Cheb - Františkovy Lázně - Plesná

Cheb - Františkovy Lázně - Plesná

Historic Town Reserve Cheb (459 metres above sea level, approx. 35,000 inhabitants) lies on the river Ohře near the border with Germany. It was founded in 1204 and since 1322 it is a part of the Czech state. At the time of the Hussite wars the town supported Emperor Sigismund. In 1432 there was an important event in Cheb – legates of the Basel Council met here with the leading representatives of the Hussites. Their negotiations resulted in an agreement of 18 May 1432 which was called “Cheb Judge“. This agreement ensured the safety of the Hussites on the way to Basel and free defence of Prague’s four Articles at the Council of Basel. Only the law of God which was followed by the early Church should have been recognized as the most fair judge. This major concession of the official church-to deal with “heretics” in Basel on the basis of equality, was a victory for the Czech Reformation which for the time being prevented fragmentation of the Western Church. Thirty Years’ War also affected the history of Cheb. On 25th February 1634 commander Albrecht of Wallenstein was assassinated here.

There are a lot of historical monuments in the town and they will surely become an aim of the eager visitors. We can find here remains of the Romanesque castle from the end of the 12th century with the Black Tower. The Church of St. Nicholas also dates back to the Romanesque period; its towers have been partly preserved. The church was rebuilt in the 15th century in a Gothic style; both towers were repeatedly damaged over the years and only in 2008 they received a definite pseudo-Gothic appearance. Lovely “Špalíček” in King of Poděbrady Square is formed by a block of eleven half-timbered medieval merchants’ houses.

At the beginning of the 20th century Cheb is becoming an industrial town and an important railway junction. Munich Agreement from the year 1938 and the situation in the border forced the Czech residents to leave Cheb which was predominantly a German town at that time. After World War II it was for a change the German population who had to leave Cheb. After the war a newly formed congregation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) including the Protestant newcomers from various parts of Czechoslovakia and from abroad started to use a church and a rectory after the German Evangelical Church. This church was built in a pseudo-Gothic style according to the project of Cheb architect A. Haberzettl from the year 1871. Preaching stations in Františkovy Lázně and in Plesná also belong to the congregation in Cheb.

Františkovy Lázně is a Historic Town Reserve. It lies at an altitude of 442 metres and has about 5,500 inhabitants. Together with Mariánské Lázně and Karlovy Vary it forms a world-famous spa triangle.

Mineral springs and their healing effects were known here already in the Middle Ages. The spa was founded in 1793. Emperor Francis Joseph I declared it a town and gave it his name. Františkovy Lázně was built in an early Classicist style. The streets are running in the direction of the oldest spring, the Francis Spring. Simultaneously with the town also the parks in the English style were being built. Another springs are as well used for spa treatment. In the past the spa was visited by many prominent personalities. A municipal theatre is named after a writer Božena Němcová.

There is an Empire Roman Catholic Church of the Elevation of the Holy Cross in the town which comes from the beginning of the 19th century. Protestant three-nave Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was built in 1880 in a neo-Romanesque style according to the project of Cheb architect A. Haberzettl. The church serves the Czech Protestants and also the spa guests from abroad. Religious service is held here regularly in the Czech and German language.

In Plesná, a village near a small German town Bad Brambach we will find a Baroque Roman Catholic church from the year 1849 which was rebuilt in an Empire style.

Local Protestant church was built in the years 1847–1849. It is a building in a neo-Classicist style. Inside we will find a valuable Baroque altar with images of Christ on the Mount of Olives and the Last Supper of the Lord and a pseudo-Gothic font. In the church there is also an organ which is on the list of protected objects. The church is mentioned in connection with Gustav-Adolf’s Club in Germany. This Club supports Protestant minorities and repairs and construction of churches in various countries including the Czech Republic.

In the church in Plesná a worship takes place only occasionally.