Nejdek - Jáchymov

Nejdek - Jáchymov

The town of Nejdek (560 metres above sea level; 8,500 inhabitants) near Carlsbad is situated in the valley of a small river Rolava, surrounded by high hills with forest slopes. Until 1945 it was predominantly a German town. It was already noted in the 13th century as a mining settlement. Tin was mined here, and later iron. The village reached its highest development in the 14th to 16th century, later the mining activity declined. Then the local people made their living by making bobbin lace; in the 19th century a spinning mill of worsted yarn and ironworks were built here.

By building a railway line from Carlsbad to Saxony in 1899 Nejdek region became a very attractive tourist area. It is worh noticing 24 metres high stone view tower on Tisovský hill or a view tower on Plešivec. There are a lot of interesting historical monuments in the town. On a rocky promontory surrounded by the river Rolava there is a Romanesque-Gothic tower, perhaps the rest of the castle from the 13th century, with a rare Renaissance bell from 1579. In a Baroque Church of St. Martin from the second half of the 18th century we can see valuable woodcarvings on the side altars. In the second half of the 19th century the stations of the Cross leading through the forest park with beautiful views were built in the hill above Nejdek. In the main square our attention will be attracted by a modern fountain Rolávka which was designed by architect R. Kautský and which describes the story of the Rolava river.

The congregation of the German Evangelical Church was established in Nejdek in 1922. However, the German Lutherans have already been gathering since 1873 and soon they began to consider the construction of a church. On a hill above the town a foundation stone of a church according to the project of Leipzig architect J. Zeissig was laid in 1903. Already in 1904 it was consecrated and until now it is one of the town’s dominating features. The stone fair-faced church in a Neo-Gothic style has a special double tower. Apse is decorated by two stained-glass windows representing St. Peter and St. Paul. The organ is located along one of the side walls.

After World War II, the abandoned church was taken over by the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB). In the congregation set up on 1st May 1947 Czech repatriates from Volyně, Silesia and Romania began to meet each other. There were also Protestants coming from other places.

Today’s congregation is live and it takes care well and with respect of its Church of Saviour.

The congregation in Nejdek has its preaching station in Jáchymov, a town rich in history, a town of silver thalers (which began to be minted here before the year 1520, they were known as Joachim’s thalers and much later they gave its name to the U. S. Dollar). Jáchymov is also famous for its spa and is well-known as a centre of popular summer and winter sports.Uranium mining was not only its wealth but also its damnation, especially in the unfortunate 1950’s, when the prisoners of a totalitarian regime suffered in its mines.

German Protestants built their congregation house with a church in 1914. After 1945 it was taken over by the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. The house now serves not only for religious purposes but also for meetings of the youth as well as for the family recreation.

Visitors of the congregation house will be impressed by a memory board dedicated to Johann Mathesius, a German Lutheran minister, a colleague of Martin Luther. He lived here between 1504–1565 and he was an important spiritual figure of Jáchymov.