HISTORICAL and cultural links between Malvern and its twinned town in the Czech Republic were celebrated with a special visit over the weekend.

Malvern's partnership town Marianske Lazne invited a delegation to celebrate the opening of the its 2014 Spa Season.

Thirteen representatives from Malvern visited last weekend (May (9-11) and met people from four other towns twinned with Marianske Lazne from Germany, France, Italy and Russia.

To commemorate the visit, four prints depicting the exterior and interior of Malvern Library were presented to the Chief Librarian, Ms Samkova.

The prints which have recently come to light, were taken from the original plates and were drawn by Mrs A E Macleod in 1940 and were used to illustrate the booklet ‘Malvern Public Library’.

The highlight of the weekend was the unveiling of the statues (The Monument to the Monarchs) by Czech sculptor Vitezlav Eibl which took place in the presence of Archduke George Habsburg-Lothringen and Alexander Prince Galitzine.

The sculpture depicts the figures of Franz Josef I, Emperor of Austria and King Edward VII and celebrates their meeting in Marianske Lazne in 1904.

Councillor Ian Hopwood said: "The weekend was a memorable one and the group hope the contacts they have made during this visit will develop the many similarities between the two towns in

the fields of Art, Education, Commerce and Leisure.

"A special thank you, goes to our hosts in Marianske Lazne for making the group so welcome. Also to Roger Sutton and Mark Young, who unfortunately could not accompany the group, who organised the trip."

Visitors also enjoyed many events over the weekend including concerts, museum exhibitions, dancing displays and an old Bohemian Fair.

Malvern was united with Marianske Lazne, which is also known for its fine spring water, in 2012 after years of hard work.

Like Malvern, it has a history as a spa town and is not far from Graffenberg, where Vincent Priessnitz pioneered hydrotherapy treatments in the 1820s.

His example inspired Dr James Wilson to start the Malvern water cure.