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Karlovarsky kraj

The Karlovy Vary Region is located in the western part of the Czech Republic. It was created by dividing the West Bohemian region into Plzen Region and Karlovy Vary Region. The region forms a northern and western border with Germany, in the east it borders with the Ústí nad Labem Region and in the south with the Plzen Region. The Krušné Mountains stretch across the land of the region and along the border with Germany. The Karlovy Vary city has been said to represent the heart of the region. It's not only the biggest city in the Karlovy Vary area but also a historical and cultural center. The Ohře river, which flows through the city, is one of the biggest rivers in the Karlovy Vary Region. The region consists of three districts - Cheb, Karlovy Vary, and Sokolov. Karlovy Vary Region is one of the smallest regions in the Czech Republic, with a territory of 3,310 km². This represents 4.2% of the total area of the Czech Republic. As of December 31, 2020, the total population of the region was 293,311 people, with a dense population of circa 88 inhabitants per 1 kilometer.

What Karlovarsky kraj is known for

The name of the region- Karlovy Vary literally translates to "Charles's Baths", meaning the King Charles's Spa. The legend of the founding of Karlovy Vary says that during a hunting party a dog fell into the pool that had a rapidly gushing spring filled with hot water. The hunters of the expedition saved the dog and then tasted the hot water. Charles IV was said to be later informed about the discovery as well. He went to visit the spring himself, accompanied by doctors and scientists. Together with the doctors, he believed that this hot water had healing effects. He tested the water himself and stated that his health had improved. He then founded a spa called Teplé Lázně u Lokte, on the site of the alleged spring. [2]

Nowadays, the region is responsible for over half of the country's spa industry. Since the times of King Charles IV, 12 spas were founded in the city of Karlovy Vary. Other spa towns include Františkovy Lázně, Mariánske Lázně, or Jáchymov. The spas of this area are not only a popular holiday destination but also health, convalescence, and rehabilitation centre. Every year, tourists from Europe, Russia, Israel or North America visit and often enjoy the therapeutical effects of natural thermal springs of the Karlovy Vary.  [3]

In the city of Karlovy Vary, is held the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival every year. It is the largest film festival in the Czech Republic and one of the most popular film festivals in Central and Eastern Europe. As one of the oldest festivals in general, it presents 200 films coming from all over the world, including the productions of internationally famous filmmakers.[4]

Dominant in the region is the stone royal castle of Loket. This 800-year-old mansion is said to be built to serve as a border fortress. Shortly after 1989, it was opened to the public. The Loket Castle offers not only the tour route leading through porcelain exhibitions, the collections from the city museum, the museum of weapons, or former prison, but it also features many cultural events. [5]

Regarding the production, one of the most well-known sweets to the nation is produced in the city of Karlovy Vary, the Karlovy Vary Wafers. The town bears long tradition of producing the wafers, which dates back into the 18th century. For example, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, J. W. Goethe, and F. Schiller have enjoyed the spa wafers during their stays in the city of Karlovy Vary. Nowadays, the Karlovy Vary wafer brand is protected under the EU.[6]

Another globally famous product of the Karlovy Vary city is the Becherovka, a product and national heritage of the Czech Republic. This liqueur is produced according to the recipe that has remained unchanged since 1807, it contains 20 different kinds of herbs and no artificial ingredients. Nowadays, the brand, same as Karlovy Vary wafers, is registered as trademark and is exported worldwide.[7]

Among other internationally prominent products from Karlovy Vary includes Mineral Water Mattoni, which is distributed to over 20 countries around the world. It's popular for its long history and notable health benefits.[8]


The area of the Karlovy Vary Region is mainly mountainous as the Krušné Mountains stretch across its territory and along the border with Germany. The highest point is Klínovec, which has an altitude of 1,244 m above sea level. It lies in the district of Karlovy Vary and also has the lowest point in the region. The Ohře River is the biggest river in the Karlovy Vary region. Other important rivers are Teplá, Rolava, and Svatava. However, the most popular among those is the river Tepla, which flows through the valley of Karlovy Vary, where most of the hot springs are located. These springs then flow into the river Teplá, which creates a variety of aragonites. Larger pieces are used to make art and souvenirs typical for this destination. in the Karlovy Vary territory lies the biggest reserve of brown coal in the Sokolovská area. The area is also exceptionally rich in ceramic clays, resulting in massive porcelain production. Porcelain-producing factories are located almost everywhere throughout the region. However, the reserves of mineral and medicinal waters, as mentioned above, have the largest share in the global response to the Karlovy Vary Region.[1]

Regarding the climate, the warmest months of the year are on average July and August with an average temperature of 23°C. The coldest month is January with an average daily temperature of 1°C. The wettest months are generally during May, June, and, July with approximately 23 rainy days a month.[9]


The area of the Karlovy Vary Region is from the geographical point of view rather unfavourable. Steep slopes and unsuitable climatic conditions near the thermal springs tend not to provide desirable conditions for agricultural development of the area. For this reason, the Karlovy Vary area stayed uninhabited for a long time. However, the situation changed rapidly after King Charles's discovery of the thermal springs and their healing powers. The location of the first discovered thermal spring has been designated as a spa called Teplé Lázně u Lokte. The first settlements were later located mainly in today's peripheral parts of the city. The city had only a few inhabitants, with their main task being to take care of the thermal springs. The city of Karlovy Vary was initially developing at a relatively slow pace. When the development later accelerated, it got set back again because of the floods that hit the city. After that, the great fire destroyed most of the houses in the area. Only at the end of the 17th century, did the city start to grow again. European celebrities have also started to acknowledge and visit the city more and more often. In the 19th century, the city was connected with Cheb and Prague by rails. [2]

The Second World War stopped the development of the Karlovy Vary once again. In 1938, the so-called eight Karlovy Vary demands were introduced. They signified the disintegration of Czechoslovakia and in October of the same year, Karlovy Vary became part of the Third Reich. At the end of World War II, the town was hit by bombing, by which many historical buildings have been destroyed. The end of the war was also accompanied by the forced move out of the original German population. The city was very popular during socialism but has since changed. To this day, many buildings in the Karlovy Vary city are still owned by the citizens of the Russian Federation or other countries of the former Soviet Union.[2]