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Using natural medicinal sources, baths, drinking water and treatment in a spa has played a significant role in medicine as one of the oldest way of therapy to have ever been used. Gradually spas were built near sources, mainly around the springs of mineral and thermal water. The deposits of peat and mud were also valuable materials for the warm treatment and packs, favoured by the people with rheumatism. Favourable climate has given rise to a lot of spas. However, spas have not always been built only near natural sources. Sometimes, a reformatory healer with a strong personality enforced new methods. For example, using regular cold water in various application forms for treatment, thus contributing to the establishment of a lot of spas.
The tradition of our balneology is younger than that of South Europe and in the Mediterranean lands with old patterns. However, our spas have received extraordinary repute and esteem in the past in Europe and have finally become an important part of medicine and balneology. Mainly West Bohemian spas have become famous in the last century. Therefore, it is no wonder that both balneology and hydrotherapy were for the first time lectured at the European University in Prague.
The world-renowned Czech spa resorts, abounding in both hot and cold springs of mineral water; have been known for several centuries. The majority of them provide treatment under the supervision of specialists throughout the year to suit the particular problems of the patients. Their high-quality hotels, stylish guest houses and spa colonnades nestling in picturesque parks have played host to a number of prominent personalities, including Goethe, Schiller, Chopin, Beethoven, Wagner, Chateaubriand and Tsar Petr the Great of Russia.FAMOUS CZECH SPA RESORTS
also known as Carlsbad, is the Czech Republic's largest the best-known and most important spa, located in western Bohemia, is a beautifully restored spa town where you can promenade on the main street, sample curative waters from one of the town's several hot mineral springs, or just indulge in the scenery. The town was founded in 1358 by famous Czech king and Roman emperor Charles IV. The current appearance of Karlovy Vary dates from the last third of the 19th century and features architecture of the Art Nouveau style. The spa has 12 curative springs with temperatures ranging from 30 to 70 degrees Celsius. The spa has attracted many famous visitors, including J.W.Goethe, F.Schiller, J.S.Bach, R.Wagner, .Chopin, F.Liszt, J.Brahms and others. Every year the town becomes the venue of an International Film Festival. The town is also known for its production of Moser glass, porcelain and the Becher herb liqueur.
The fame of Karlovy Vary has spread into the whole world thanks to its mineral springs. There are 12 healing springs in the spa. Their basic compositions are similar but they differ in temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide, and that is why their effects are different as well. The colder springs usually have a slightly purgative effect, while the warmer ones make the production of bile and stomach juices slower. The strongest is the Vřídlo spring, rising from the depth of 2,000-3,000 metres. The temperature reaches 73° C. The temperature of the other springs is around 40° C. The springs cure mainly metabolic disorders; they are also used for inhalations and baths.
Most visitors to Karlovy Vary come for a spa treatment, a therapy that lasts 1 to 3 weeks. After consulting with a spa physician, you're given a specific regimen of activities that may include mineral baths, massages, waxings, mudpacks, electrotherapy, and pure oxygen inhalation. After spending the morning at a spa or sanatorium, you're usually directed to walk the paths of the town's surrounding forest.
The common denominator of all the cures is an ample daily dose of hot mineral water, which bubbles up from 12 springs. This water definitely has a distinct odor and taste. Do keep in mind that the waters are used to treat internal disorders, so the minerals may cleanse the body thoroughly -- in other words, they can cause diarrhea.
You'll also notice that almost everyone in town seems to be carrying "the cup." This funny-looking cup is basically a mug with a built-in straw running through the handle. Young and old alike parade around with their mugs, filling and refilling them at each thermal water tap. If you're coming for just a day or two, you can experience the waters on an "outpatient" basis.
The largest balneological complex in town (and in the Czech Republic) is the Alzbetiny Lázne-Lázne V, Smetanovy sady 1145/1
The Sanatorium Baths III-VESO, Mlýnské nábrezí 7 welcomes day-trippers with mineral baths, massages, saunas, and a cold pool.
The Castle Bath (Zámecké Lázne), Zámecký vrch is a new spa and wellness house located in a reconstructed site at the foot of the Castle Tower (Zámecká vez) in the old city center.
Points of interest
The tradition of Czech spas is an inseparable part of the European cultural heritage. Due to the high quality of their curative resources, they have won fame and recognition in Europe and found their place in the history of medicine and balneology. However, Czech spas do not only mean health cures, but also recreation, rest, and a refuge from everyday stress. All of this is combined with a pleasant environment, rich cultural life, sports and entertainment. In addition, you can combine your stay with a trip to any of the romantic chateau parks, medieval castles, churches or monasteries in the surroundings.
Jan Becher Museum
Tour the historic cellars and watch a video on the aging and production of Becherovka, a well-known medicinal herbal liqueur.
The country's warmest geothermal spring spouts from a depth of 3,000 meters at a temperature of 73 degrees Celsius.
This scenic and well-manicured city park features Sádová Kolonáda, an ornate, wrought-iron gazebo.
Church of St. Mary Magdalene
Located on a hill overlooking the region's hottest spring, this church features an 18th century deanery.
Old Louka Street (Stara Louka)
Karlovy Vary's most famous shopping street is lined with high-end boutiques, elegant cafes and specialty shops.
The oldest 18-hole golf course in the country, golf hall with golf simulator, tennis courts, outdoor and roofed swimming pools, billiard, horse-riding, shooting-range, skateboard, karate, squash, sightseeing flights over the city.
International Film Festival (since 1946), Mozart a Karlovy Vary – the music festival, Tourfilm – the international festival of films about tourism, Dvořákův Karlovarský podzim, International Jazz Festival, Singers´ Competition of Antonín Dvořák Museum, Town Theatre, cinemas, galleries, dancing cafes, discotheques.
Crystal and porcelain are Karlovy Vary's other claims to fame. Dozens of shops throughout town sell everything from plates to chandeliers. More info...
"There is no more beautiful spa in all the world." Thomas Alva Edison
is situated 46km (29 miles) SW of Karlovy Vary, 160km (100 miles) W of Prague as the second biggest town of the West Bohemian spas. The town, commonly known by its German name, Marienbad is nestled in a charming valley, surrounded by well-kept green woods. The spa's 40 springs differ in their chemical composition, but all contain a great amount of free carbon dioxide and all are cold. The spa has hosted such famous personages as Edward VII., Nicholas II., J.W.Goethe, F.Chopin, N.V.Gogol and others.
The springs are used to treat diseases of the kidney and urinary tract, metabolic disorders, skin diseases, diseases of the joints and diseases of the respiratory tract.
Points of Interest
The dominant architectural style of the town and a real architectural jewel is an eye-catching Lázenská Kolonáda, made of cast iron and glass with ceiling frescoes and Corinthian columns. Everyday from 6am to noon and 4 to 6pm you can bring your own mug or buy one of the porcelain mugs with a built-in straw and drink the water from half a dozen major springs in the town center. Keep in mind that the waters are used to treat internal disorders, so the minerals may cause diarrhea. You can wander the Kolonáda which was built 1889 in any time.
Located just next to the colonnade is "The Singing Fountain". It is a pool surrounding a flower sculpture of stainless steel which contains a set of 250 water jets. At the top of every odd hour, between 7am and 9pm, and at 10pm, these jets spray in syncopation to music by different composers.
Golf courses, the second oldest in Europe, founded by Edward VII, King of England, Minigolf, tennis courts, swimming pools, solariums, fitness, horse riding, yachting, fishing, skiing, tourist and cyclist routes.
The Chopin's Festival (first in 1950), the Mozart's Festival
Concert halls, theatre, gallery, cinema, dancing cafes, casinos, clubs
This West Bohemian spa is wedged between forests and is famous as origin of unique treatments based on radioactive springs. The town was founded in 1516 and its local silver mint struck the Jachymov tolar whose name still lives in the US dollar. Modern therapeutic methods used in Jachymov, such as baths in thermal water with high radon content, greatly contribute towards improving the health of people suffering from disorders of the motor tract (rheumatism), nervous system and metabolism. Special programme for seniors.
One of the most beautiful towns of Southern Bohemia. The curative effects of the local peat have been known since time immemorial. The sanatorium offers treatments for disorders of the motor system, post-operative states, reconditioning.
(most famous spa in Moravia lying on the slopes of the White Carpathians)
The biggest spa in Moravia boasts well-equipped spa institutions and lies in a picturesque valley. The therapeutic treatment provided in the spa is based on the use of local natural sources of hydrogen carbonate-chloride sodic mineral waters, which are used for drinking cures, inhalation procedures and baths. The spa institutes specialise in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory tract, disorders of the digestive tract, diabetes and obesity, metabolic derangement and disorders of the motor system.
The natural spa Lazne Kynzvart is the most important spa in the Czech Republic due to its treatment of the respiratory tract in children.
Janske Lazne is a small mountain town in East Krkonose Mountains with favourable climate and a thermal curative spring discovered in the 11th century. The spa is specialised in the treatment of the motor system disorders, upper respiratory tract, nervous disorders, oncology diseases and post-burn states.