Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary (ˈkarlovɪ ˈvarɪ; ; Carlsbad) is a spa city
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

 situated in western Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře
The Ohře is a 316 km long river in Germany and the Czech Republic , left tributary of the Elbe. The basin area of the river has a size of 6,255 km², of which 5,614 km² are in the Czech Republic and 641 km² in Germany...

 and Teplá, approximately 130 km (80.8 mi) west of Prague (Praha). It is named after King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Charles IV
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles IV , born Wenceslaus , was the second king of Bohemia from the House of Luxembourg, and the first king of Bohemia to also become Holy Roman Emperor....

, who founded the city in 1370. It is historically famous for its hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

 (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River).

In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination, especially for international celebrities visiting for spa treatment. The city is also known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is a film festival held annually in July in Karlovy Vary , Czech Republic. The Karlovy Vary Festival gained worldwide recognition over the past years and has become one of Europe's major film events....

 and the popular Czech liqueur
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.The...

 Karlovarská Becherovka
Becherovka is a herbal bitters that is produced in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, by the Jan Becher company. The brand is owned by Pernod Ricard....

. The glass manufacturer Moser Glass
Moser Glass
Moser a.s. is a luxury, high-quality glass manufacturer based in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, previously Karlsbad in Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. The company is known for manufacturing fine stemware, decorative glassware , luxury glass gifts and various art engravings...

 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
Casino Royale (2006 film)
Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the James Bond film series and the first to star Daniel Craig as fictional MI6 agent James Bond...

, both of which used the city's Grandhotel Pupp
Grandhotel Pupp
The Grandhotel Pupp is a 228-room luxury hotel located in Karlovy Vary , Czech Republic. The hotel hosts the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival....

 in different guises.

Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad is a city in and the county seat of Eddy County, New Mexico, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 26,138. Carlsbad is the center of the designated micropolitan area of Carlsbad-Artesia, which has a total population of 55,435...

; Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park for most visitors is the show cave, Carlsbad Caverns...

; and Carlsbad, California
Carlsbad, California
-2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Carlsbad had a population of 105,328. The population density was 2,693.1 people per square mile . The racial makeup of Carlsbad was 87,205 White, 1,379 African American, 514 Native American, 7,460 Asian, 198 Pacific Islander, 4,189 from other...

 all take their names from Karlovy Vary's former name Carlsbad.


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 like David Becher and Josef von Löschner
Josef von Löschner
Josef Wilhelm Freiherr von Löschner or in Czech Josef Vilém z Löschneru was an Austrian physician born in Kaaden, Bohemia. In 1834 he received his medical doctorate at Prague, and later became a professor at the University of Prague. During 1862-63 he was rector at the University...

, 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 is a city in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic, with about 33,000 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Ohře , at the foot of one of the spurs of the Smrčiny and near the border with Germany...

 (Cheb) and Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 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 already 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
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

's Fourteen Points
Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe...

, the large German-speaking population of Bohemia was incorporated into the new state of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 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.

In 1938, the Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

, including Carlsbad, became part of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 according to the terms of the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

. After World War II, in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
The Potsdam Agreement was the Allied plan of tripartite military occupation and reconstruction of Germany—referring to the German Reich with its pre-war 1937 borders including the former eastern territories—and the entire European Theatre of War territory...

, the vast majority of the people of Carlsbad were forcibly expelled
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

 from the city because of their German ethnicity. In accordance with the Beneš decrees
Beneš decrees
Decrees of the President of the Republic , more commonly known as the Beneš decrees, were a series of laws that were drafted by the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile in the absence of the Czechoslovak parliament during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II and issued by President...

, their property was confiscated without compensation.

Before that, the Carlsbad Decrees
Carlsbad Decrees
The Carlsbad Decrees were a set of reactionary restrictions introduced in the states of the German Confederation by resolution of the Bundesversammlung on 20 September 1819 after a conference held in the spa town of Carlsbad, Bohemia...

 of 1819 had associated the city with anti-liberal censorship within the German Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...


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


  • Karl Hermann Frank
    Karl Hermann Frank
    Karl Hermann Frank was a prominent Sudeten German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia prior to and during World War II and an SS-Obergruppenführer...

    , Nazi official
  • Károly Pulváry (1907–1999), Hungarian designer
  • Walter Serner
    Walter Serner
    Walter Serner was a German-language writer and essayist. His manifesto Letzte Lockerung was an important text of Dadaism....

    , dadaist
  • Hana Soukupová
    Hana Soukupová
    Hana Soukupová is a Czech model. She has participated in the Victoria's Secret fashion shows and modeled for the Victoria Secret Catalog.-Early life:...

    , supermodel
  • Karin Stoiber, née Buch
    Karin Stoiber
    Karin Stoiber Karin Stoiber Karin Stoiber (born on 6 July, 1943, in Karlsbad, Sudetenland (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic) was the First Lady of Bavaria from 1993 to 2007....

     (born 1943, Bochov
    Bochov is a town in the Czech Republic....

    ), Former First Lady of Bavaria
  • Tomáš Vokoun
    Tomas Vokoun
    Tomáš Vokoun is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently playing for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League .-Playing career:...

    , goaltender of the NHL Washington Capitals
    Washington Capitals
    The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Since their founding in 1974, "The Caps" have won one conference championship to reach the 1998 Stanley Cup...

  • Walter Becher
    Walter Becher
    Walter Becher was a Bohemian German politician, representative of the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights , All German Party and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria....

  • Carl Weidl-Raymon (1894, here 1987, Hakodate), Bohemian German/Japanese butcher, entrepreneur (hams, sausages) & (Kou) Maria Weidl-Raymon, née Katsuta (1901, Hakodate  1997, Hakodate)
  • Stanislav Birner
    Stanislav Birner
    Stanislav Birner , is a former professional tennis player from Czechoslovakia.Birmer enjoyed most of his tennis success while playing doubles. During his career he won 2 doubles titles. He achieved a career-high doubles ranking of World No. 43 in 1987.-Doubles titles :-Runner-ups :-External links:...

  • Tomáš Borek
    Tomáš Borek
    Tomáš Borek is a professional Czech football player.-References:* *...

  • Zbyněk Brynych
    Zbynek Brynych
    Zbyněk Brynych was a Czech film director and screenwriter. He directed 30 films between 1951 and 1985.-Selected filmography:* Suburban Romance * The Fifth Horseman is Fear -External links:...

  • Tomáš Došek
    Tomáš Došek
    Tomáš Došek is a Czech football player who currently plays for FC Zbrojovka Brno. His twin brother Lukáš plays for FC Thun in the Swiss Super League...

  • Rudolf Křesťan
    Rudolf Křesťan
    Rudolf Křesťan is a Czech writer, editor and feuilletonist. He is the author of 16 books printed in more than 250,000 copies.- Biography :...

  • Rick Lanz
    Rick Lanz
    Richard Roman Lanz is a former professional ice hockey defenceman who spent 10 seasons in the National Hockey League and is best known for his time with the Vancouver Canucks...

  • Ludmila Peterková
    Ludmila Peterková
    Ludmila Peterková is a Czech clarinetist.From the age of 7 she started to play the recorder, but later switched to clarinet. From 1983 to 1988 she studied at Prague Conservatory; since the age of 27 she has been working there as a professor. In the course of her studies she won a lot of musical...

  • Karel Rada
    Karel Rada
    Karel Rada is a former Czech football defender. He played for the Czech Republic, for which he played 43 matches and scored 4 goals.He was a participant in the Euro 1996, where the Czech Republic won the silver medal....

  • Georg Riedel
  • Josef Řihák
    Josef Rihák
    Josef Řihák is a Czech politician. Řihák is a member of Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic and mayor of Příbram....

  • Walter Serner
    Walter Serner
    Walter Serner was a German-language writer and essayist. His manifesto Letzte Lockerung was an important text of Dadaism....

  • Milan Šperl
    Milan Šperl
    Milan Šperl is a Czech cross country skier who has been competing since 2000. He won a bronze medal in the team sprint at the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo...

  • Jana Sýkorová
    Jana Sýkorová
    Jana Sýkorová is a Czech operatic contralto. She has been a leading soloist with the Prague State Opera since 1999. Since 2002 she has been a permanent guest at the National Theatre in Prague and was made a permanent guest at the National Theatre in Brno in 2006.-Biography:Born in Karlovy Vary,...

  • Ignaz Ziegler
    Ignaz Ziegler
    Ignaz Ziegler was an Austrian rabbi, chief rabbi of Karlovy Vary.He was educated at the Rabbinical Seminary and at the University of Budapest . Immediately after his graduation he was called to the rabbinate of Carlsbad...

Notable people associated with Karlovy Vary

  • Peter I of Russia
    Peter I of Russia
    Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

     visited Karlovy Vary in 1711
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

    , founder of the
    Father of the Nation
    Father of the Nation is an honorific title given to a man considered the driving force behind the establishment of their country, state or nation...

     Republic of Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     as well as its first President, visited Karlsbad in 1918 for spa treatments
  • František Běhounek
    František Behounek
    František Běhounek was a Czech scientist , explorer and writer.The asteroid 3278 Běhounek is named after him.- Biography :Běhounek studied physics and mathematics at Charles University, later radiology in France at Marie Curie-Skłodowska. In 1920s, he was one of the founders of State Radiological...

    , scientist and novelist; died here
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe, German poet, novelist, philosopher, scientist
  • Princess Michael of Kent
    Princess Michael of Kent
    Princess Michael of Kent is an Austrian-Hungarian member of the British Royal Family. She is married to Prince Michael of Kent, who is a grandson of King George V....

     (born Baroness Marie Christine Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz), a member of the British Royal Family
    British Royal Family
    The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

    , was born in January 1945, prior to the expulsion of the German population later that year.
  • Adalbert Stifter
    Adalbert Stifter
    Adalbert Stifter was an Austrian writer, poet, painter, and pedagogue. He was especially notable for the vivid natural landscapes depicted in his writing, and has long been popular in the German-speaking world, while almost entirely unknown to English readers.-Life:Born in Oberplan in Bohemia , he...

    , Austrian writer
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

    , 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
    Drexel University
    Drexel University is a private research university with the main campus located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It was founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a noted financier and philanthropist. Drexel offers 70 full-time undergraduate programs and accelerated degrees...

    , died in Karlsbad in 1893 while spending the summer there for his health.
  • Vladimir Voronin
    Vladimir Voronin
    Vladimir Nicolaevici Voronin is a Moldovan politician. He was the third President of Moldova from 2001 until 2009 and has been the First Secretary of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova since 1994...

    , former president or Republic of Moldova, visits Karlovy Vary every year for spa treatments.
  • James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater
    James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater
    James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater and 4th Earl of Seafield was a Scottish peer and an accomplished amateur landscape architect and philanthropist...

    Scottish noble and an accomplished amateur landscape architect and philanthropist.

External links

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