Poděbrady - a spa town in the central part of the Czech Republic, located on the banks of the Elbe, half an hour from Prague. 13 mineral springs brought popularity to the city, the healing water of which helps to effectively fight diseases of the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, disorders of the musculoskeletal system and metabolism. The area of Podebrad is 33 km2, the population is about 14 thousand inhabitants. What else is interesting to learn about the Czech spa, find out further in the article.
History of Podebrady
Archaeological excavations on the territory of modern Podebrady have proved the existence of settlements on these lands during the Early Paleolithic period, many objects were found that belong to the Luzhitskaya (XII - IV centuries BC) and the Lenskaya (V - I centuries BC) cultures. And during the restoration of the central square of the city, Roman coins and other signs of a developed Roman settlement were found. Such a long history is easily explained by the mild climate of the region, its convenient location above the Elbe river and its geographical position at the intersection of trade routes. But let's move on to the true story of Podebrady, documented and more meaningful.
The new history of Podebrady dates back to the first half of the 13th century. At that time, a trade route from Prague to East Czech and on to Poland passed through the territory of present-day Podebrady. Near the crossing of the Elbe, a small settlement first appeared, which gradually grew and grew stronger, and in 1268, King Otakar II issued a decree on the construction of a castle on the water, a fortress, which was to protect an important section of the route. This is where the name of the city came from - pode brody (“near the ford”).
The prosperity of the Podebrady resort is largely due to the panams from Kunstatt, a noble family whose six generations were engaged in the refinement of their lands. The greatest fame was achieved by Jiří from Podebrady, who became the king of the Czech Republic in 1458, and centuries later - a national hero. Thanks to his will, Podebrady in 1472 received the official status of the city, its coat of arms and special privileges. The city existed in relative peace and tranquility, but not everyone in the Czech Republic knew about it. Only in the middle of the XVIII century, Podebrady attracted the attention of the royal nobility, the Empress Maria Theresa herself ordered to reconstruct the castle in the current Baroque style at that time.
But perhaps the most important moment in the history of Podebrady was 1905, when the landowner von Bülow made a visit to the city. It is not clear whether he was a psychic, a scientist, or simply a talented con man, but with the help of a small twig, he suggested the presence of a water spring in the courtyard of the castle. And at a depth of 96.7 meters they still found a healing water spring! Her healing properties were discovered almost immediately, and already in 1908 the first holiday season in Podebrady was inaugurated. As soon as the First World War ended, the resort began to flourish at a tremendous pace. People came here to treat heart and vascular diseases not only from all over the Czech Republic, but also from abroad, which, however, they continue to do till this day.
Attractions and entertainment in Podebrady
The most interesting sights of Podebrady are ancient castles and palaces, sometimes diluted with museums and temples. The cultural program is represented by costume balls, dance evenings, concerts of classical and wind music. Fans of outdoor activities and sports await a lot of interesting things: golf, horseback riding, cycling routes, shooting sports, tennis courts, squash courts, fitness rooms. You can even go fishing around the city. And do not forget to admire the products of Bohemian crystal in stores, you might want to buy something for memory. We will describe the most popular attractions separately below, and now we will simply list interesting places that you should pay attention to during your holidays in Podebrady and its environs:
- Polaba Museum
- Gothic Temple of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
- Annunciation Church
- Karlovy Korun Castle
- Sazavsky monastery
- Hradec Castle
We have already mentioned the Podebrad Castle in our historical essay on the resort. Yes, this is the castle that was built in the 13th century “near the ford”. It was rebuilt and reconstructed many times, managed to stay both a fort and a fortress, and the residence of the Lichtenburg family, and even the home of the wisest Czech ruler King Jiri. As for the architectural component, initially the wooden fort initially acquired a Renaissance appearance, and then it was rebuilt in the Baroque style. Today, the Institute of Language and Vocational Training operates in the castle building, one of the rooms is given to the theater troupe, and several more rooms serve as the museum of King Jiří, but in the courtyard there is the oldest mineral spring in the city, from the discovery of which the history of Podebrady as a resort began.
The Gothic castle was built at the end of the 13th century, and it belonged to the family of feudal lords of Lichtenbruck. However, it was Gothic until the 15th century, until the Hussites destroyed it, rebuilt it in the Renaissance style with elements of romanticism and Baroque. The medieval building is covered with legends and myths, for example, the only ghost in the whole Czech Republic lives here! Of interest is an unusual mixture of architectural styles, a collection of weapons, canvases, armor and porcelain, a castle theater and dark dungeons.
King Jiří Square
Next to Podebrady Castle is King Jiří Square, the main rival of the castle in the fight for the right to be called the main attraction of the resort. A trade route from Prague to the east of the Czech Republic passed through this square 700 years ago, and now there is a freeway. The square is surrounded by ancient buildings and monuments, such as the Plague pillar (in honor of the deliverance of the city from a dangerous disease) and a monument to King Jiří, who mounted his horse. Fairs, concerts and special events are held here, all sightseeing buses leave from here and it is here that all young people flock for a walk.
How to get to Podebrady
Podebrady is located 50 kilometers from Prague and it is from there that you will most likely have to get to your hotel. There are two ways to quickly and comfortably overcome the path: either order a transfer from the airport on our website, or use public transport. In the first case, everything is simple and clear: you book a transfer through the form on the website and in the airport terminal you will be met by a driver with a sign on which your name will be written, and taken directly to the hotel doors.
In the second case, you need to take a bus to the train station and transfer to the train. Buses to the train station stop at terminals 1 and 2. A board with a bus schedule was posted near the airport, for example, across the road from exit D, near the bus station. Look for information on the AE bus (Aero Express, most likely blue, with the letters AE on the windshield), which will take you to Prague Central Station (in Czech Hlavní nádraží) for about 60 crowns. Buses run from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a frequency of 15 minutes, travel time - 46 minutes. Arriving at the station, we go to the ticket office and buy for 90 CZK a train ticket to Podebrady, which depart every hour. Check the bulletin board, wait for boarding and enjoy the ride. The road will take half an hour, but be careful, as Podebrady is not the final stop and the train will only stay there for 2-3 minutes.