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Founding of the spa

The birth of the spa is undoubtedly associated with the name of Bohdaneč native Jan Veselý, who was the tenant of the Pardubice pond management in the 19th century and chairman of the Water cooperative for the regulation of Rajský stream. The purpose of the cooperative was to drain the meadow and to modify the catchment area of Rajský stream so that the humidity in the town of Bohdaneč would reduce. It was then and there, that the idea for a spa was born.

Jan Veselý knew that the Rajský stream flows through the village of Libšany, where his father had rented an extensive meadow and from where people could, for a moderate fee, collect the peat for heating. Veselý’s friends introduced him to the idea of using the peat for healing purposes.

Peat deposits lie on an area of 42 hectares in a layer of several meters. The age of peat today is estimated to be 4,000 years. Jan Veselý had the value of the peat examined in Vienna and was inspired by the suggestion of František Šantrůček from Prague, who recommended its use for medical treatment because of its ideal properties. After drying, it is light, free from earthy admixtures common with other types of peat and able to maintain a uniform temperature for a long time.

The first spa season began in August 1897 in the spacious airy rooms of the former distillery. There they modified a spa building with an engine room, three cabins for men, a resting room for 15 patients and a swimming pool. On the opposite side there were 4 cabins for women, equipped with wooden bathtubs and resting rooms.

For the treatment of rheumatic diseases, as well as other diseases, massages and a diet were used. The main treatment procedures were peat baths.

To this day, we can still see an old, brick and relatively high chimney in the middle of the spa, which is the only remnant of the first spa house.

Nott even after four years of the spa’s existence, it turned out that Jan Veselý was not able to pay his debts that arose with the founding of the spa. In 1906 he was forced to sell the spa to the Civic savings bank in an auction. The financial institution managed the spa well, but did not pay too much attention to further development.

In 1911 the spa was bought by the village of Bohdaneč, the mayor of the village at the time was the brother of the founder, Frantisek Veselý.

Communal spa

This opens up a new chapter in the history of the spa, because with this purchase started the true beginning. In 1913 the new Gočár pavilion – which is 62 m long and 17.6 m wide - was put into operation. The ground floor with a covered colonnade was designed for the placement of all facilities related to peat treatment. A total of 28 rooms, of which 4 corner rooms were larger, were available to the patients on the first floor. Electricity, hot and cold water were installed in all rooms; the building also had a telephone and central heating. The construction of this spa building contributed to a higher attendance of patients.

In 1913, a sunny and airy spa was established in the back of the park. In the same year a company from Prague called Artesia started to drill an artesian well. On March 28, 1914, a powerful stream of water sprang up to 15 m from a depth of 347.5 m under a pressure of 2 atm. at 21 ° C with ferric-alkaline water.

As long as the spa was owned by the village, it was prospering, developing and gaining increasing attendance. However, after the First World War, the town did not have sufficient funds, so in 1919 the village sold the spa to a newly formed joint-stock company - Peat spa in Bohdaneč near Pardubice a.s. The joint stock company did not last long and there were no major changes.

In 1922, the spa was re-sold, and the owner became the Ministry of Public Works, the Czechoslovak State.

State spa

After the change of the owner, attendance increased considerably. Gočár's pavilion had another floor added; an aqua park and a swimming pool were opened. The original spa building was no longer suitable for further use. It was necessary to build a spa building that was new, modern and satisfactory to increasing demands

In 1928 the foundation stone was laid, the building was built behind an old spa building, before being demolished – with only the chimney remaining. In May 1930, the Jubilejní Palace was inaugurated. Both of the main spa buildings were connected by a glassed colonnade in 1940.

The construction of another building was commenced in 1939 (now the curative Langer pavilion), but it wasn’t put into operation until 1947. In April 1941, the Germans occupied the spa and stayed until 1945. During the occupation, the facility functioned under the heading of the peat spa Curatorium of Bohdaneč.


Curative spa after the war

The people’s enthusiasm, joy of freedom and dedication were the main reasons, why the spa was operational again already in 1945. Treatment took place in emergency spa buildings. During this period the spa was subjected to the Ministry of Industry, in 1948, the Central National Insurance Company took over the proceedings, which were then handed over in 1953 to the Revolutionary trade union movement. They managed the spa until 1st of January 1957, when it was taken over by the Czechoslovak State as a state spa with separate headquarters.

Despite these frequent changes, in 1959, central heating was extended to all colonnades, restaurants and canteens, and in 1961 the rooms were renovated in Gočár's pavilion and a radio was established. Three years later, access area to the spa and the reception area were modified. Bohdaneč was awarded the status of spa in 1963

In 1971 a demanding expansion of the spa area began. This was mainly the extension of the Jubilejní Pavilion. Although the decision on beginning with construction on the basis of new projects was issued in 1961, it was only after 11 years that the construction truly began. The rough construction of the building was completed and handed over in November 1975. The spa received 104 beds in modern furnished rooms. At the same time, the modern well equipped spa dining room with several spacious halls, a large kitchen and auxiliary rooms were also completed. In 1977, the reconstruction of the original part of the Jubilejní Pavilion was initiated, the operation started in 1979.

The number of beds at the spa in 1973 was 310, and in 1980 it was 422. And while in 1971 1,993 people were treated in the spa, in 1979 it was already 4,610, and just a year later in 1980 it was 6,445.

The last years have brought to completion the construction of a balneotherapy facility and the reconstruction of pavilions Langer and Veselý.