Poděbrady: An Undiscovered Czech Spa Treasure Only One Hour from Prague
The Czech Republic is very famous as a relaxing spa destination. Beside the most popular spa town Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), you can also find here many other cities where you can relax, enjoy and gain new life energy! One of them is Poděbrady, a historical spa town in Central Bohemian Region which lies on river Labe about 50 kilometres of Prague. It makes from Poděbrady ideal one day trip destination from Prague.
Poděbrady is a pleasant spa town with a rich history. Besides reminders of its clearly most glorious era – the rule of King George of Poděbrady – in the town itself or its immediate surroundings, traces can be found of the famous Slavník dynasty, King Ottokar II, or Empress Maria Theresa. The modern history of the town is very closely tied with spa treatments. The discovery of the first mineral spring in 1905 transformed this sleepy little agricultural town into a sought-after spa resort.
The discovery of carbonic mineral water resulted in the opening of the first spa in 1908. Spa resorts in Poděbrady are specialized in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. If you would like to experience a positive health effect of local mineral water you should definitely stay more longer just one day. The ideal are 2-3 weeks of recreation. But if you have a limited time, you can also enjoy mini spa stays, weekend packages or romantic wellness packages for couples. For accommodation options in Poděbrady click here.
The Spa resort park in Poděbrady
Right from its beginning, the summer spa resort complex included the park and promenade, where social life was concentrated. It’s limited space however soon wasn’t enough for the large number of visitors. So at the start of the 30‘s, the town dug up private land up to the train station and had an expansive spa resort park built according to the zone plan by František Janda. From the compositional point of view, the park can be divided into three main parts. The north part facing the station was built from 1929-1938. This part includes the covered Libenský Colonnade with its characteristic glass-concrete cupola built in 1938 according to the design of the architect Vojtěch Kerhart. The central part of the park stretches from the Libenský Colonnade to the music pavilion and was conceived in the style of an open English park. The famous rarity of Poděbrady spa resort park – the flower clock – was created there in 1937.
The south part of the park situated closest to the square is its oldest part. It is in fact the original spa resort park built in 1912. From 2002-2007, the whole park underwent a major revitalisation according to the design by the architect Tomáš Jiránek.
Park and flowers
The spa park is always brightened up by thousands of flowers of ornamental cherries trees or sakura trees in the early spring, whose original home is East Asia. Their alleys colour the main promenade in a variety of shades from completely opaque to the smoky tones of purple. While in China, the cherry blossoms symbolize feminine beauty and love, sakura trees are a symbol of the fleeting nature of life in Japan due to their short flowering time. Poděbrady are beautiful in every season and especially autumn is full of colours.
What else to see in Poděbrady?
Poděbrady Chateau, originally a castle, was perhaps founded in the first half of the 12th century. The Chateau is the oldest and most significant landmark in Poděbrady. It currently houses the Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University. The only part of the building accessible to the public is the former chapel with a memorial to King George and the neighbouring so-called birthplace of King George of Poděbrady. In the publicly accessible chateau cellars, some monoxylons (boats hollowed out from a single tree trunk) from the era of the rule of the Slavník family of Libice are on display, also some stone balls from the Hussite wars that were fished out of the Elbe and other exhibits.
In the northern settlement around the chateau, is the former agricultural part of the chateau. Today these buildings serve as a theatre and cinema, and their history is reflected in their names – the Blacksmith Theatre and the Chateau cinema.
This square is the oldest part of the town and was always a market centre. The current form of its buildings is the result of historical developments. Their floor plans date from the Middle Ages, some of the buildings retain their Renaissance cores. The original picturesque arcade and colourful façades of the buildings were unfortunately lost forever in fires in 1800 and 1832. Marian column, the work of the Poděbrady baroque sculptor Josef Bergman, stands opposite the entrance to the town hall. It was carved there in 1765 to commemorate the plague of 1714.
In front of the entrance gate to the Chateau stands the equestrian statue of King George of Poděbrady, one of the greatest works of 19th Century Czech monumental sculpture. The statue was first installed at the Jubilee and Ethnographical Exhibition in Prague and was later unveiled in Poděbrady in 1896. The sculpture was created in a unique way – it was hammered from copper plates fixed to a steel supporting structure.
The natural swimming area Jezero (Lake) offers 5,000 square meters of sandy beaches and 25,000 square meters of lawns. The sandy areas are divided into an area for families with children and a separate nudist beach. In the swimming area there are several restaurants, pedalo and boat rentals, a two-lane slide, changing rooms, toilets and showers. Sports enthusiasts will surely enjoy modern courts for beach volleyball or football tennis.
Culture activities and events in Poděbrady
Dozens of events are an integral part of the vibrant heart of the town, whether it be the Poděbrady Day celebrations, the Biker’s Welcoming of Spring, The Opening of the Spa Season, the King George festivities, or the National Majorette Championship. Above all the spring and summer weekends are packed with a varied program for both children and adults.
The cultural and social life is the pride and showcase of Poděbrady. Its traditional skeleton consists of the Poděbrady Days of Poetry in April, the Summer Swing Festival and the FEMAD festival of amateur theatre in September. In 2016 the prime Festival of Film Music and Multimedia was held in Poděbrady, which is to become a symbol of the Poděbrady cultural events with a Europe-wide outreach in the future.
Cafés and restaurants in Poděbrady
Enjoyable part of the spa and wellness stays in Poděbrady are also visits of cafés and restaurants. Sitting with a good coffee is inherent to the everyday colour of the peaceful atmosphere of the spa town. In particular the Poděbrady colonnade is lined with numerous cozy cafés and restaurants, and you can even sit in stylish front gardens with pleasant views of the spa park. When you are visiting Poděbrady, you should definitely try traditional wafels with tens of different flavours. During hot days you should also taste ice cream which perfectly fits with wafels.
The best place for selfie is central part of park near to flower clock.
If you are planning visit Poděbrady, or you are looking for another tourism services in the Czech Republic, do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or +420 736 177 368 and we will be happy to help you.