As you walk through Karlovy Vary, you will find the drinking stands in pavilions and colonnades, and the ubiquitous porcelain spa drinking cups (lázeňský pohárek) -- designed to retain the temperature and carbon dioxide in the water. These cups also make it easier to sip the water while strolling.
There are more than 80 springs in Karlovy Vary and more than a dozen of these flow into drinking stands. The effect of each spring varies with the temperature and the specific level of mineral elements and gases. The recommended procedure is to drink one spa drinking cup (about 100 ml) of mineral water about 45 minutes before a meal, up to three times a day.
An overview of the springs:
· Near the center is the geyser of the Vřídlo Spring, considered a symbol of the spa town.
The geyser shoots up to 12 meters, gurgling and attracting visitors to pause and observe and feel the water and steam. In the modern Hot Spring Colonnade, there are several drinking stands for the Vřídlo (Spring No.1), at various temperatures, from about 30 to 73 °C.
· All the way to the south of town, there is the Štěpánka Spring (Spring No. 14) in the wooden Alois Klein Gazebo. It is about 13 °C, which makes it one of the coldest Karlovy Vary mineral springs.
· North of town is another colder spring at about 12 °C, the Ferrous Spring (Spring No. 16), in the Ferrous Spring Colonnade.
In between you can find the other drinking stands with considerably warmer mineral water. Walking south from the Ferrous Spring Colonnade, returning towards the Hot Spring Colonnade you will find:
· The Neo-Renaissance Mill Colonnade has 124 Corinthian columns and 12 statues representing the months of the year. The five mineral springs here are the Mill Spring (Spring No. 6) at 56.6 °C (once widely available in Czech pharmacies as well), the Rusalka Spring (Spring No. 7) at 60.2 °C, the Prince Wenceslas Spring I (Spring No. 8a) at 64.3 °C and Prince Wenceslas Spring II (Spring No. 8b) at 65.6 °C (the spring water used for the medicinal salt from the town), and the Libuše Spring (Spring No. 9) at 62 °C, and the Rock Spring (Spring No. 10) at 48 °C.
· The Upper Castle Spring (Spring No. 4) at 49.8 °C is in the Art Nouveau Castle Colonnade.
· Clients of the Castle Spa & Wellness Center have their very own drinking stand and spring: Lower Castle Spring II (Spring No. 3b).
· The Market Colonnade offers the Market Spring (Spring No. 5) at 62.6 °C, the Lower Castle Spring (Spring No. 3a) at 55.7 °C and the Charles IV Spring (Spring No. 2) at 64 °C; the Charles IV Spring is the spring that is said to have inspired the foundation of the spa town.