Psychiatric Hospital in Bohnice (1909)|Photo: Czech World, September 10, 1909
Rapid industrial development and major social changes at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries increased the number of people suffering from mental illness. On November 12, 1903, the Regional Committee of the Kingdom of Bohemia decided to build a completely new institution for patients with mental illnesses in Bohnice near Prague (they only became part of Prague in 1922).
Psychiatric Hospital in Bohnice (1927)|Photo: Světozor, 14 April 1927
In addition to three dozen treatment pavilions, technical facilities were also built: water reservoirs, a boiler room, a power plant, a kitchen, a laundry, warehouses, workshops, the prosecutor’s office, administrative and residential buildings, an agricultural farm, and its own cemetery with 4,100 grave sites.
Václav Roštlapil, already well known at the time, became the architect of the building, who, in addition to the Straka Academy and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, also built a similar institution for the mentally retarded in Vienna. Both of these institutes were the largest and most modern in Austria-Hungary at the time.
The architect Roštlapil is also the author of the art nouveau church of St. Václav, which is located in the middle of the campus. After the communist era, when it served as a warehouse, today it again fulfills its original purpose.
Church of St. Václav in the hospital grounds|Photo: Lenka Žižková, Radio Prague International
Hippotherapy, music therapy and various festivals
Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital|Photo: Lenka Žižková, Radio Prague International
In addition to the department for the treatment of classic mental illnesses, the Psychiatric Hospital complex has a gerontopsychiatry department, a department for the treatment of addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling) as well as therapeutic workshops (ceramics, basket weaving, candle making, bookbinding, a woodworking workshop, etc.). Hospitalized patients can participate in music therapy, hippotherapy, etc. The theater Behind the Fence is located on the hospital premises. The hospital regularly hosts various music festivals such as Bábí leto or the Mezi ploto theater festival.
The entire area is protected as a cultural monument.