The Good Soldier Švejk

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Map of Austria-Hungary in 1914. The itinerary of JS took place entirely within the borders of the Dual Monarchy.

The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk is a novel which contains a wealth of geographical references - either directly through the plot, in dialogues or in the authors own observations. HAJ: was himself unusually well travelled and had a photographic memory of geographical (and other) details. It is evident that he put great emphasis on this: 8 of the 27 chapter headlines in Švejk contain place names.

This web page will in due course contain a full overview of all the geographical references in the novel; from Prague in the introduction to Klimontów in the unfinished Book Four. Countries, cities, towns, villages, mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, islands, buildings are included. Note that from 14 September 2013, institutions (including pubs) have been moved to the new 'Institutions' page. The list is sorted according to the order in which the names appear through the novel. The chapter headlines are from Zenny K. Sadlon's recent translation and will in most cases differ from Cecil Parrott's version from 1973.

  • The facts are mainly taken from Internet sources but cross-verified when possible
  • The quotes in Czech are copied from the online version of sv: provided by Jaroslav Šerák and contain links to the relevant chapter
  • The toolbar has links for direct access to Wikipedia, Google maps, Google search, svejkmuseum.cz and Švejk online

The names are coloured according to their role in the novel, illustrated by these examples: Sanok as a location where the plot takes place, Dubno mentioned in the narrative, Zagreb as part of a dialogue, and Pakoměřice as mentioned in an anecdote.

>> The Good Soldier Švejk index of places mentioned in the novel (582) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

10. Švejk as a military servant to the field chaplain

Karlův mostnn flag
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Karlův most viewed eastwards towards Staré Město.

Karlův most is part of the plot in a single brief sentence when Švejk is escorted to field chaplain Katz: "they went across the Charles Bridge in absolute silence". The bridge has previously been mentioned in [I.4] where Švejk during his stay in the madhouse mentions some baths near the bridge.


Karlův most is the oldest and most famous bridge in Prague and the second oldest bridge in the Czech Republic after the one in Písek. It connects the Malá Strana and SME. As a landmark and tourist attraction it belongs to the most famous in the country.

Construction was started in 1357 under Charles IV's reign and the bridge is named after him. Around 1700 it was given the shape known today and the barock statues were erected in this period. The bridge has repeatedly been threatened by high water levels but escaped the great flood of 2002 without damage, but in 1890 it was partly destroyed.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] Šli přes Karlův most za naprostého mlčení. V Karlově ulici promluvil opět malý tlustý na Švejka: „Nevíš, proč tě vedem k polnímu kurátovi?“

Also written:Charles Bridge en Karlsbrücke de Karlsbrua no

Karlova ulicenn flag
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Karlova ulice is the scene of the plot as Švejk is led through Karlova ulice on the way to field chaplain Katz in Karlín. The guards ask Švejk why they were taking him to the chaplain. "Because I'm going to be hanged tomorrow", was the answer. Thus he got their sympathy and they ended up in merry company in Na Kuklíku.


Karlova ulice is a street in SME (Old Town) in Prague. It leads from Karlův most to Staroměstské náměstí.

Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] Šli přes Karlův most za naprostého mlčení. V Karlově ulici promluvil opět malý tlustý na Švejka: „Nevíš, proč tě vedem k polnímu kurátovi?“ „Ke zpovědi,“ řekl ledabyle Švejk, „zítra mě budou věšet. To se vždycky tak dělá a říká se tomu duchovní outěcha.“

Also written:Karlstrasse de

Josefovnn flag
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Seidels kleines Armeeschema, August 1914.

Josefov is mentioned by Švejk's fat and optimistic escort, on the way to Katz. He came from the area around this town.

In [I.10] the name appears again in during Švejk's final visit to U kalicha. Here met meets a locksmith from Smíchov who thinks the soldier is a deserter, tells him that his son has run away from the army, and now stays with his grandmother at Jasenná by Josefov.


Josefov is a fortress and former garrison town in eastern Bohemia, near the border with Poland. It is now part of Jaroměř.

In 1913 Josefov was part of hejtmanství Dvůr Králové nad Labem and okres Jaroměř. The population counted 5,438 of which 2,612 were army personnel. Due to the military presence the number of Germans inhabitants was unusually high for this very Czech part of Bohemia, close to one quarter of the total. Josefov was the seat of the 10th infantry division.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] „Asis se narodil na nešťastné planetě,“ znalecky a se soucitem poznamenal malinký, „u nás v Jasenné u Josefova ještě za pruský války pověsili také tak jednoho. Přišli pro něho, nic mu neřekli a v Josefově ho pověsili.“

Also written:Josefstadt de

Jasennánn flag
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Jasenná (also Jasená) was the home village of the fat and optimistic guard who escorted Svejk to Katz.

In [I.10] the name appears again in during Švejk's final visit to U kalicha. Here met meets a locksmith from Smíchov who thinks the soldier is a deserter, tells him that his son has run away from the army, and now stays with his grandmother at Jasenná by Josefov.


Jasenná is a village located 8 km south east of Jaroměř in the district of Královéhradecko.

In 1913 Jasenná was part of hejtmanství Dvůr Králové nad Labem and okres Jaroměř. Of the 1,354 inhabitants only one registered with German as his mother tongue, the rest were Czechs.

Hašek in Jasenná

In August 1914 JH visited his friend Václav Hrnčíř here, no doubt an inspiration for this reference in the novel. The stay lasted for about a month. The theme also appears in the story Nebezpečný pracovník that was printed in Humoristické listy on 28 August 1914.

Radko Pytlík, Toulavé house, kap. Sarajevo

V Praze začíná to být pro rebela a bývalého anarchistu nebezpečné. Kamarádi radí, aby zmizel z Prahy. Hašek odjíždí hned po vyhlášení války v létě 1914 k příteli Václavu Hrnčířovi do Jasené u Jaroměře. Příhody, které zažil na žních u Samků (jejichž Aninka byla Hrnčířovou nevěstou), popsal v povídce Nebezpečný pracovník. Zdržel se zde asi měsíc.

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Source: RP

Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] „Asis se narodil na nešťastné planetě,“ znalecky a se soucitem poznamenal malinký, „u nás v Jasenné u Josefova ještě za pruský války pověsili také tak jednoho. Přišli pro něho, nic mu neřekli a v Josefově ho pověsili.“

Also written:Jasena de

Prussiann flag
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Prussia is first mentioned in the novel in connection with the "Prussian War", a colloquial term for the so-called German war of 1866. This war is the theme of the conversation between Švejk and his escort on the way from Hradčany to Katz.

In [I.11] the country is referred to directly, now in connection with the author's description of religious rituals at executions.


Prussia was until 1947 a geographical and political unit, and had been a separate kingdom from 1701 til 1871. Prussia was the leading state in Germany until 1945. The area is today split between Germany, Poland and Russia. The capital was Berlin.

The "Prussian War", more commonly known as the German war, was a month-long armed conflict between Prussia and Italy on one side and Austria and their mainly south German allies on the other. The war took place in 1866 and ended quickly with a Prussian victory. The deciding battle was fought by Hradec Králové (Königgrätz) on 3 July 1866. The outcome had wide-reaching political repercussions in Austria; Hungary exploited the defeat to demand parity within the monarchy, thus the war led directly to the creation of Austria-Hungary as a political unit.

Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] „Asis se narodil na nešťastné planetě,“ znalecky a se soucitem poznamenal malinký, „u nás v Jasenné u Josefova ještě za pruský války pověsili také tak jednoho. Přišli pro něho, nic mu neřekli a v Josefově ho pověsili.“
[I.11] V Prusku vodil pastor ubožáka pod sekyru...

Also written:Prusko cz Preußen de

Královéhradeckonn flag
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Hradec Králové


Národní politika, 5.12.1915

Královéhradecko is the home region of the two soldiers who escorted Švejk from Hradčany to Katz.


Královéhradecko is now an administrative region in Bohemia that borders Poland. It is named after the main city of Hradec Králové, one of the 10 most populous cities in the Czech Republic.

Newspaper clips from from WW1 indicate that the term okres Hradec Králové is meant, an area that doesn't include Jasenná og Josefov where the author indicates that Švejk's escort is from. The administrative unit was hejtmanství Hradec Králové that counted 74,125 inhabitants (1913) and also the smaller okres with 55,521 inhabitants, og which the city itself counted 11,065.

It is however unlikely that the author got this is wrong, solid as his knowledge of geography was. Královéhradecko was the name of a former kraj, a long established administrative unit that was abolished in 1862 but obviously lingered as a term for many years. The kraj (Kreis) was a much larger unit than hejtmanství and in this case id did include Jasenná. In 1862 there were a total of 13 kraj in Bohemia. Ottův slovník naučný also refers to Hradec Králové as a "kraj capital" so the word was still in use even in formal literature. As a judicial division the term was still in use, as in krajský soud (Kreisgericht). In 1920 the kraj resurfaced as ab administrative unit so Královéhradecko existed also formally when the novel was written.

The city is in history best known for the battle between Austria og Prussia i 1866, abroad known as the battle of Königgrätz. The Austrian defeat was exploited by Hungary to demand parity within the Habsburg monarchy. This so-called "Ausgleich" led to the creation of Austria-Hungary in 1867.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] Zakouřili si všichni a průvodčí počali sdělovat jemu o svých rodinách na Královéhradecku, o ženách, dětech, o kousku políčka, o jedné krávě.

Also written:Region Königgrätz de

Pankrácnn flag
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Vilímek's Führer durch Prag und die Ausstellung, 1891

Pankrác is introduced already by Palivec in the first chapter, but here he obviously refers to Věznice Pankrác. This is also the case in [I.3] where the unfortunate lathe operator who broke into Podolský kostelík where imprisoned and later died.

The place itself is introduced through the popular song "Na Pankráci" when the author and his entourage enters Na Kuklíku.

The fourth time Pankrác is mentioned is when the author informs that one of Švejk's predecessors as servant of Lukáš had sold his master's s dog to the knacker at Pankrác (see Pohodnice Pankrác) and even pocketed the proceeds.


Pankrác is a district in Prague, named after Saint Pancras, located in the upper parts of Nusle. The district is best known for its prison, was also an important industrial area, but is now (2015) a business and administrative district where many multinational firms have their Czech headquarters. See also Věznice Pankrác.

Pankrác was in 1913 a district in the town and okres of Nusle, hejtmanství Vinohrady. The population count was 8,119 and there were 170 houses. The vast majority of the inhabitants were Czechs. Pankrác was part of Nusle Catholic parish but had its own post office.

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Quote from the novel
Na Pankráci, tam na tom vršíčku, 
stojí pěkné stromořadí...
[1.14.3] Kanárka mořili hladem, jeden sluha angorské kočce vyrazil jedno oko, stájový pinč byl od nich práskán na potkání a nakonec jeden z předchůdců Švejka odvedl chudáka na Pankrác k pohodnému, kde ho dal utratit, nelituje dát ze své kapsy deset korun.
Florencnn flag
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Prager Abendblatt, 23.3.1915

Florenc is where Švejk and his two by now sozzled escort dropped by a café, actually behind Florenc. This was their last stop on the way to field chaplain Katz. The fat guard sold his silver watch here so he could amuse himself further.


Florenc is a district of Prague, east of the centre towards Karlín. Today it is a traffic machine and Prague's enormous coach station is also located here. The entire district was inundated during the great flood in august 2002.

The name Florenc appeared in the 15th century, believed to be named after Italian workers who settled here. As Florenc was not an administrative unit the borders are only loosely defined but the quarter is in Praha II. and the street Na Florenci defines it approximately. The best known building was (and still is) Museum města Prahy (Prague City Museum).

Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] Stavili se za Florencí v malé kavárničce, kde tlustý prodal své stříbrné hodinky, aby se mohli ještě dále veselit.
Karlínnn flag
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Karlín 1909

Karlín was the district where Katz lived, more precisely in Královská třída (now Sokolovská třída). We must assume that his office was near Ferdinandova kasárna. Part of the action in [I.10-13] takes place in Karlín, mostly in the flat of Katz. The town itself and places within it are mentioned numerous times later in the novel (through anecdotes).


Karlín is a district in Prague that borders Vltava, Praha II., Žižkov and Libeň. It was until 1922 a separate town.

Ferdinandova kasárna (also Karlínska kasárna) was located here and was the main seat of IR91 until August 1914. See Regimentskanzlei IR91. Karlín was an industrial town where large plants like Daňkovka were located. Another important institution in town was Invalidovna. During the world war it served as a military hospital, and it was until 2013 the site of VÚA (The Central Military Archive).

Karlín town had 24,230 inhabitants in 1913, of these 15 per cent recorded their nationality as German. The town was also home to 1,773 military personnel, amongst these these distribution between Czechs and Germans was nearly equal. Karlín was also seat for "hejtmanství" and "okres" of the same name - and the two were identical in geographical extent. The district counted 69,184 people and the largest communities were Troja, Kobylisy and Vysočany.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] Na úsměvy diváků odpovídal Švejk měkkým úsměvem, teplem a něhou svých dobráckých očí. A tak šli do Karlína, do bytu polního kuráta. První promluvil na Švejka malý tlustý. Byli právě na Malé Straně dole pod podloubím. „Odkud jseš?“ otázal se malý tlustý. „Z Prahy.“

Also written:Karolinenthal de

Královská třídann flag
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Královská třída was the street in Karlín where Katz lived. The exact address is not known, but the field chaplain's flat was probably near Ferdinandova kasárna (where he probably served).


Královská třída (now Sokolovská) is a long avenue in Prague that connects Praha II., Karlín, Libeň and Vysočany.

Quote from the novel
[1.10.1] Švejk je neustále musel upozorňovat, když šel naproti důstojník nebo nějaká šarže. Po nadlidském úsilí a namáhání podařilo se Švejkovi přivléct je k domu v Královské třídě, kde bydlel polní kurát.

Also written:Königstraße de

Vaticannn flag
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Vatican is mentioned by Katz in when he talks drunk drivel in the cab home from Helmich. He claims that the Vatican shows an interest in him.


Vatican is the centre of the Roman-Catholic Church, and the name of the associated micro-state located in the middle of Roma. Here it is probably meant The Holy See as an institution rather than the Vatican State. Pope from 1904 until 20 August 1914 was Pius X, who was succeeded by Benedict XV. See also The Pope.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.2] Já byl u arcibiskupa,“ hulákal, drže se vrat v průjezdu. „Vatikán se o mne zajímá, rozumíte?“

Also written:Vatikán cz

Domažlicenn flag
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Domažlice is mentioned in a song Katz attempts to sing when in an inebriated state in the back from Helmich. The town is mentioned in several anecdotes later in the novel, for instance by Marek in the story about the editor that invented new animals. One of Hašek's closest friend, Hájek, appears in some of these stories.


Domažlice is a town with around 11,000 inhabitants in Plzeňský kraj in western Bohemia, less than 20 km from the Bavarian border. JH visited the town in 1904 on the way back from his wanderings in Bavaria. He stayed with his friend Hájek and his family.

Domažlice town had 8,170 inhabitants in 1913, of which almost all where Czechs. The town was also the seat of hejtmanství and okres of the same name. The town was part of the recruitment area for IR35 (Ergänzungsbezirk Nr. 35, Pilsen).

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.2] Vzpomínám na zlaté časy, když mne houpal na klíně, bydleli jsme toho času u Domažlic v Merklíně.

Also written:Taus de

Merklínnn flag
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Merklín is mentioned in a song that Katz sings when inebriated in the horse-drawn cab.


Merklín is a village between Domažlice and Plzeň. At the latest population count (2006) the village had 1,035 inhabitants.

Merklín was part of hejtmanství and okres Přestice near Plzeň. The 1913 population count was 1,789 and more than nine of ten professed to Czech nationality.

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Quote from the novel
Vzpomínám na zlaté časy, 
když mne houpal na klíně, 
bydleli jsme toho času 
u Domažlic v Merklíně.
Nymburknn flag
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Nymburk appears as Katz, during the cab drive back from senior lieutenant Helmich, talks drunken drivel about Nymburk station.


Nymburk is a town with around 14,000 inhabitants by the Elbe. It is located 45 km east of Prague and is amongst other things known as the town where Bohumil Hrabal grew up. He was an author who was strongly influenced by JH.

Nymburk town had 10,169 inhabitants in 1913, of which almost all where Czechs. It was centre of the okres carrying its name and was part of hejtmanství Poděbrady.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.2] Potom počal považovat drožku za vlak, a nahýbaje se ven, křičel do ulice česky a německy: „Nymburk, přestupovat!“

Also written:Nimburg de

Podmoklynn flag
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Podmokly is mentioned by Katz when he wants to jump out of the cab because he thinks he is on a train. It occurs to him that he is in Podmokly instead of Budějovice.


Podmokly is the name of four places in the Czech Republic. Here the place in question has a railway station, so it is by near certainty Podmokly by Děčín. The German translation by Grete Reiner underpins this assumption by using the name Bodenbach.

The town was until 1945 predominantly populated by German-speakers. Podmokly is now part of Děčín and the station has been renamed Děčín hlavní nádraží. It is the last stop before the German border and all trains from Prague to Berlin stop here.

The town of Bodenbach had 12,471 inhabitants in 1913, of which almost all where Germans. It belonged to okres and hejtmanství Děčín (Tetschen).

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.2] Jen jednou učinil pokus se vzbouřit a vyskočit z drožky, prohlásiv, že dál již nepojede, že ví, že místo do Budějovic jedou do Podmoklí.

Also written:Bodenbach de

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Národní politika, 8.12.1908

Gorgonzola is mentioned by Katz in the cab on the way home from Helmich. The drunk Katz asks Švejk various questions: if he is married, if he enjoys eating gorgonzola cheese, and even if his home has ever been infested with bed bugs!


Gorgonzola her refers to the famous blue cheese from Gorgonzola by Milan. The cheese has a history that goes back more than one thousand years and was obviously very well known also in Austria-Hungary. It was amongst other places produced at the dairy in Hall in Tirol (who also produced Emmental and many other well known cheeses).

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.2] Byl také zvědav, není-li prosinec nebo červen, a projevil velkou schopnost klásti nejrůznější otázky: „Jste ženat? Jíte rád gorgonzolu? Měli jste doma štěnice? Máte se dobře? Měl váš pes psinku?“
Moraviann flag
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Moravia is first mentioned by Katz when he tells Švejk that he here had drunk the best borovička (juniper spirits) ever. The region enters the discussion a few more times, for instance in Putim in [II.3] and in a conversation with field chaplain Martinec in [IV.2].

Many locations in Moravia are mentioned in the novel; amongst them Brno, Moravská Ostrava, Jihlava, Hodonín, Přerov, Hostýn, Šternberk and Nový Jičín.

Several people from Moravia are also mentioned: Kohn, Martinec, Lacina, Kadlčák, Nemrava, and last but not least: Masaryk.


Moravia is a historic region in Central Europe which is no longer an administrative unit. Together with Bohemia and a small part of Silesia it makes up the Czech Republic. The capital is Brno and the region is named after the river Morava (German March).

Other important cities were Moravská Ostrava (industry) and old and beautiful Olomouc which is the Czech arch-bishop's seat and a prominent centre of education. Olomouc was also the reserve capital of the Habsburgs in periods when Vienna was under threat. During the times of Austria-Hungary Moravia had status as Kronland. In 1910 Czechs made up over 70 per cent of the population, but Germans formed a substantial minority. In cities like Brno, Olomouc, Vyškov and Jihlava they were in majority.

JH travelled here far less frequently than in Bohemia but passed by on his trips to Galicia and Slovakia each year from 1900 to 1903, and in 1905 he visited Jihlava. In early August 1903 his stay was involuntarily extended; he was arrested for vagrancy in Frýdek-Místek [4].

Quote from the novel
[1.10.3] Taková borovička není ani chutná, nemá ani barvu, pálí v krku. A kdyby byla aspoň pravá, destilát z jalovce, jakou jsem jednou pil na Moravě. Ale tahle borovička byla z nějakého dřevěného lihu a olejů.
[1.14.3] Nejvíc mně dalo práce ho přebarvit, aby měl barvu pepř a sůl. Tak se dostal se svým pánem až na Moravu a vod tý doby jsem ho neviděl.
[1.15.0] Nikdy nedorazil nikam včas, vodil pluk v kolonách proti strojním puškám a kdysi před lety stalo se při císařských manévrech na českém jihu, že se úplně s plukem ztratil, dostal se s ním až na Moravu, kde se s ním potloukal ještě několik dní po tom, když už bylo po manévrech a vojáci leželi v kasárnách.

Also written:Morava cz Mähren de

Josefovnn flag
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Výroba lihovin na studené cestě, 1877


Břetislav Hůla. Vysvětlíky. © LA-PNP

Josefov is first mentioned through the term "of the Jews" when Katz tells Švejk how spirits ought to be manufactured, and not cold distilled in a factory by the Jews.

The district is mentioned again using the same term when Švejk is introduced to Lukáš. The latter gives his "pucflék" a lecture in proper behaviour, which does not include stealing his masters parade uniform and sell it "in the Jews" (i.e. Josefov), like one of his previous servants did.

Later on, in [IV.2], the same expression is used in an anecdote Švejk tells feldkurát Martinec in the cell in Przemyśl (see Faustýn). The word Josefov is never explicitly used in the novel.


Josefov is part of Prague, SME. Until 1922 it was a separate urban district also known as Praha V. From the late 19th century onwards it went through a redevelopment that changed the character of the quarter drastically, and few of the old buildings survived.

Prague V. was the smallest of the districts in the city, in 1913 it had only 3,376 inhabitants. Of those 678 were registered as Germans, the highest proportion of non-Czechs of any district in the city. This was no doubt due to the high number of Jewish inhabitants. Josefov roughly consisted of the area west of Mikulášská třída towards Vltava.

The Jewish community in Prague was next to extinguished by the Nazis during the occupation from 1939 to 1945. The most famous resident of the area was arguably Franz Kafka.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.3] Kořalka je jed,“ rozhodl se, „musí být původní originál, pravá, a nikoliv vyráběná ve fabrice na studené cestě od židů. To je jako s rumem. Dobrý rum je vzácností.
[1.14.3] "U mě musíte si čistit boty, mít svou uniformu v pořádku, knoflíky správné přišité a musíte dělat dojem vojáka, a ne nějakého civilního otrapy. Jest to zvláštní, že vy neumíte se žádný držet vojensky. Jen jeden měl ze všech těch mých sluhů bojovné vzezření, a nakonec mně ukradl parádní uniformu a prodal ji v Židech.
[4.2] Já dál na světě bejt živ nemůžu, já poctivej člověk sem žalovanej pro kuplířství jako ňákej pasák ze Židů.

Also written:JosefovP cz Jüdisches Viertel de Jødekvarteret no

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Vršovice 1910

Vršovice was where Švejk dropped by to borrow money from senior lieutenant Mahler. There is another and longer visit in the next chapter when the field chaplain and his servant go there to recuperate the field altar. See Vršovice kostel. In [I.14] and [I.15], the plot for the most part takes place in Vršovice, without this being stated explicitly. This was when Švejk was a servant for Lukáš.


Vršovice is from 1922 a district in Prague, now contained entirely within the capital's 10th district.

Vršovice was at Švejk's time a separate town of almost 25,000 inhabitants, belonging to hejtmanství Vinohrady. More than 1,000 of these were military personnel. There were two barracks in town and IR73 ("Egerregiment"), was located here with staff and three battalions. Vršovice was also a separate okres, the population count in 1913 was 31,284. See also Vršovice kasárna.

Hašek in Vršovice

JH lived in Vršovice with his wife Jarmila in 1911 and 1912, and it was here in house no. 363 (Palackého třída, now Moskevská) that his son Richard was born on 2 May 1912. The author was registered at this address on 28 December 1911, but already on 29 July 1912 he was listed in Vinohrady. His wife had also moved, to her parents in Dejvice. The split must obviously have happened very shortly after their son was born.

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Source: RP, JS

Quote from the novel
[1.10.3] Jestli tam nepochodíte, tak půjdete do Vršovic, do kasáren k nadporučíkovi Mahlerovi.
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Zbraslav is mentioned in Katz's drunken drivel in the cab when he thinks Švejk is a lady who owns a villa in Zbraslav.


Zbraslav is an area of Prague, 10 km south of the centre, where the river Berounka flows into Vltava. Zbraslav became part of Prague as late as 1974.

Zbraslav was in 1913 a community of 1,772 inhabitants in the okres of the same name, hejtmanství Smíchov. Zbraslav had both a parish and a post office. The district was however much larger with its 28,094 inhabitants. It contained several places that are mentioned in the novel: Záběhlice, Všenory, Mníšek and Chuchle.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.3] Vy máte vilu na Zbraslavi. A můžete jezdit parníkem po Vltavě. Víte, co je to Vltava?“

Also written:Königsaal de

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Was Thalerhof the "K.u.k Konzentrationslager Steinhof" that Hašek had in mind?


Salzburger Chronik, 13.12.1914

Steinhof was the concentration camp where Müllerová was interned without ever having been convicted. She had been taken away the same evening as she had pushed Švejk to the draft commission in a wheelchair.


Steinhof is referred to by the author as a concentration camp, but it is unclear which place he has in mind. Steinhof by Vienna is an unlikely candidate although the name fits. From 1907 it was the location of the largest psychiatric institution in the Dual Monarchy, but there was no concentration camp here during WW1.

Shots in the dark

Milan Hodík thinks he may have had Stein an der Donau in mind, there was a prison there. RP suggests Kamenný Dvůr (former Steinhof) by Cheb but is unsure. Antonín Měšťan claims that there was a concentration camp in Steinhof, but he does not indicate where this "Steinhof" actually was.


A much more solid indicator is JH and his Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí, a short novel from 1917. Here the camp Thalerhof by Graz is mentioned directly and the author even lets Švejk get interned here. This was one of the first concentration camps in Europe, operating from 5 September 1914. Most of the inmates were politically suspect Ukrainians (Russophiles) but Czechs also found their way here. One can thus imagine that the author had Thalerhof in mind but somehow twisted the name.


JS (2019) points to another possible mix-up with names. Her the possibility is Steinklamm, a camp in (Bezirk St. Pölten) that in 1914 was opened to cater for refugees but that later was used for prisoners, also for politically suspect civilians. As in Thalerhof cases of spotted typhus were recorded and in early May 1915 reported in several newspapers.

Last minute name change

Klosterneuburg replaced with Steinhof in the manuscript


The manuscript of Švejk is also worth a study. The author has actually started off by locating the camp in Klosterneuburg before he struck the word and changed it to Steinhof. It might therefore be prudent not to read too much into the choice of name for the camp where Müllerova's was interned.

Antonín Měšťan

So gab es in Steinhof in der Tat während des Ersten Weltkriegs ein österreichisches Konzentrationslager (I. 113/118) sowie in Hainburg eine Kadettenschule (I. 268/274).

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.4] Starou paní soudili vojenskými soudy a odvezli, poněvadž jí nic nemohli dokázat, do koncentračního tábora do Steinhofu.
[1.10.4] A přes celý lístek růžové razítko: Zensuriert. K. u. k. Konzentrationslager Steinhof.
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Smíchov is briefly mentioned when a locksmith from the district approaches Švejk outside U kalicha when he was back there for the last time. Otherwise Smíchov rarely figures in the novel, but in [III.4] it is revealed that lieutenant Dub lived here. In the famous farewell scene between Švejk and Vodička in Királyhida [II.4] the Smíchov beer is mentioned.


Smíchov is a district of Prague, located west of the Vltava, in the southern part of the city. Smíchov has a major railway station, is an industrial area, and is the home of the Staropramen brewery. Smíchov became part of Prague in 1922.

In 1913 Smíchov was a town which with its surrounding district contained large part of what is now the western part of Prague. It was centre of hejtmanství and okres of the same name, and hetjmanství Smíchov was very populous with 167,830 inhabitants - in effect larger than any district in Bohemia apart from Prague. Okres Smíchov alone counted 139,736 of which around 95 per cent were Czechs. The town itself was also sizeable with its 51,791 inhabitants, again making it one of the largest in Böhmen. The hejtmanství also contained okres Zbraslav. Within okres Smíchov itself several places we know from the novel were located. Amongst those are Břevnov, Dejvice, Klamovka, Kobylisy, Košíře, Motol, Roztoky and Horní Stodůlky.

Hašek and Smíchov

"Pod černým vrchem" in 1912

JH lived in Smíchov frå 1909 til 1911, or more precisely in Košíře where he was editor of the magazine Svět zvírat and later ran his Cynological Institute. There are many places in Smíchov associated with the author, not least the pub Pod černým vrchem where Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona held some of their meetings and where the famous picture of the four party members with the four beers was taken.

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Quote from the novel
[1.10.4] Při té rozmluvě byl jeden starší pán, zámečník ze Smíchova, který šel ke Švejkovi a řekl k němu: „Prosím vás, pane, počkejte na mne venku, já s vámi musím mluvit.“
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

10. Švejk as a military servant to the field chaplain

© 2009 - 2019 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 8/12-2019