Karlovy Vary Tourist Attractions
Commonly referred to by its German name, Karlsbad, Karlovy Vary is a town with a rich history. Famous visitors have been coming to the town since it was founded in 1358.
Some of the most famous include Peter the Great, Beethoven, Chopin, Schiller, Karl Marx and Goethe who returned 13 times.The hot springs literally explode into the Tepla River as it flows through the city. Water jets up to 14m / 46ft high shooting out of the riverbank and creating a nearly constant steam cloud. Views of this can be seen from the Yuri Gagarin Colonnade.There are 15 springs in all, and the town is well set up to allow visitors to steam, soak, and drink the special waters.Stunning architecture graces the town's streets and visitors will have trouble absorbing all the beautiful buildings. Most of the buildings are done in the Neo styles and Art Nouveau styles of the late 19th and early 20th Century.Karlovy Vary has been a cultural hotspot since its inception and that tradition continues today with a performing arts center, an art gallery and seven museums. Also of note is the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in early July. Visitors should check in at the Inforcentrum to see what is playing, they may be pleasantly surprised.
Karlovy Vary Film Festival
If you need a little star gazing to go with your therapeutic bathing, The Karlovy Vary Film Festival attracts a wide variety of famous actors and actresses. The film festival is held every July and the town fills up fast with close to 130,000 people attending over 200 films. Several Festival Passes are available ranging in length from one to five days. For those real film buffs, a pass is also available that will allow you to see every film in the entire festival!Festival organizers recommend that accommodation be booked as early as April. Top rated films are screened along with many lesser known works by up and coming directors. The Karlovy Vary Film Festival has been running continuously since 1946 with the only exceptions being 1953 and 1955.
Diana Lookout Tower
Behind the Grandhotel Pupp and located on top of a hill, visitors will find the 35m / 115ft high Diana Lookout tower. It provides fantastic views out over Karlovy Vary and is a good place to get your bearings before you start your touring.The Diana Lookout Tower can be reached in two ways. If you are feeling strong you can walk up the trails, which will take you to the base of the tower. This is a pleasant stroll through the forest where the sound of birdsong can be heard.Once you emerge from the forest, the hard work begins as it is a five story climb to the top of the tower. There is also a cable car for those who do not wish to walk up the trails; however, you still have to climb the five stories to the lookout tower.
Historical Motorcycle Museum of Karlovy Vary
Starting from a collection of only one old wrecked ancient motorcycle, the Historical Motorcycle Museum has grown to now include over 100 pieces. Housed in a building built in the mid 13th Century, the museum makes for a pleasant diversion from churches and mineral pools.A majority of the collection is housed in the attic of the museum. The attic is in its original form and shows the craftsmanship of the Bohemian builders. Soaring 14m / 46ft ceilings give the museum an airy feeling and present the collection in a pleasant setting.A small toy museum is also part of the complex. Featured are toys from the following areas of Bohemia: Skašovsko, Krounsko, Hlinecko, Príbramsko, and South-Bohemia.
Moser Glass Museum and Glassworks
For those interested in beautiful glass items, the Moser Glass Museum in the town of Moser should be at the top of their list. A fascinating history is presented through a series of exhibits and the museum is divided into six sections: history of the Moser Glassworks, samples of glassworks, decorative glass and table works, coats of arms and monograms, giant snifters, and samples from a glass symposia workshop held in the 1990's.While at the museum, be sure to take one of the tours of the Moser Glassworks. Here you can see the master glass blowers exhibiting their craft in their workshops. Featured techniques are mouth blowing into moulds and product hand shaping.
Marianske Lazne is a posh spa resort in Western Bohemia, located in lush rolling hills and artfully designed around the 40 springs, which are the basis of the spa. Developed in the early part of the 19th Century Marianske Lazne is a relatively new spa compared to some of the others in the Czech Republic. The architecture of the town is very ornate but tasteful and surrounded by endless gardens. Over the years the spa has attracted some famous visitors including the writers Goethe and Nikolai Gogol, as well as composers Wagner and Chopin, King Edward VII of England and Austrian Emperor Franz Josef. Each year during the third week of August the town hosts a Chopin Festival as a tribute to the composer.The central spa building in Marianske Lazne is the Colonnade (Kolonada), built in 1889. The springs contain different properties and doctors recommend treatments based on particular ailments. Some of the disease treated at the spa include kidney and liver diseases, respiratory and skin problems, nerve disorders, metabolic problems and more. The range of treatments include thermal baths, mud baths, gas baths, gas injections, and drinks.
Premonstratensian Monastery, Tepla
The Premonstratensian Monastery at Tepla was founded in the late 12th Century. The monks were also the owners of Marianske Lazne (a spa resort) in the 16th Century and were by all measures wealthy at that time. The monastery was closed under the Communist Regime and used as military barracks. Since that time the abbey has reverted back to religious hands and is once again inhabited by monks who have begun to restore it.The most notable aspects of the Tepla Monastery are the 13th Century Romanesque-Gothic church, which has remained relatively intact throughout the ages, and the library which contains almost 100,000 volumes, making it the second largest library in the Czech Republic.
Castle, Loket nad Ohri
The main attraction in the town of Loket nad Ohri in Western Bohemia is the Castle. Built in the 12th Century the castle is remarkably well preserved and has endured with few alterations. The castle was last restored in the 1970s. The imposing stone structure sits on a rocky mount high above the River Ohre and was used as a prison from the late 1700s to 1947. Visitors can tour the Loket Castle but there is not much to see, it is most impressive from the outside. The lookout tower offers some nice views over the surrounding area.
Map of Karlovy Vary Attractions