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.