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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Map of Austria-Hungary in 1914. The itinerary of Jaroslav Šerák 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 (578) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

5. Švejk at the district police station in Salmova street

Marathonnn flag
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1896 Olympic Marathon

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Národní Politika, 26.10.1908

Marathon is mentioned indirectly by the author through the term marathon Run. The arrested family father at the police station in Salmova ulice runs around is if he wants to win a marathon and screams: "Let me out!"

Background

Marathon is the former name of Marathónas, a small town north of Athens that has been widely known through the marathon run. According to legend a messenger ran to Athens with the news of victory at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

The marathon run was introduced during the first Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. In the beginning the distance varies slightly until it was fixed at the current 42,195 metres in 1921. In 1914 the distance was 40.2 kilometres. The first official run in Kingdom of Bohemia took place on 25 October 1908 between Smíchov and Dobříš. It was arranged by S.K. Slavia and the distance was 40 km.

Today marathon is a big sport with hundreds of runs annually around the world. The largest take place in New York with more than 50,000 finishers (2013). Within old Austria-Hungary there are annual runs in, amongst others, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. Every year there is also a classic marathon along the presumed original route.

Quote from the novel
[1.5] Muž, který běhal mezi dveřmi a pryčnou, jako by chtěl vyhrát maratónský běh, se zastavil a udýchán se posadil opět na své staré místo, složil hlavu do dlaní a náhle zařval: "Pusťe mne ven!" "Ne, oni mne nepustí," mluvil pro sebe, "nepustí a nepustí. Už jsem zde od rána od šesti hodin."
Královské Vinohradynn flag
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Kravín, where Hašek's party held pre-election meetings

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Populuation statistics and administrative sub-division in 1913

Královské Vinohrady is the district where Švejk's cell-mate is said to have made an exhibition of himself in a decent establishment. Královské Vinohrady is mentioned again when Dr Pávek arrives to cure Svejk's rheumatism in [I.7] and later the name appears in several anecdotes. The plot never explicitly takes place here.

Background

Královské Vinohrady is a former city and current cadastral area of Prague, south east of the centre. Administratively it is split between Prague 2, 3 and 10. After 1968 the official name has been Vinohrady, and this short form is also used by the author throughout. In 1922 it became part of the capital.

Královské Vinohrady achieved status as "royal town" in 1879 and grew quickly to become the third largest city of Kingdom of Bohemia. In 1913 it had 77,120 inhabitants where Czechs made up the overwhelming majority. Its was also the centre of the local government district (okreshejtmanství) of the same name and the town was the only sub-division of its judicial district (soudní okres).

Jaroslav Hašek lived in various locations at Vinohrady from 1896 to 1908 and in shorter periods later. On 23 May 1910 he married Jarmila Mayerova in Kostel svaté Ludmily. His famous "party" Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona held many of their election meetings here, mainly before the elections of 1911 where he also stood as a candidate.

In the second version of Švejk, Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí, the main character lives in Vinohrady. Here his occupation was a cobbler, not a dog trader as he became known as later.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.5] Tak jsme ho šli opět všude hledat a nakonec jsme se ztratili jeden druhému, až nakonec jsem se ocitl v jedné z nočních kaváren na Vinohradech, velmi slušné místnosti, kde jsem pil nějaký likér přímo z láhve.

Also written:Vinohrady Hašek Königliche Weinberge de

Ražicenn flag
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Ražice is first mentioned by Švejk in an anecdote about scouts he tells his fellow prisoner at the police station at Salmova ulice. The place also appears in [I.14] and [II.2] and the good soldoer must have been within a few kilometres of it on his anabasis in Book Two.

Background

Ražice is a village in the Písek district. It is an important railway junction between Písek, Budějovice and Plzeň. In 1913 the village counted 398 inhabitants, all listed with Czech as their mother tongue. Jaroslav Hašek knew the village very well and mentions it both in Švejk and in some of his stories. See also Ražická bašta.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.5] Potom na trápení u starosty, pod rákoskou, doznali, že není ani jedna louka v okolí, kterou by nebyli zváleli, když se vyhřívali na slunci, dále že ten lán žita nastojatě, právě před žněmi u Ražic, vyhořel čirou náhodou, když si v žitě pekli na rožni srnku, ku které se přikradli s noži v obecním lese.

Also written:Ražitz de

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Some of the places Švejk mentions

Okres Hluboká is mentioned in the story about scouts that Švejk tells the unhappy family father in the cell at Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice.

Background

Okres Hluboká refers to the soudní okres (judicial district) named after its seat Hluboká. The district belonged to Okresní hejtmanství Budějovice as Švejk clearly states. The district counted 26 municipalities that were almost exclusively inhabited by Czechs: Bavorovice, Břehov, Čejkovice, Češnovice, Dasný, Dobřejice, Dříteň, Hluboká, Hosín, Hrdějice, Chlumec, Chotýčany, Jaroslavice, Jeznice, Česká Lhota, Lišnice, Munice, Mydlovary, Nakří, Opatovice, Pištín, Plastovice, Purkarec, Velice, Nová Ves, Volešník, Vyhlavy, Zbudov, Zliv.

Mydlovary plays a particularly prominent role because this is where Jaroslav Hašek had right of domicile and was thus under jurisdiction of the recruitment region of IR91. See Ergänzungskommando.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.5] "U skautů?" zvolal Švejk. "O těch skautech rád slyším. Jednou v Mydlovarech u Zlivi, okres Hluboká, okresní hejtmanství České Budějovice, právě když jsme tam měli jednadevadesátí cvičení, udělali si sedláci z okolí hon na skauty v obecním lese, kteří se jim tam rozplemenili.
Okresní hejtmanství Budějovicenn flag
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Okresní hejtmanství Budějovice is mentioned in the story about the unfortunate scouts Švejk tells the unhappy family father in the cell at Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice.

Background

Okresní hejtmanství Budějovice was the local government district in the area around Budějovice. Apart from the district capital there were no major towns within its boundaries. In 1910 the region had a population of more than 120,000 of which 80 per cent were Czechs. In the Budějovice itself the ethnic balance was more even as nearly the entire German minority in the region lived here.

The district consisted of four soudní okres (judicial district): Budějovice, Hluboká, Lišov and Trhové Sviny. The office was located in Střelnická ulice, now třída 28. října.

Bezirkhauptmannschaft

This term (cz. okreshejtmanství) needs clarification. The two most recent English translations of the novel interpret it as "police district", something that it definitely is not. It is rather the third level of government administration in Cisleithanien (i.e. the Austrian part of the Dual Monarchy). The next level up was the Statthalter (cz. místodržitel) who again reported directly to central government in Vienna. In the Hungarian part of the empire the equivalent to the Bezirk was Komitat. The Kingdom of Bohemia consisted of nearly 100 politické okresy (politische Bezirke). These were often made up 3-4 soudní okresy (Gerichtsbezirke) but the number could vary. Often used in Czech is the shortened variation hejtmanstvi, for instance in Ottův slovník naučný. Likewise soudní okres is referred to as simply okres.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.5] "U skautů?" zvolal Švejk. "O těch skautech rád slyším. Jednou v Mydlovarech u Zlivi, okres Hluboká, okresní hejtmanství České Budějovice, právě když jsme tam měli jednadevadesátí cvičení, udělali si sedláci z okolí hon na skauty v obecním lese, kteří se jim tam rozplemenili.

Also written:Bezirkhauptmannschaft Budweis de Okresní hejtmanství České Budějovice Švejk

Ječná ulicenn flag
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The corner of Ječná and Karlovo náměstí.

Ječná ulice is one of the street Švejk walks though with police escort, on his way from Salmova ulice police station back to Policejní ředitelství. The date must have been around 28 July 1914.

Background

Ječná ulice is a busy street in Nové Město, leading from Karlovo náměstí to IP Pavlova. The family of Hašek lived in no. 7 for a while in 1884, the year after he was born.

Quote from the novel
[1.5] Ukloniv se uctivě, odcházel s policejním strážníkem dolů na strážnici a za čtvrt hodiny bylo již vidět na rohu Ječné ulice a Karlova náměstí Švejka v průvodu druhého policejního strážníka, který měl pod paždí objemnou knihu s německým nápisem „Arrestantenbuch“.

Also written:Gerstengasse de

Karlovo náměstínn flag
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The author with his wife Jarmila at Karlovo náměstí

Karlovo náměstí is another place Švejk passes with police escort, on his way from Salmova ulice police station back to Policejní ředitelství. The date must have been around 28 July 1914, the day of the declaration of war against Serbia.

The place is mentioned several times in book one, and appears already in the first chapter, through the colloquial expression "Karlák".

In [I.13] the plot is again located here as Švejk and Katz go to the military hospital to perform the last rites. See Vojenská nemocnice Karlovo náměstí.

Background

Karlovo náměstí is the centre of Nové Město and is one of the largest city squares in Europe. Today it appears more like a park than a square. It was founded by king Charles IV in 1348.

The square is right in the area where Jaroslav Hašek grew up and this is reflected in the number of places here that are mentioned in the novel: Zemský trestní soud, Černý pivovar, Vojenská nemocnice Karlovo náměstí, U mrtvoly, Kostel svátého Ignáce. Both the gymnasium and the commercial academy where the author completed his education are located off the square.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.5] Ukloniv se uctivě, odcházel s policejním strážníkem dolů na strážnici a za čtvrt hodiny bylo již vidět na rohu Ječné ulice a Karlova náměstí Švejka v průvodu druhého policejního strážníka, který měl pod paždí objemnou knihu s německým nápisem „Arrestantenbuch“.
[I.13] Potom přečetl polní kurát ještě jednou předpis, ve kterém se mu oznamuje, že zítra má jít na Karlovo náměstí do Vojenské nemocnice zaopatřovat těžce raněné.

Also written:Charles Square en Karlsplatz de Karlák Švejk

Spálená ulicenn flag
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Spálená ulice appears in the plot when Švejk and his police escort stop at the corner of Karlovo náměstí - Spálená ul. to read the declaration of war on Serbia. The date here is probably 28 July 1914.

Background

Spálená ulice is a street in Nové Město leading from Karlovo náměstí north towards Národní třída (then Ferdinandova třída). The name means "Burnt Street".

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.5] Na rohu Spálené ulice setkal se Švejk se svým průvodčím s tlupou lidí, kteří se tlačili kolem vyvěšeného plakátu. „To je manifest císaře pána o vypovězení války,“ řekl policejní strážník k Švejkovi.

Also written:Brenntegasse de

Europenn flag
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Europe is mentioned by the author in conjunction with the news that Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia: "and somewhere from distant history it dawned on Europe that tomorrow would obliterate the plans of today."

Background

Europe was at the outbreak of war far less fragmented than today, not the least because of Austria-Hungary which covered areas that now belong to 11 different states. Germany and Russia were also much larger than they are today. The great war turned Europe upside down. The empires of Germany, the Dual Monarchy, Turkey and Russia all collapsed and the human and material losses were enormous, around 15 millions is the estimated death toll. Only Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway managed to preserve their neutrality.

Quote from the novel
[1.5] A kdesi v dálných dálavách historie snášela se k Evropě pravda, že zítřek rozboří i plány přítomnosti.

Also written:Evropa cz

Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

5. Švejk at the district police station in Salmova street


© 2009 - 2018 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 12/10-2018