This location has housed spa activities existing in various forms since 1818. In 1917, the owner Ervín Mandelík, re-built a spa called ‘Sun Baths’. Its design is distinctively symmetrical; it consists of a veranda which indulges in its repetition of pillars, contrasting the two glass domes overhead. This structure was designed by the famous Czech architect Jan Kotěra.
Originally, iron, salt, and peat baths were designed for the treatment of various diseases – anaemia, rheumatism, etc. River baths in the Elbe River were also widely used and the water of Václavka, saturated with carbon dioxide, was served as table water. In 1934 the peat baths were restored as hydrotherapy and electro-medical institute. Summer cinema and tennis courts with a restaurant were added to the spa area.
The Spa operation was stopped at the beginning of WWII. During the war, they served as a ‘Wehrmacht’s lazaret’ an officials hospital. In the 1950s, Korean children affected by the war in their home country were receiving treatment here. Due to the history and use the former spa hotel was renamed to KIM IR SEN Hotel, followed by language and professional preparation for foreign students of the Charles University in Prague. The spa was used as students housing for Czech and foreign students till 1990s.
In the present day, the current owner, the city Brandýs nad Labem – Stará Boleslav, is preparing its reconstruction. Nevertheless, the building remains abandoned and decaying.
Text by Barbora Slavíčková
1917 Ervín Mandelík
2018 City Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav
Form of government
1950 Socialist Federative Republic
2018 Parliamentary Republic
Spatial Planning Agency
Type of heritage and protection
1917 Not recognized as heritage
1950 Not recognized as heritage
2018 Not recognized as heritage
Interview with Pepa
PN: Well, how it works doesn't make much sense to me. I don't think it works - at least not as I would have imagined at this time. It's not very tidy, it's old… Like, I don't see that anyone there has anything to do with it, or that they care about it.
BS: And how would you imagine that it would work? What would come as a change for the better?
PN: I would probably entrust it to the care of someone who has something to do with sports or children. I would do some events there, even for children, for example an ordinary children's day… That would be enough for a start. It currently works more as a sports ground than a spa, so I think that anyone who has a positive attitude to sports would make sure that people find their way to it and like it there, which does not look like that now…
BS: Did you know that one of those buildings - it should be noted that the one that is probably in the worst condition - was designed by Jan Kotěra, a well-known Czech architect?
PN: I didn't.
BS: That's kind of a well-kept secret, isn't it?
PN: I'm ashamed. I didn't know...
BS: You see… Even though you had art history in school… Whatever, okay, thank you.