A Bird's-eye view of Karlovy Vary
|Rivers||Ohře, Teplá, Rolava|
|Elevation||447 m (1,467 ft)|
|Area||59.10 km2 (23 sq mi)|
|Population||50,172 (As of 2013[update])|
|Density||849 / km2 (2,199 / sq mi)|
|Mayor||Ing. Petr Kulhánek|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||360 01|
Location in Karlovy Vary District
|Wikimedia Commons: Karlovy Vary|
Karlovy Vary (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarlovɪ ˈvarɪ] ( ); German: Karlsbad; Russian: Карловы Вары; English: Carlsbad) is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (81 mi) west of Prague (Praha). 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). It is the most visited spa town in Czech Republic.1
In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination, especially known 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 Karlovy Vary. 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,2 after which Carlsbad Caverns National Park is named, Carlsbad, California,3 Carlsbad Springs, Ontario, and Carlsbad, Texas take their names from Karlovy Vary's English name, Carlsbad.
The first Celtic settlers came there before the Middle Ages.
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 such as 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 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.
Despite the right to self-determination declared in Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, the large German-speaking population of Bohemia was incorporated into the new state of Czechoslovakia against their will in accordance with the Treaty of Saint Germain. As a result, the German-speaking majority of Carlsbad protested. A demonstration on 4 March 1919 passed peacefully, but later that month, six demonstrators were killed by Czech troops after a demonstrations turned unruly.4
In 1938, the Sudetenland, including Carlsbad, became part of Nazi Germany according to the terms of the Munich Agreement. After World War II, in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the vast majority of the people of Carlsbad were forcibly expelled from the city because of their German ethnicity. In accordance with the Beneš decrees, their property was confiscated without compensation.
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.
- 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
Karlovy Vary is twinned with:
- Karl Hermann Frank, Nazi official
- Károly Pulváry (1907–1999), Hungarian designer5
- Walter Serner, dadaist
- Hana Soukupová, supermodel
- Karin Stoiber, née Buch (born 1943, Bochov), former First Lady of Bavaria
- Tomáš Vokoun, goaltender of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins
- Walter Becher
- Stanislav Birner
- Tomáš Borek
- Zbyněk Brynych
- Tomáš Došek
- Rudolf Křesťan
- Rick Lanz
- Ludmila Peterková
- Karel Rada
- Georg Riedel
- Josef Řihák
- Walter Serner
- Milan Šperl
- Jana Sýkorová
- Ignaz Ziegler
- Princess Michael of Kent
- Peter I of Russia visited Karlovy Vary in 1711
- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, as well as its first President, visited Karlsbad in 1918 for spa treatments
- František Běhounek, scientist and novelist, died here
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe,6 German poet, novelist, philosopher, scientist
- Princess Michael of Kent (born Baroness Marie Christine Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz), a member of the British Royal Family, was born in January 1945, prior to the expulsion of the German population later that year.
- Adalbert Stifter, Austrian writer
- Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, came for spa treatments. He and the poet Goethe would take walks together, much to the delight of the local people.
- Fryderyk Chopin, composer, and his parents met for the last time during a holiday in Karlsbad, August/September 1835.
- Anthony J. Drexel, senior partner of Drexel, Morgan & Co. (JPMorgan, today) and founder of Drexel University, died in Karlsbad in 1893 while spending the summer there for his health.
- Vladimir Voronin, former president or Republic of Moldova, visits Karlovy Vary every year for spa treatments.
- James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater, Scottish noble and an accomplished amateur landscape architect and philanthropist
- Ivan Turgenev, the Russian novelist, visited Karlsbad on numerous occasions for its healing waters.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karlovy Vary.|
The Grandhotel Pupp
- Vývoj návštěvnosti lázní v letech 2000 - 2011
- About Carlsbad, NM retrieved 2012-03-23
- City of Carlsbad - History of Carlsbad, retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "Zdeněk Vališ: 4. březen 1919 v Kadani". Virtually.cz. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- hu:Pulváry Károly
- Johannes Baier: Goethe und die Thermalquellen von Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad, Tschechische Republik). In: Jahresberichte und Mitteilungen des Oberrheinischen Geologischen Vereins. N. F. Bd. 94, 2012, ISSN 0078-2947, S. 87–103.
- Published in the 19th century
- John Merrylees (1886). Carlsbad and its Environs.
- Published in the 20th century
- "Carlsbad", Guide through Germany, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, &c (9th ed.), Berlin: J.H. Herz, 1908, OCLC 36795367
- "Carlsbad", The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, OCLC 14782424
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Karlovy Vary.|
- Karlovy Vary regional television channel KTB
- Municipal website (Czech)
- All about Karlovy Vary
- Impressions – slide show
- Sightseeing points (map and videos)
- Pictures & Streetmap from 1725 (?), A. F. Zuerner/Schenck (Amsterdam)
- Pictures & Streetmap from 1733, Homannische Erben (Nuernberg)
- Virtual Tour of Karlovy Vary
- Visitor Information Centre Karlovy Vary
- Karlovy Vary City Card - guide, maps, discounts