Pankrác Prison

Coordinates: 50°03′31″N 14°26′20″E / 50.05861°N 14.43889°E / 50.05861; 14.43889

Pankrác Prison, officially Prague Pankrác Remand Prison (Vazební věznice Praha Pankrác in Czech), is a prison in Prague, Czech Republic. It is located southeast of Prague city centre in Pankrác, not far from Pražského povstání metro station on Line C.


The prison was built in 1885–1889 in order to replace the obsolete St Wenceslas Prison (Svatováclavská trestnice), which used to stand between Charles Square and the Vltava River. The site for the new prison was out of city limits, amidst fields above Nusle suburb, in the time of its construction. Nevertheless, the expanding Prague encompassed the prison within several decades. A huge building of court was added to the facility in 1930s. During Nazi German occupation in 1939–1945 thousands of Czech people, from members of the Resistance to black marketeers, were detained here before having been sent to execution, to another prison within Germany or to concentration camp. In spring 1943 the Nazi Germans started carrying out executions directly inside the facility itself, where three cells had been adapted for this purpose. Between April 5, 1943 and April 26, 1945 a total of 1,079 people were beheaded by guillotine in Pankrác. The three rooms used for this bloody purpose (colloquially referred to as the sekyrárna, or axe room in Czech) have been preserved (including the execution device), and serve as memorial that is occasionally accessible to schools and public. In the last decades before the abolition of capital punishment in Czechoslovakia, the vast majority of executions (by hanging) took place here, the last in 1989.

The present

According to an official report of Prison Service the Pankrác Prison currently serves as a house of detention for accused males, and partly as a prison for sentenced males. The facility is designed for 858 inmates, of whom 468 are on remand and 390 are serving terms of imprisonment. Prisoners are accommodated in rooms with an average capacity of three beds, the largest containing ten beds. The prison premises also contain a Czech Prison Service hospital, serving the inmates, with a capacity of 111, as well as the Pankrác Memorial, containing an exhibition on the Prison Service. The number of prison staff is 568 (2006).

Some people imprisoned or executed in Pankrác

Anti-Nazi Resistance:

  • Alois Eliáš
  • Vladislav Vančura
  • Julius Fučík

Perpetrators of war crimes and Nazi collaborators:

  • Emil Hácha
  • Karl Hermann Frank
  • Jan Rys-Rozsévač
  • Kurt Daluege
  • Karel Čurda

Victims of communist purges:

  • Milada Horáková
  • Záviš Kalandra
  • Vladimír Clementis
  • Rudolf Margolius
  • Bedřich Reicin
  • Rudolf Slánský
  • Otto Šling

Notorious criminals:

  • Václav Mrázek
  • Olga Hepnarová
  • Princ Dobroshi

Building Activity

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