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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Mariánská kasárna in Budějovice (Budweis). Until 1 June 1915 it was the home of the Good Soldier Švejk's Infanterieregiment Nr. 91. In 1915 Jaroslav Hašek also served with the regiment in these barracks.

The novel The Good Soldier Švejk refers to a number of institutions and firms, public as well as private. On these pages they were until 15 September 2013 categorised as 'Places'. This only partly makes sense as this type of entity can not always be associated with fixed geographical points, in the way that for instance cities, mountains and rivers can. This new page contains military and civilian institutions (including army units, regiments etc.), organisations, hotels, public houses, newspapers and magazines.

The line between this page and "Places" is blurred, churches do for instance rarely change location, but are still included here. Therefore Prague and Vienna will still be found in the "Places" database, because these have constant coordinates. On the other hand institutions may change location: Odvodní komise and Bendlovka are not unequivocal geographical terms so they will from now on appear on this page.

The names are colour coded according to their role in the plot, illustrated by these examples: U kalicha as a location where the plot takes place, k.u.k. Kriegsministerium mentioned in the narrative, Pražské úřední listy as part of a dialogue, and Stoletá kavárna, mentioned in an anecdote.

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4. They threw Švejk out of the madhouse

Blázinecnn flag
Praha II./468, Ul. Karlova 15
MapSearch Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Blázinec is referred to when Švejk is led to the psychiatric ward after a commission of psychiatrists conclude that he is a "malingerer with a feeble mind". He might have spent several weeks here as he was only released on 29 July 1914, the day Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.


Blázinec was a mental hospital in Prague which is not explicitly located. Still we can by near certainty conclude that the author had Kateřinky in mind. This is an institution where he himself spent a few weeks in February 1911.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Když později Švejk líčil život v blázinci, činil tak způsobem neobyčejného chvalořečení: „Vopravdu nevím, proč se ti blázni zlobějí, když je tam drží. Člověk tam může lézt nahej po podlaze, vejt jako šakal, zuřit a kousat. Jestli by to člověk udělal někde na promenádě, tak by se lidi divili, ale tam to patří k něčemu prachvobyčejnýmu. Je tam taková svoboda, vo kterej se ani socialistům nikdy nezdálo.

Also written:The Madhouse en Das Irrenhaus de Galehuset no

Ottův slovník naučnýnn flag
Praha II./553, Karlovo nám. 35
Wikipedia czdeen MapSearch Švejkův slovník

Ottův slovník naučný, 5. díl 1892.

Ottův slovník naučný was mentioned in connection with the patient at Blázinec who claimed to be the 16th volume of this encyclopedia.


Ottův slovník naučný is an encyclopaedia by the publisher Otto that is regarded an outstanding work of reference also in an international context. A total of 28 volumes were released between 1888 and 1909 with additional supplements appearing thereafter. Otto's Encyclopaedia was at the time one of the largest in the world. The editorial offices were at Karlovo náměstí, in the building next to the publishing house of Otto.

Emil Artur Longen (1928) claims that Jaroslav Hašek made active use of the encyclopaedia when he wrote The Good Soldier Švejk. He may well have a point as the long tirade Rekrut Pech used is almost a direct quote from the encyclopaedia.

The reference to kartonážní šička (cardboard stapler) can not be found in volume 16 (Lih-Media) and Antonín Měšťan also points out that there is no such entry in the encyclopaedia at all. If it had been a real entry it would have been found in volume 14. This volume does however have a reference to kartonáž that simply points to the entry cartonage in volume 5.

Antonín Měšťan

Durch einen Blick in den Ottův slovník naučný läßt sich leicht feststellen, daß das Stichwort "Kartonagenähgrin" nicht nur im 16. Band fehlt - es fehlt in diesem Lexikon überhaupt.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Nejzuřivější byl jeden pán, kerej se vydával za 16. díl Ottova slovníku naučného a každého prosil, aby ho otevřel a našel heslo ,Kartonážní šička’, jinak že je ztracenej.

Sources: Antonín Měšťan, Emil Artur Longen

Also written:Otto's encyclopaedia en Ottos Konversationslexicon de Ottos konversasjonsleksikon no


Královy lázněnn flag
Praha I./195, Ul. Karoliny Světlé 43

Map from 1914


Břetislav Hůla



Královy lázně is indirectly mentioned by Švejk when he in Blázinec is asked if he enjoys likes getting a bath. "It is better than at the baths by Charles Bridge", is the answer.


Královy lázně was a public bath at the end of Karlův most and is listed on the address Karoliny Světlé 43, indicated on the map. This is confirmed by Baedeker Österreich 1913 that refers to them as Königsbad.

Some baths north of the bridge are also shown, called Gemeindebad (Municipal Bath). This was more likely an open-air bath and to judge by the description in the novel, Švejk is almost certainly talking about the more luxurious indoor Royal Baths.

Břetislav Hůla refers to the bath as Karlovy lázně (Charles' Bath) and this corresponds to the entry in the address book of 1936. It is not known when exactly the renaming took place.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] V koupelně ho potopili do vany s teplou vodou a pak ho vytáhli a postavili pod studenou sprchu. To s ním opakovali třikrát a pak se ho optali, jak se mu to líbí. Švejk řekl, že je to lepší než v těch lázních u Karlova mostu a že se velmi rád koupe.

Sources: Archiv Hlavního Města Prahy (Sbírka map a plánů)

Also written:Royal Bath en Königsbad de


Regimentskanzlei I.R. 91nn flag
Karlín/20, Palackého třída 10
Wikipedia de MapSearch Švejkův slovník

Regimentskanzlei I.R. 91 is mentioned by Švejk when he tells the medical commission at Blázinec that he has been released from the army due to feeblemindedness. He adds that this can be confirmed at the Ergänzungskommando in Karlín or the regimental office in Budějovice.


Regimentskanzlei I.R. 91 (main regimental staff office) was in 1914 stationed in Karlín and not in Budějovice as Švejk claims. When the war started, several regimental functions were indeed located in Ferdinandova kasárna in Karlín: 2. field battalion, regimental staff and IR 91 regimental command itself. This inconsistency is probably due to a mix-up with the Ergänzungsbezirkskommando which together with the 4th battalion and Ersatzbataillon IR. 91 were indeed stationed in Budějovice.

We should also take into account that the barracks in Karlín were converted to a Red Cross reserve hospital soon after the outbreak of war and that the administrative functions of the regiment would now have been moved, some of them no doubt to Budějovice, and others to the front. See Ergänzungskommando.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí the regiment's office and the barracks where it was located the starting point of the plot. Švejk resisted attempt to dismiss him from the army, he wanted to serve his emperor. It is also informed that the barracks were built by emperor Josef II.[1]

V kanceláři regimentu pod číslem 16112 byl uschován akt týkající se průběhu i výsledku superarbitračního řízení s dobrým vojákem Švejkem.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] „Já, pánové,“ hájil se Švejk, „nejsem žádný simulant, já jsem opravdovej blbec, můžete se zpravit v kanceláři jednadevadesátýho pluku v Českých Budějovicích nebo na doplňovacím velitelství v Karlíně.“

Also written:Regimental office en Plukové kancelář cz Regimentskontoret no


1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Ergänzungskommandonn flag
Budějovice, Pekárenská ulice
Wikipedia de MapSearch Švejkův slovník

IR91, Seidels kleines Armeeschema August 1914


91. Ergänzungsbezirk

Ergänzungskommando is mentioned by Švejk when he tells the medical commission at Blázinec that he has been released from the army due to feeble-mindedness. He adds that this can be confirmed at the reserve command in Karlín or Regimentskanzlei I.R. 91 in Budějovice.


Ergänzungskommando by near certainty refers to Ergänzungsbezirkskommando Budweis. It was located in Backhaus in Budějovice (Pekárenská ulice) and not in Karlín as Švejk tells the doctors. At the outbreak of war, several other regimental functions resided Ferdinandova kasárna in Karlín: III. Feldbataillon, regimental staff and IR 91 Regimentskommando itself. We may therefore be witnessing a straight mix-up between Regimentskanzlei I.R. 91 and Ergänzungsbezirkskommando. Both are mentioned in the same sentence, so Švejk appears to have swapped the respective locations.

The district reserve command Budweis (until 1912 Nr. 91 Budweis) was resposible for draft and call-up of reserves in Ergänzungsbezirk Budweis, see map. The recruitment district covered five hejtmanství: Budějovice, Týn nad Vltavou, Kaplice, Krumlov and Prachatice. The army units that the district provided recruits for were IR 91 and 14. Dragonerregiment.

Commander in 1914 was colonel Johann Splichal but he was sent to the front soon after hostilities began, and it is not clear who replaced him. Splichal was also head of Ersatzbataillon IR. 91, and in this role, he was replaced by Karl Schlager. It may also be that the latter also succeeded him as head of the district reserve command. Usually, these two positions were held by the same officer. That would however not have been the case after 1 June 1915 when the replacement battalion was transferred to Királyhida, whereas the recruitment command for obvious reasons remained in its home district.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] „Já, pánové,“ hájil se Švejk, „nejsem žádný simulant, já jsem opravdovej blbec, můžete se zpravit v kanceláři jednadevadesátýho pluku v Českých Budějovicích nebo na doplňovacím velitelství v Karlíně.“
[II.2] Že jsem mohl být felddienstunfähig. Taková ohromná protekce! Mohl jsem se válet někde v kanceláři na doplňovacím velitelství, ale má neopatrnost mně podrazila nohy.“

Also written:Reserve command en Doplňovací velitelství cz Reservekommando no


Policejní komisařství Salmova ulicenn flag
Praha II./507, Salmovská ul. 20
MapSearch Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Politický kalendář, 1910


Plan von Prag und Umgebung, 1910


Zum Wortschatz des tschechischen Rotwelsch, Eugen Rippl, 1926


Z.M. Kuděj, Ve dvou se to lépe táhne, I., s.68, 1924


Denní raport - c.k. okresního policejního komisařství III.z. 31./12. 1908


Československá republika, 26.6.1926

Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice is the scene of a full chapter in the novel. Švejk is taken straight here after refusing the leave Blázinec without lunch. His first encounter is with the brutal police inspector Inspektor Braun but then the plot revolves mostly around a conversation with his fellow inmate, a very solid citizen who for the moment has slid off the path of virtue. Švejk does his utmost to convince him that his situation is hopeless.

The stay here was only one afternoon, and Švejk taken to the first floor for interrogation, this time by a fat and friendly police officer. Under escort he is led from the guard house (see Strážnice) on the ground floor onwards to c.k. policejní ředitelství. It was on the way he read the emperor's declaration of war.


Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice was the police station of the 3rd police district (Hořejší Nové Město - Upper New Town) in Prague, called "Salmovka" in common speech. It was located on the corner of Ječná ulice and Salmovská ulice. The police station was operating until 29 June 1926 when it was moved to Krakovská ulice where it is still located. The building was subsequently demolished and in 1928 the current edifice was erected on the site.

The station was often called "Salmovka" in day-to-day speech, a term used by e.g. Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj in one of his books about Jaroslav Hašek (Ve dvou se to lépe táhne, 1924). The term is also listed in a German-language dictionary of Czech slang (Eugen Rippl, 1926).

Chief inspector in 1906 and until 1910 was Karel Fahoun, and he was succeeded by Antonín Sklenička. No evidence has been found, in address books or elsewhere, that any Inspektor Braun ever served here.

Hašek at Salmovská

This is a police station that Jaroslav Hašek knew well, because it within this police district he was born and grew up. Also in his adult life he for the most part lived within its jurisdiction. He was christened in Kostel sv. Štefána in the immediate vicinity and on several occasions he lived only a few steps away. It has also been claimed that the author was a personal friend of police chief Karel Fahoun and his family but Břetislav Hůla refutes this claim after consulting Fahoun's son.

Police records from 1902 to 1912 reveal that Jaroslav Hašek was brought to the station several times. Most of the cases refer to breaches of public order and small-scale vandalism, induced by drinking. On New Years eve 1908 he and the Croat student Rudolf Giunio were arrested and locked up here after a pub brawl. The author was sentenced to five days in prison for his efforts. See Bendlovka for more information about this incident.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.5] Švejk prohlásil, že když někoho vyhazují s blázince, že ho nesmějí vyhodit bez oběda. Výtržnosti učinil konec vrátným přivolaný policejní strážník, který Švejka předvedl na policejní komisařství; do Salmovy ulice.

Sources: Hůla, Sergey Soloukh, Jaroslav Šerák

Also written:District police station No. 3 en Polizeikommisariat Nr. III de Bydelspolitistasjon Nr. 3 no


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4. They threw Švejk out of the madhouse

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