Karlovy Vary is famous not only for its unique spa treatment but also for its unique spa buildings. The main spa promenade lined with beautiful colonnades, spa houses, hotels and other important buildings certainly deserves your admiration. The most admired sights in Karlovy Vary are its spa colonnades. Since the early years of the spa town, colonnades provided protection from sun, rain and snow to spa guests. Beneath their roofs you will find all the beneficial mineral springs, necessary for healing. In Karlovy Vary are 5 colonnades and each one is unique in its own way.
Today's pseudo-Renaissance stone colonnade was built between 1871 and 1881 according to the project of the outstanding Czech architect Josef Zítek. Between 1891 and 1892, an extension of the Colonnade was built, the northern pavilion above the Rock Spring. Five mineral springs are in the interior of this colonnade, the largest in Karlovy Vary. The colonnades’ attic is complemented by twelve allegorical sandstone sculptures representing the individual months of the year.
The decorated cast-iron colonnade was originally part of a two-arm covered promenade porch in today's Dvorak gardens. The Karlovy Vary constructor Josef Waldert built the concert and restaurant hall between 1880 and 1881. In 1965, however, part of the colonnade was demolished and only the eastern wing, the promenade part was preserved from the whole building. A total reconstruction of the colonnade took place in the years 2000 - 2002, while a new spring, the Snake Spring was implemented.
According to the legend the Emperor Charles IV has been treating his diseased limbs at the location of the local Charles IV spring. A simple pillar gazebo and a short promenade hall originally protected the springs. The Swiss-style wooden colonnade was built on the site of the Karlovy Vary Old Town Hall between 1882 and 1883, according to the design of the famous Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. In the years 1904-1905 the colonnade was extended over the Market Spring, according to the proposal of the director of the town building office Franz Drobny.
The Art Nouveau colonnade was built according to the design of the famous Viennese architect Johann Friedrich Ohmann between 1910 and 1912. The colonnade consists of three separate units; the Colonnade of the Lower Castle Spring, the sun spa and the Colonnade of the Upper Castle Spring. It was supposed to connect the space above the Castle Spring with the Market Colonnade and create a single promenade unit. In the years 2000 - 2001, the dilapidated building of the Castle Colonnade was reconstructed into a complex treatment facility called Castle Spa, according to the project of the architect Alexander Mikoláš.
Hot Spring Colonnade
Originally only light canopies and pavilions protected the Hot Spring, which could be easily recovered after repetitive explosions and surprising breakouts of the spring. The first unified architectural design of the space around the Hot Spring came in 1826, when the first Empire Spring Colonnade was built. In 1878-1879, a new cast-iron Spring Colonnade was built in its pseudo-Renaissance style according to the design of the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. However, in 1939, the colonnade was dismantled due to corrosion, and for the next 27 years it was replaced by a wooden provisory. A new modern glass reinforced concrete colonnade was built according to the project of Ing. arch. Jaroslav Otruby and opened above the Hot Spring in a functionalist style in 1975.