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A traditional legend about Charles IV, who allegedly stumbled upon the hot springs while riding through the Loket forests in 1350, is linked to the town’s foundation. Although it is certain from archaeological findings that people knew this place long before Charles IV discovered it, the founding of the town and its first settlement is attributed to him.
He named the place Warmbad /Horse Baths near Loket/, later renamed Karlovy Vary, and subsequently granted the new village town rights in 1370.
Karlovy Vary is a spa of world importance. Various diseases have been treated here with the help of thermo-mineral springs with a unique composition for more than 650 years. It is said that people attributed healing powers to the Karlovy Vary springs long before the town was founded.
However, the first historically preserved treatment took place at the end of the 14th century, when Charles IV bathed his sick feet in the mineral water of one of the springs. From then on until the 16th century, Carlsbad physicians stuck exclusively to this method of spa treatment.
Dr. Václav Payer gave the idea of using the spring water for internal use in 1521.
However, it was not until Dr. David Becher, who was also responsible for the balance of spa drinking treatments, that this method was perfected.