November 12, 1903: Local authorities approve plan to build psychiatric hospital in Bohnice

Photo: Lenka Žižková, Radio Prague International

Rapid industrial development and major social changes at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries increased the number of people suffering from mental illnesses. On November 12, 1903, the Provincial Committee of the Kingdom of Bohemia decided to build a hospital for mental patients in Bohnice near Prague which serves patients to this day.

The 303-hectare site with 28 pavilions once accommodated as many as 2,500 patients.

In addition to the three dozen pavilions, technical facilities were built: water tanks, a boiler house, power facility, kitchen, laundry, warehouses, workshops, administrative and residential buildings, an agricultural farm and the hospital’s own cemetery.

The architect of the building was the then well-known Václav Roštlapil, who, in addition to the Straka Academy and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, also built a similar institute for mental patients in Vienna. Both of these institutes were at the time the largest and most modern in Austria-Hungary.

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Author: Klára Stejskalová, Sources:Český rozhlas,ČTK