The region of West Bohemia boasts of abundance of mineral springs. The mineral springs date back to the period of Tertiary volcanic activity. 60 mineral springs rise in the area of Karlovy Vary, namely lukewarm and hot springs. From time immemorial people have used especially hot springs.
All Karlovy Vary mineral springs rise in a fault line of aragonite slab in the valley of the Teplá river, which intersects as axis in this line. The fault line includes the area from Parkhotel Richmond as far as the Park colonnade.
Karlovy Vary was founded by the emperor of the Holy Roman empire and the Czech king Charles IV. A romantic legend informs us about this event. “Spa tourism” started only after the foundation of the town.
The healing powers of the 12 traditional mineral hot springs are used for treatment and their temperature ranges from 42 – 73 °C. Several other mineral springs have been used recently, as for example the cold spring “Štěpánka” or the “Iron Spring” and the tepid “Snake Spring”.
The thermal spring “Vřídlo” is the main Karlovy Vary spring. Its temperature is 73 oC and it gushes to a hight of 12 m. Every minute 2 000 l of water gushes out to the earth’s surface. If we imagine Thermal Spring like a trunk of a tree, then other springs are the branches of this trunk. The truth of it was affirmed several times in the past, when some mineral springs faded away and appeared again.
Karlovy Vary springs are of natural ionic solution containing dissolved carbone dioxide. The main dissolved subsances are sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium, further sulphate, chloride and many other mineral substances in a small quantity up to trace quantity. The whole volume of mineral substances is approximately 6.4 g/l and the contents of carbone dioxide is between 560-980 mg/l. Karlovy Vary mineral springs differ only a little, especially in the contents of trace elements. Mineral springs differ mainly in temperature and in the quantity of gaseous carbon dioxide. Especially temperature influences the quantity of dissolved minerals. Cold mineral springs (under 50 °C) have more diarrhoeic effect, hot springs have the opposite effect.
The Hot Spring 73,4 °C 2000 l / min.
The Charles IV Spring 61,7 °C 2,4 l / min.
The Lower Castle Spring 52,9 °C 2 l / min.
The Upper Castle Spring 53,6 °C 1,1 l / min.
The Market Spring 64,7 °C 5,1 l / min.
The Mill Spring 58,6 °C 3,7 l / min.
The Nymph Spring 60,4 °C 3,7 l / min.
The Prince Vaclav Nr. 1 Spring 66,1 °C 4,8 l/ min.
The Prince Vaclav Nr. 2 Spring 64,5 °C 3,8 l / min.
The Libuse Spring 63,4 °C 3,1 l / min.
The Rock Spring 47,1 °C 1,2 l / min.
The Freedom Spring 63,2 °C 4,8 l / min.
The Park Spring 42,8 °C 2,2 l / min.
The Stephanie Spring 14,4 °C 0,4 l / min.
The Snake Spring 28,9°C 1 l / min.
Karlovy Vary treatment is based mainly on drinking the mineral water. The quality of the treatment depends on the quality of natural curative resources. Karlovy Vary springs belong to the most effective natural resources in Europe.
The drinking cure is always prescribed by the doctor. The doctor prescribes the quantity of a concrete spring according to the health state of the patient. A daily amount of mineral water ranges from 0,6 l and It is recommended to drink mineral water 3 times a day, always 0,5 – 1 hour before the meal. Doctors recommend to drink the waters while walking slowly, not by sitting, at the springs. Specially formed spa cups are used for taking slow, little sips of water.
As a treatment of diseases of the digestive tract, drinking waters is one of the main procedures.
Effect of mineral waters
The healing effect of the springs is used for treatment of diseases of the digestive tract, disorders of metabolism (diabetes mellitus, higher level of fat in blood, gout). Hot springs are used for drinking cure, baths and irrigations.