Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Relax and Refresh in Karlovy Vary

Do you need a vacation? Perhaps something relaxing and soothing? (Don’t we all!) Never fear – I have the answer! Karlovy Vary, the world-famous spa town in the Czech Republic. Located about 80 miles west of Prague, this is truly a “hot spot.” The town is built around thermal springs believed to have healing properties. (And you can impress your friends at your next get-together by knowing that the therapeutic use of baths is called balneology.)

The city is named for the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who – in addition to having the longest royal title ever - founded the city in 1370. Legend says it was founded when the Emperor was hunting deer in the woods when one of his hounds fell into one of the hot springs. (Poor puppy!) The Emperor noticed the hound seemed…well…healthier, and jumped right into the spring himself. A short soak in the water convinced Charles that the waters had helped heal an old leg injury, and he decreed that a town should be built around the healing springs.

Since then, the city has seen a never-ending stream of well-known visitors, including Peter the Great, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Fryderyk Chopin. Today, celebrities from all over the world visit Karlovy Vary not just for its springs, but for the charm and beauty of the historic town.

-Heather Tinley, Opera Colorado Marketing Coordinator

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