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Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) – Sister City of Carlsbad California

Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad)

Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) – Sister City of Carlsbad California is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohre and Teplá, near Prague. It became a famous healing center for European aristocrats and maintains its fame as a spa city to this day.
The connection between Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) and it’s Sister City of Carlsbad California is the water. In 1883 it was discovered that the water in Carlsbad, California was found to have remarkably similar mineral properties to Karlovy Vary and in honor of this connection our city was named Carlsbad.
Frazier’s well (The origin of Carlsbad Water), now a state historical site at Alt Carlsbad, features a statue of Frazier sculpted by former Karlovy Vary Mayor Vaclav Lokvenc. Karlovy Vary retains its forested and mountainous grandeur, old-world elegance and china, gem and glass industries. We established the Sister City relationship with our namesake city in 1991. Home-stay exchanges, student and group travel opportunities, arts and culture, sports and business seminars allow Carlsbad.  Karlovy Vary to learn about and benefit from each other. Hundreds of people from all three cities have now discovered how enriching it is to be part of an international family.

History of Karlovy Vary

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.
In the 14th century Czech King Charles IV was often riding his horse around the mountains near Karlsbad. Thanks to a chance his retinue one time apparently discovered the hot spring, to which the emperor soon attributed its curative power. He convinced himself about it with his own skin. Using the water from the spring he was able to heal his injured leg. According to a legend he ordered to build a town around the miraculous spring, which because of its springs still thrives and enjoys the fame far beyond the borders of our country.


The development of spa gave rise to the new social and special-purpose buildings. The first public spa house (The Mill Spa) was built early in the 18th century, along with the Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene.   The appearance of the town’s historic core was mainly influenced by the 19th century Art Nouveau popularity.
The spa fame grew thanks to visits by famous celebrities.
Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) was increasingly becoming an important venue for gatherings. The spa was visited by the scientific, political and artistic elite of the 19th century, such as Beethoven, Franz Joseph I, Dobrovský, Paganini, Chopin, Mozart, Gogol, Tyl, Barrande, Purkyně, Freud and many others.  Karlovy Vary is also popular among the today’s Hollywood elite. Stars as Jude Law, Antonio Banderas, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger and others show up there regularly.In the early 20th century Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) was the most famous spa town in Europe.

Present times

Today, Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) is a popular tourist destination. The year-round favor of the Czech and foreign guests is enjoyed by the dozens of spa hotels, guest houses, separate spa facilities and wellness centers. Tourists who don’t come here for the spa services can benefit from Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, held in early July.
Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) – Sister City of Carlsbad California