1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University 1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University Department of Psychiatry

History of the Psychiatric Clinic in Prague

It was the year 1783, which was important for a systematic care of mentally ill people. Joseph II., the Austrian emperor (Czech and Moravian countries were ruled by the Austrian monarchy since 1620 till 1918) legislated on March 19th, 1783 by his court edict an establishment of a hospital department for mentally ill priests, which was attached to the Hospital of Merciful Brothers in Prague. As early as in 1784, this regulation was extended on all groups of population. Later, in 1789, the whole building in a newly established hospital on Karlov is dedicated for a treatment of calm mentally ill old people...



In the Guestbook of the former Prague Institute for the insane, bound in black, decorated with wine-grapes on the sides and a golden vine, the day of the first entry is written clearly: September 5, 1834. After the page of honour dedicated to the Monarch himself, a hundreds of esteemed names follow, from all parts of the world. Over a hundred and sixty years of human effort, some two centimetres of pages in height and then sheets still untouched still waiting for their entry. Sometimes, it is possible to capture things on an incredibly small area...