Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne
- Spa town
- 9 hours
- Car or Minivan
- Hotel pick up
- Tour guide
Two beautiful spas are on the programme of this private tour, the bigger, more „imperial“ Karlovy Vary and cosy picturesque Mary’s Spa with the famous Colonnade and Singing Fountain. On our way from Prague you will see the western bohemian countryside, which will astonish you with its simple beauty.
- Private Tour Guide
Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne lie in a region called Slavkovsky Forrest. The area is a nature reserve protected by law and is full of springs due to the volcanic activity. There are many spa towns in this area close to the German border, however we pick the two most important and interesting ones to take you to on this private tour.
Karlovy Vary is the biggest and most famous spa town in the Czech Republic. The town was founded in 1351 by Charles IV, allegedly during a hunting trip. The great emperor Charles IV was staying at a nearby castle Loket and while he and his group were chasing a stag, they stumbled upon the springs in the deep forest surrounded by hills. The small settlement started to grow rapidly at the beginning of the 18th century when people found out the healing power of the springs and the spa tourism started. People from all over Europe were coming to Karlovy Vary to enjoy the spa procedures. For example the Russian Tsar Peter I. came to Carlsbad (german name of Karlovy Vary) twice, in 1711 and 1712. He stayed for 6 weeks total and later remarked in his diary that his health stayed excellent for 4 years after the visit. The Golden era of Carlsbad came in the period from 1870 until 1914 with the introduction of a railroad. Tourists from all over Europe were coming to the spa town in hordes. Most of the beautiful architecture in the historical center was built during this Golden era. The popularity continued after WWI. In 1931 an airport was built so more affluent clients could come with a plane.
Before WWII most of the citizens of Karlovy Vary were of german nationality. After the war the majority of the local population was forced to leave because of their german citizenship. In 1948 the Communist party of Czechoslovaki took over the country and that meant the end of incoming tourism from the West for almost 42 years. The situation is getting slowly better since the fall of communism in 1989, however the number of visitors are still far behind the popularity and prosperity of the Golden era. Stroll with our private guide around the historical city center.
Marianske Lazne is the second biggest spa town in the Czech Republic. In 1197 the premonstratensians founded a monastery in the area. Soon they found the salty springs and tried to extract salt from the mineral water. This salt they were selling successfully as a laxative. The attempts by the monks to found a spa failed however because the local villagers and some of the monks did not trust the springs.
The spa town was founded in the second half of the 18th century during the reign of Maria Theresia. The name Marianske Lazne or Marienbad however was given to the spa town after the first spring that is dedicated to Virgin Mary. In the 19th century people like J. W. Goethe visited the town and helped spread the fame of the place. Richard Wagner found peace and inspiration there. In 1897 the english king Edward VII visited Marienbad and fell in love with it. He later came back 8 more times. Franz Kafka, Fryderyk Chopin, Louis Renault, Friedrich Nietzsche, T. G. Masaryk, Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain. Those are just some of the famous people who enjoyed the springs in the beautiful town of Marianske Lazne. Let our private guide take you there as well.
Alternatively check out our Karlovy Vary private tour!
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