Poděbrady is a historical spa town in the Central Bohemia region of Czech Republic. It lies on the river Labe 50 kilometres east of Prague on the D11 highway. It obtained the status of town from the king of Bohemia in 1472. A historic milestone in the life of the town was the year 1905, when it was visited by the German estate owner Prince von Bülow. This well-known water diviner found in the inner courtyard of the castle signs of a strong spring, which was later bored to a depth of 97.6 metres. The discovery of carbonic mineral water resulted in the opening of the first spa in 1908. After World War I Poděbrady rapidly changed into a spa town which from 1926 specialized in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, rapidly gaining renown not only in the Czech Republic, but also abroad in countries including Austria, Germany, Russia and the United States.
The history of Poděbrady reaches back to medieval times. A long-distance trade route running from Prague to eastern Bohemia and then on to Silesia and Poland passed through the then-forested landscape interwoven with a dense network of river branches. This important communication intersected the River Labe to the west of the present town, at a place called Na Vinici.
An ancient community and a small fortress originated near the ford. It is most likely that the position of this community is reflected in the present name of the town: Poděbrady – “pode brody” = below the ford.
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