Showing posts with label Karlovy Vary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karlovy Vary. Show all posts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snake Spring

The Snake Spring is the most recent spring made accessible to the public in Karlovy Vary so far. The spring was diverted to the premises of the southwestern pavilion of the Park Colonnade during a reconstruction of the promenade in 2001. The snake-shaped column, through which the spring rises, is decorated at the top with a vase with snake-like handles. The name of the spring is derived from grass snakes that had inhabited areas behind the colonnades in large numbers. The Snake Spring contains less minerals than other springs but is considerably richer in carbon dioxide. Since its opening, it has become very popular among the spa guests.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Castle Colonnade

The seep of the Zámecký pramen (Castle Spring) first appeared in 1769 below Zámecká věž (Castle Tower) in the historical centre of Karlovy Vary. After performing a chemical analysis of the spring, Karlsbad physician Dr. David Becher proposed the exploitation of the mineral water for balneological purposes. The first arbour was built over the Castle Spring in 1797. An eruption of the Hot Spring in 1809 caused the Castle Spring to disappear and to reappear only 14 years later. In 1830, a new wooden colonnade designed by architect Josef Esch was built next to the arbour arching over the Castle Spring. A new Art Nouveau colonnade according to the design of renowned Viennese architect Johann Friedrich Ohmann was constructed on the site in the years 1910 and 1912. The colonnade consisting of three separate structures, i.e. the Lower Castle Spring Colonnade, the Sun Bath, and the Upper Castle Spring Colonnade, was to connect the area above the Castle Spring with the Market Colonnade in order to create a single promenade. In 1913, the rear side of the seep of the Lower Castle Spring was complemented with a monumental Art Nouveau relief of the Spirit of the Springs carved into sinter by Viennese sculptor Wenzel Hejda. In 2000 and 2001, the dilapidated Castle Colonnade was converted into the Zámecké lázně (Castle Spa) Spa and Wellness Centre designed by architect Alexandr Mikoláš. Today, the Castle Spa is accessible only to its guests. Nevertheless, the arbour with the Upper Castle Spring remains open to the public and the Lower Castle Spring has been diverted to the Market Colonnade. 

Market Colonnade

The seep of the mineral spring located in the historical Tržiště (Market) below Zámecká věž (Castle Tower), which is known as the Charles IV Spring, was originally called Žrout (Glutton) and according to legend, Emperor Charles IV himself healed is ailing limbs with its waters. The oldest baths in Karlovy Vary once stood on this site. The spring seeps were originally protected by a simple columnar arbour and a short promenade hall. The current richly carved wooden colonnade was built in Swiss style on the site of the old Town Hall according to the design of famous Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer between the years 1882 and 1879. The own construction of the colonnade, intended as a temporary structure, was commissioned to master carpenter Oesterreicher from Vienna. During 1904 and 1905, the colonnade was prolonged to cover the seep of the Market Spring based on the design of the Director of the Municipal Building Office, Franz Drobny.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (81 mi) west of Prague (Praha). It is named after King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who founded the city in 1370. It is historically famous for its hot springs (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River). It is the most visited spa town in Czech Republic. In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination, especially known for international celebrities visiting for spa treatment. The city is also known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the popular Czech liqueur Karlovarská Becherovka. The glass manufacturer Moser Glass 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, both of which used the city's Grandhotel Pupp in different guises. Carlsbad, New Mexico, after which Carlsbad Caverns National Park is named, Carlsbad, California, Carlsbad Springs, Ontario, and Carlsbad, Texas take their names from Karlovy Vary's English name, Carlsbad.
The first Celtic settlers came there before the Middle Ages.
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 such as David Becher and Josef von Löschner, 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) and Prague 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 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's Fourteen Points, the large German-speaking population of Bohemia was incorporated into the new state of Czechoslovakia 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, including Carlsbad, became part of Nazi Germany according to the terms of the Munich Agreement. After World War II, in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the vast majority of the people of Carlsbad were forcibly expelled from the city because of their German ethnicity. In accordance with the Beneš decrees, their property was confiscated without compensation. Before that, the Carlsbad Decrees of 1819 had associated the city with antiliberal censorship within the German Confederation. 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.