Place of Death
Prague, Legerova Street 63
“Ms. Zádorožná, plastic surgeon from a specialized clinic in Prague, Legerova Street 63, was visited at 9 p.m. today as agreed to give information about Jan Palach (born 1948). According to her interview, he was brought to the operating room around 2.45 p.m. and treated. He was able to talk coherently despite his shock and when the nursing staff asked him what had happened, he admitted to have done it himself as a protest against the present government. He also warned that he would be followed by others after five days if his sacrifice is in vain.”
From protocol of the VB investigating officer Maj. Jaroslav Buchar, 18 January 1969
On 16 January 1969, about quarter of an hour after setting himself on fire, an ambulance delivered Jan Palach to the plastic surgery that came under the Prague Teaching Hospital and was located in Legerova Street. It was in this building where the severely burnt student spent his last three days. Most of the time he was in a top floor room with windows directed to the inner courtyard.
The burns unit in Legerova street hospital was founded in 1953 thanks to Prof. František Burian (1881-1965) and it was built in place of former Borůvka’s Sanatorium. After foundation of the Specialized Clinic of Burns Medicine (today part of the Královské Vinohrady Teaching Hospital), the unit was moved from Legerova Street to the new building in 1983. The old building is currently owned by the Prague fire brigade. It is worth mentioning that Josef Toufar, pastor from Čihošť also died in this hospital – on 25 February 1950 after a failed surgery of his injury caused by StB officers.
Legerova Street connects Wilsonova Street and the Nusle Bridge. It is about 1750m long. Originally, the road led along the city fortification walls from Nusle, a district located south of the city centre, to the ford near Štvanice Island. In 1885 it was given the first official name – Táborská Street. In 1919 it was named after French Slavicist and writer Louis Léger (1843-1923). In 1940-1945 it was known as Havlíčkova Street, afterwards again as Legerova Street and in 1978-1990 it was called People’s Militia Avenue.