Ambassador Helena Tuuri and other Embassy representatives visited the City of Podebrady on Wednesday 25.1. Podebrady is a small historical spa city located 50 kilometers east of Prague. The representation learned a lot about this beautiful city and enjoyed the hospitality of the hosts.
Historically the city is known for the figure of King George of Podebrady (1420-1471) whose statue stands in the center of the city. George was centuries ahead of his time in trying to unite the powers of Europe in a peaceful manner. His plan was to unite the European states against Turks, who had conquered Constantinople in 1453. Ultimately however the plan never materialized as the pope was opposed to the idea. King George’s vision of a united Europe has been seen as a predecessor to the current European Union or the United Nations.
While some places have oil, Podebrady has mineral water. Mineral water was found in the city in 1905 which sparked the city’s future reputation as a popular spa destination. However the city is not exclusively known for its spas. There is also a traditional glass factory in the city which was founded 140 years ago. There is also a dairy in the city that produces various milk products. During the visit to the city, the Embassy paid visits to a local nursing home, school hotel and a spa.
The residents at the Luxor nursing home were celebrating a theme day of Finland. According to the director of the nursing home, Mr. Jaromír Novák, Scandinavian countries were the source of inspiration and offered a model to follow when establishing the place. The Ambassador in her speech addressed the historical and cultural development of Finland. The Ambassador also highlighted the importance of equality and education in helping Finland develop into a modern western European country.
The residents, whose average age stands at 85, were admirably active. A lot of questions were raised, the topics of which ranged from the amount of fish in Finland’s some 180 000 lakes to the mutual love for ice hockey in both of our countries. At the end of the visit a toast was raised for the continued friendship between the Czech Republic and Finland.
The director of Hotelová škola Poděbrady, Ms. Jana Podoláková, introduced the school and its activities to the guests. The school is very international and has a lot of students studying in foreign institutions. However as of now, no co-operation with similar schools in Finland exists. Perhaps the Ambassador’s visit to the school planted a seed for future co-operation. The internationality of the school is also highlighted by the fact that many of the school’s alumni are working in managerial positions all over the world.
The Embassy representation was introduced to the beautiful Lazne Poděbrady spa by its General Manager, Mr. Petr Valenta. The spa is specialized in treating people with heart and vessel diseases, diabetes mellitus and diseases of the locomotor apparatus. The mid-sized spa is a popular destination as there were some 19 000 visitors last year.
During the visit, Mr. Valenta offered Ambassador Tuuri a taste of the spa’s pure and refreshing water. The Podebrady day trip was brought to a relaxing end as the Ambassador also had a chance to enjoy one of the massages offered by the spa.
Website of Luxor nursing home: http://www.dd-pdy.cz/luxor-onas.php
Website of Hotelová škola Poděbrady: http://www.hsvos.cz/
Website of Lazne Podebrady spa: https://www.lazne-podebrady.cz/en