Monuments and points of interest in Carlsbad
Carlsbad is famous not only for its unique spa care, but also for its unique collection of spa buildings. The main spa promenade is bordered by beautiful colonnades, spa houses, hotels and other famous buildings justly deserving our admiration. Exhibitions and tours are a favourite tourist goal as well as popular sports areas.
The spa colonnades are one of the most admired monuments in Carlsbad, and deservedly so. They have been providing protection from the sun, rain and snow to the spa guests since the beginnings of spa care. You will find all the beneficial mineral springs necessary for your treatment under their roofs. There are five colonnades in Carlsbad and each is unique in some way.
Sadová (Park) Colonnade (1880)
The Park Colonnade was designed in the workshop of the Vienna architects Fellner and Helmer and it is but a leftover of the original Blanka Pavilion. Unlike the pavilion, this cast-iron colonnade has been preserved until today. It covers 3 springs:
- Hadí Spring 30 °C
- Sadový Spring 47.4 °C
- Svoboda Spring 60 °C
Mlýnská (Mill) Colonnade (1871–1881)
The stone Mlýnská (Mill) Colonnade is a masterpiece of the important Czech architect Josef Zítek. Its roof, decorated with statues, is supported by 124 Corinthian columns, with the spring fountains – vases – located between them. There are also an orchestra niche and a number of allegorical sculptures hidden there.
- Skalní Spring 53 °C
- Libuše Spring 62 °C
- Prince Václav I Spring 65 °C
- Prince Václav II Spring 58 °C (in front of the colonnade)
- Mlýnský Spring 56 °C
- Rusalka Spring 60 °C
Tržní (Market) Colonnade (1883)
When the architects Fellner and Helmer designed a wooden Market Colonnade in Swiss style in 1883 they believed it was going to be only a temporary structure. Since the building was still serving its purpose a hundred years later it was decided to keep it and carry out a reconstruction.
- Tržní Spring 62 °C
- Charles IV Spring 64 °C
Zámecká (Chateau) Colonnade (1911–1913)
This Art Nouveau stone building consists of 2 colonnades in fact: the Horní (Upper) Spring and the Dolní (Lower) Spring colonnades. Only the upper part is accessible to the public though. The Lower Spring colonnade is available only to the Zámecké (Chateau) Spa clients.
- Lower Chateau Spring (Zámecký dolní) 55 °C (surfacing in the Tržní Colonnade)
- Upper Chateau Spring (Zámecký horní) 50 °C
Vřídelní (Hot Spring) Colonnade (1969–1975)
The contemporary Hot Spring Colonnade was built in the Functionalist style and it covers the most impressive Carlsbad spring – the Hot Spring (Vřídlo). There is more to be admired about the Hot Spring besides its curative power. It spurts up to 12 metres and gushes up over 2,000 litres of water and 5,000 litres of CO2 every minute. Its temperature is remarkable as well, reaching up to 73°C. You can also go on an interesting tour under the floor of the Hot Spring Colonnade which will acquaint you with the qualities of the Hot Spring and its water.
- Hot Spring 73 °C
Important spa houses and hotels
The largest development of spa care took place in Carlsbad in the 19th and early 20th century. Most of the extant spa houses and hotels come from this period as well. The Neo-Baroque Spa V also known as Elizabeth (Alžbětiny) spa (1906) stands at the very beginning of the spa zone. When you continue along the promenade you will come across Spa (Lázně) III (1867) and the Military Spa (Vojenský lázeňský ústav) (1855) beyond the Sadová (Park) Colonnade. When you reach the Mill Colonnade one of the town landmarks will appear above its roof – hotel Imperial (1912). When you continue along the bank of the Teplá River you will reach Grandhotel Pupp (1781) and later the Imperial (Císařské) Spa (1895). The last two buildings mentioned were made famous also by one of the James Bond movies – Casino Royale.
Carlsbad is surrounded by spacious spa forests serving the visitors as a pleasant place for walks. Thanks to more than 130 km of well-tended trails of different difficulty they are accessible literally to everybody and they are often recommended by the spa doctors as a “terrain treatment”. There are uncountable gazebos, chalets, rest places as well as several lookout towers and lookouts.
- K nejnavštěvovanější rozhledně Diana (1914) se dostanete nejen po lesní stezce, ale také lanovkou od Grand hotelu Pupp. Rozhledna je 25 m vysoká a jako jediná má i bezbariérový přístup. Kromě rozhledny je tu k dispozici také lesní restaurace a minizoo.
- If you return by the funicular to the middle station of “Jelení skok” it is just a short walk to the “Jelení skok” lookout. Here a view of the chamois statue will open to you from a wooden gazebo beside another charming view of Carlsbad. The chamois statue is just as characteristic for Carlsbad as Becherovka.
- You can reach the nearby Pseudo-Gothic Charles VI lookout (1877), offering 2 lookout galleries to the visitors, along marked trails from Diana or the “Jelení skok”.
- • Another popular lookout place can be visited in a totally different part of the Spa Forests, in the municipal part of Drahovice – Three Crosses. You will find a wooden lookout gazebo by the three wooden crosses, said to have been erected here in the 17th century as a symbol of the town’s Recatholization.
Carlsbad has always been visited by people of different religions from the whole world. This is also reflected in the church buildings you find here. They were built to provide for the health of not only the body but the spirit of the guests as well.
- The oldest church building is the St. Andrew cemetery church (1500) built at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. The original building was reconstructed in 1841 in the spirit of the Empire style and the cemetery was turned into today’s Mozart Park.
- The most significant church building it the Catholic St. Mary Magdalene church (1713) with an underground crypt and ossuary which is one of the most significant Baroque buildings in the Czech Republic.
- The Orthodox St. Peter and Paul Church (1898) can be found in Krále Jiřího Street near the centre, decorated besides others by a statue of the Tsar Peter the Great who was one of the important guests of Carlsbad.
- The English church of St. Luke (1877) is another important church monument built in the Pseudo-Gothic style on the Chateau Hill.