The world famous spa town of Karlovy Vary, also known by its German name of Karlsbad (or Carlsbad in English), was founded in 1350 by the Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Karlovy Vary lies in a green valley of the river Teplá (meaning “Warm”) and its setting alone gives it an atmosphere of beauty and peace. The town has been recapturing its former glory with its Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings being restored and people rediscovering all the town has to offer.
The town’s visitors over the years have included Casanova, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka, Alphonse Mucha, Peter I of Russia visited Karlovy Vary in 1711, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, visited Karlsbad in 1918 for spa treatments, František Běhounek, scientist and novelist, died here, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 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, 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, Jean de Carro, Swiss physician, published the Almanach de Carlsbad, Gerda Mayer, English poet, born in Karlsbad, Baron Gustaf Mannerheim (1867-1951), Marshal of Finland, President of the Finnish Republic, and many representatives of the world film industry who come to Karlovy Vary as guests of the International Film Festival held every year in July.