Location: Not far from Grandhotel Pupp in the southern part of the spa centre of Karlovy Vary
Period of construction: Between 1893 and 1895
Architect: Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer
Official opening: 5 May 1895
Accessibility: Not accessible
How to get there
Route 1: You may reach the Imperial Spa if you walk from the Hot Spring in the spa centre along the Teplá River and Grandhotel Pupp to Sady Karla IV. (Charles IV Park). This short level route through the historical part of the city is approximately 500 metres long and it will take you about 10 minutes.
Route 2: If you decide for the second route, travel by Bus No. 2 from the "Tržnice" (Market) city bus terminal to the "Lázně I" (Spa I) stop in the vicinity of the Imperial Spa. You may also travel to the "Lázně I" (Spa I) stop by shuttle Bus No. 20 from the KOME park-and-ride car park. The bus line operates daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
History of the structure
The stately Pseudo-Renaissance spa building was constructed between 1893 and 1895 according to the design of renowned Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer on the plot of the former burgher brewery in the southern part of Karlovy Vary. The grand opening of the building took place on 5 May 1895 at the occasion of the laying of the last stone. The Imperial Spa was considered a prestigious spa institution with the most state-of-the-art balneological facilities in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Owing to its horseshoe ground plan, the Pseudo-Renaissance two-storey building seemingly resembles a theatre. Its ornamental architectural style mimics French Renaissance by combining Renaissance and Baroque structural elements with Art Nouveau decorative motifs. The interiors of the spa complex offered the latest contemporary conveniences and amenities, as well as unusual comfort. The complex also had its own gymnasium, which was known as the Zander Hall and was furnished with mechanical exercise equipment for Swedish therapeutic gymnastics according to the method of Dr. Zander. An underground corridor connected the main spa building with the Peat Pavilion where peat was prepared for baths.
The building of the Imperial Spa, renamed to Lázně I (Spa I) in 1918, had served balneological purposes until the 1980s. The Zander Hall was later converted into a casino. The complex was ultimately closed in 1994 and faced inevitable dilapidation. The property was transferred at no charge to the Region of Karlovy Vary in 2008. In recent years, the building of the Imperial Spa is undergoing gradual renovation as it has been declared a National Cultural Monument.