History of Czech SPA Podebrady, place for natural therapy of heart disorders
Everything was just an accident. The Podebrady region suffered from a lack of drinking water. It was quite a problem during the 19th century because it stalled the growth of industry and businesses here. Local wells were not deep enough and only surface waters could be drawn. There was an urgent need to find ample sources. The first attempt to find water was carried out by a local brewery owner, Roubicek. He had a well dug out in his garden and even though the men reached the depth of 74 meters, there was not a drop of water. Mr. Roubicek declared bankruptcy since one cannot brew beer without water. Twenty five years later the owner of Podebrady estates, Count Filip Arnost Hohenlohe, wanted to construct a local plumbing system. He invited a German estate owner and a dowser, Baron Karl von Bullow. Bullow first tried his luck on a nearby hill - and there was water. However, the new spring dried out after three years. Then he turned his attention to the town of Podebrady itself.
The news reported that the German dowser was very sensitive to the flowing of underground water -he felt a tingling in his legs. The rumors have it that Bullow could not sleep the night before the boring works were to start at all, because the presence of water practically everywhere under the town made his whole body tingle. He pointed to several spots where he felt the underground water could be reached. Boring started in the chateau courtyard in April that year. But the mentioned depth of 19 metres did not bring the awaited water sources. Count Hohenlohe was determined to get to the water and so the work continued. It was not until the 1st of August 1 905 when a powerful spring rose through the depth of 96,7 metres below surface. The excitement swept through the town and everyone came rushing to see the life giving water. But they were disappointed all too soon. The discovered water source was highly saturated in carbon dioxide and therefore unusable in daily life.
Nevertheless, it didn't take long to find a way to make use of the water. Many other springs were found and bored in the following years mainly in 1906-1912. By 1949 there were 19 springs. Most of them were closed in the 1950s. The natural carbon dioxide mineral water is bottled and sold as Podebradka. And Podebradka has been a great success on the market. It is an alkalic-muriatic mineral water, about 12-14°C and one litre contains from 3,1 to 4,5 grams of salt or mineral properties above all sodium, calcium, magnesium and chlorine. It would be difficult to say whether Bullow truly felt the water. The fact is that under Podebrady at the depth of 90-160 metres there is an extensive underground lake of mineral water and so wherever they would have started to dig, they would have reached the water anyway. Today springs produce about two millions of hectoliters of water per year.