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Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) is an internationally famous spa known for its medicinal hot spring waters and the long list of royal and ultra celebrity guests who once came a century or two ago. The spa town is also noted for its preserved and renovated 19th century buildings.

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Karlovy Vary: khar'-luh-vee vahr'ee

Mineral water

The famous local mineral-spring Karlsbad waters are heated by deep underground volcanic thermal energy. They are used for curative baths and drinks.

Glory, decline, and revival

The spa town reached its zenith in the 1800s through the late 1920s. Then, through neglect, its treasured buildings began deteriorating. In recent decades, nearly all of its key buildings have been restored. Today, Karlsbad is once again picturesque. Its town center is postcard perfect.


Karlsbad has a number of colonnades. These are pillared buildings constructed over hot springs (see photo). You visit them to drink mineral water as it emerges fresh from underground springs.

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