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Karlovy Vary has a colorful history dating back several centuries. Given its location at the confluence of the Tepla and Ohre rivers, and natural appeal due to its natural hot springs, it’s no wonder people have been heading to Karlovy Vary for hundreds of years.
It’s believed Karlovy Vary had been settled for a time before the written history began in 1370. At that time, King Charles IV began granting settlers the same rights and privileges as the settlers of nearby Loket. The area began to grow as people discovered the healing and natural curative effects, and the wealthy built homes here. But development was sidetracked by two major events in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
First, in 1583, the town suffered from the effects of a huge flood, and then in 1604, the city was destroyed completely by fire, in which 99 of the town’s 102 buildings were destroyed. But given its location and usefulness as a spa destination, building resumed. The town suffered greatly during the Thirty Years’ War and the war’s effect on other parts Europe decreased the number of spa visitors to Karlovy Vary, so townspeople had to turn to other means to forge a living.
The town became widely known as a spa destination in the 18th Century as more and more people flocked here for the curative effects of the hot springs.
Since then, Europe’s aristocracy and various celebrities have regularly visited Karlovy Vary making this a high-end vacation and resort destination.