped with bathrobe and slippers, and even different (plastic) slippers provided for the pool area (that are separately packaged and displayed in the pool’s changing room.) Mini bar with drinks, Pringle’s and chocolate, clean room and amazing surroundings.
Martin Vavro (2 years ago)
Very nice breakfast, rooms look fancy and you get a complimentary instant hot chocolate, so yeah, I loved it.
Christoph Columbus (3 years ago)
One of the best hotel I‘ve been. Great service. Very good accommodation with a classic and elegant style. A wide and secured garage for everyone who traveled by car. Perfect for people who like to spend quality time which each other. Please keep this high level up. Best greeting from Germany. I stayed for 3 days.
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