The Good Soldier Švejk

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

The line between this page and "Places" is blurred, but the idea with this section is to include entities that are not necessarily located on a fixed spot on earth. Therefore Prague and Vienna will still be found in the "Places" database, because these have constant co-ordinates. On the other hand institutions may change location: Kriegsministerium and U kalicha are not unequivocal geographical terms so they will from now on appear on this page.

>> The Good Soldier Švejk index of institutions mentioned in the novel (190) Show all
>> I. In the rear
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12. A religious debate

Zákopnícinn flag
Palackého třída 20/10, Karlín
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Zlatá Praha, 23.7.1915


Das Infanterieregiment Nr. 91 am Vormarsch in Galizien (© VÚA)


Národní listy, 4.5.1909


Seidels kleines Armeeschema, 1908

Zákopníci was mentioned when the author mentions that Švejk and Katz carried out yet another field mass, this time by the pioneers.


Zákopníci is the Czech term for pioneer troops or engineer troops. The term indicates that their role was to dig trenches but their task went well beyond that, included the building of temporary roads and bridges.

In 1909 Pionierbataillon Nr. 3 was stationed in Prague (Ferdinandová kasárna in Karlín), but by 1914 no such units are found in the Bohemian capital. In the meantime the battalion had been transferred to Pettau (now Ptuj in Slovenia).

The author probably "transferred" Katz's field masses from the front so in this context it's hardly relevant that there were no pioneer troops in Prague in 1914. That said he surely came across them at the front during the summer of 1915 so this sequence is probably inspired by these encounters (if they are fact-based at all).

One such occasion was 20 July 1915 when pioneer company no. 8 from the 10th pioneer battalion were to assist IR91 K.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 91
(Royal and Imperial Infantry Regiment No. 91). One of 102 regular Austro-Hungarian infantry regiments, recruitment district Budweis. This is the regiment where Švejk and also Hašek served. A complete description of the regiment will follow later.
and their sister regiments in building a bridge across Bug (see Ritter von Herbert). The attempt was abandoned due to the swollen river and that very night the regiment was ordered to urgently march to Sokal.

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Quote from the novel
[1.12] Švejk sloužil s polním kurátem ještě jednu polní mši u zákopníků, kam byl omylem pozván ještě jeden polní kurát, bývalý katecheta, neobyčejně nábožný člověk, dívající se na svého kolegu velice udiveně, když ten mu nabízel ze Švejkovy polní láhve, kterou ten vždy nosil na takové náboženské úkony s sebou, doušek koňaku.

Also written:Pioneers en Pioniere de Pionerar no

U zlatého věncenn flag
Královská tř. 161/59, Karlín
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House No. 362 "Zlatý věnec" seen from Pobřezní třída


Právo lidu, 21.1.1899


Národní politika, 20.4.1901

U zlatého věnce was mentioned when Švejk tells Katz that he dropped by and overheard a story about the man from Nová Paka who landed in trouble by handing back things he had found. This is, according to Švejk, a universally bad idea.


U zlatého věnce refers to a tavern in Královská třída 59 named after the house Zlatý věnec (The Golden Wreath) in Pobřežní třída 30 that was attached to it from the back. In 1907 the owner of both buildings was Marie Holubová.

Newspaper adverts and minor notices from around the turn of the century show that there was a guest house here. The adverts announced meetings of a trade union and theatre performances so it was probably a spacious establishment. At the end of 1894 the Metal worker's trade union was founded here.

The landlord in 1892 and 1896 was Antonín Beran who already in 1884 is listed as owner of the house. In 1907 Marie Holubová is entered as owner of both house 161 and 362 but no hostelry is listed on the premises. In 1910 Josef Tichý is the landlord but in 1912 no pub is found at this address any more.

It is not known when the tavern started operation, but it must have been before 1891. Nor do we know when the establishment closed its doors for good.

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SourceJaroslav Šerák Czech Hašek-expert, owner and editor of Virtuální muzeum Jaroslava Haška. Publisher of a compilation of Hašek's poems. Since 2009 in close cooperation with the owner of this web site, and content is regularly exchanged and inter-linked.

Quote from the novel
[1.12] Včera jsem mluvil v hospodě ,U zlatého věnce’ s jedním člověkem z venkova, je mu už šestapadesát let, a ten šel se optat na okresní hejtmanství do Nové Paky, proč mu rekvisírovali bryčku.

Also written:The Golden Wreath en Zum Goldenen Kranz de

Okresní hejtmanství Nová Pakann flag
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Seznam míst v království Českém, 1913


Reichsgesetzblatt, 2.9.1903

Okresní hejtmanství Nová Paka is mentioned by Švejk in anecdote he tells Katz. At U zlatého věnce he had spoken to a 56 year old man from the countryside who had gone to their offices to ask why his carriage had been requisitioned for war duty. Here he had been thrown out immediately.


Okresní hejtmanství Nová Paka was the political administration of the Nová Paka district. It is not known exactly where the offices were located but it assumed that it was in the town centre. In 1913 the district's population number was 64,628 and consisted of the boroughs Hořice and Nová Paka. The district was relatively new, created on 1 October 1903 from areas that previously had belonged to okres Judicial district (soudní okres), administrative unit in Austria, reporting to hejtmanství Jičín and okres Pardubice.

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Quote from the novel
[1.12] Včera jsem mluvil v hospodě ,U zlatého věnce’ s jedním člověkem z venkova, je mu už šestapadesát let, a ten šel se optat na okresní hejtmanství do Nové Paky, proč mu rekvisírovali bryčku.

Also written:Bezirkshauptmannschaft Neupaka de

Uršulinkynn flag
Praha II.
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Praha, hlava království Českého, 1901

Uršulinky is mentioned in the anecdote about the holy water of Lourdes that caused a loose stomach. Sjå Vlašim for more details.


Uršulinky is the good soldier's term for Klášter Voršilek, a monastery with adjoining church in at Národní třída in Prague, until 1918 Ferdinandová třída. It belongs to the Ursuline order, a catholic organisation that is mainly preoccupied with the education of girls. It derives its name from St. Ursula. From 1958 the building complex has been under heritage protection.

The monastery was built from 1674 to 1676 and also during the Habsburg reign it provided boarding and education for girls.

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Quote from the novel
[1.12] Vono by jich tam patřilo víc. U uršulinek mají v klášteře lahvičku s mlékem panny Marie, kterým kojila Ježíška, a v sirotčinci u Benešova, když jim tam přivezli lurdskou vodu, dostali po ní sirotkové takovou běhavku, že to svět neviděl.“

Also written:Ursulinenkloster de Ursula-klosteret no U uršulinek Švejk

Sirotčinec u Benešovann flag
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Sirotčinec u Benešova is mentioned when Švejk tells he pious field chaplain about the holy water from Lourdes that caused stomach trouble for the children at the nursery home.


Sirotčinec u Benešova surely refers to the home for parentless children in Benešov, "Domov". It was built around the turn of the century, was owned by the town, and seems to have been located below Konopiště castle.

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Source: Muzeum umění a designu Benešov

Quote from the novel
[1.12] U uršulinek mají v klášteře lahvičku s mlékem Panny Marie, kterým kojila Ježíška, a v sirotčinci u Benešova, když jim tam přivezli lurdskou vodu, dostali po ní sirotkové takovou běhavku, že to svět neviděl."
U Piaristůnn flag
Praha II.
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U Piaristů is mentioned by the pious (and drunk) field chaplain when he asks his colleague Katz if he doesn't believe that the thumb of John the Baptist is found in this church.


U Piaristů is a colloquial term for Kostel svatého Kříže, a monastery with church and a school located at the corner of Na Příkopě og Panská ulice that until 1912 belonged to the Piarist order. They are a Catholic educational order founded in 1617 in is the oldest of its kind. Their main purpose is to provide free education for poor children.

The church which is built in a classical style was constructed between 1816 and 1824. Amongst those who studied here was Vrchlický.

After the introduction of a new school law in 1869 the state took over and one part became a gymnasium (German) and the other a teacher's institute. In 1912 the Piarists finally sold the building. Today the church is run by the catholic institute Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco).

It was on the street corner by this church that Lukáš was to meet a lady, when on a walk with the dog Fox, he unfortunately bumped into Kraus. We already know the end of that story.

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Quote from the novel
[1.12] Mžouraje očima, otázal se Katze: „Vy nevěříte v neposkvrněné početí panny Marie, nevěříte, že palec sv. Jana Křtitele, který se chrání u piaristů, je pravý? Věříte vůbec v pána boha? A když nevěříte, proč jste polním kurátem?“
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12. A religious debate

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