The town of Cheb is situated on the river Eger in the north-west of the Czech Republic, former name Egerland, whose historical center is the city Cheb, about 42 km west-west of Karlovy Vary.
Eight kilometers north-east of the city is the nature reserve Soos near Nový Drahov, a peat and mineral meadow moor with carbon dioxide gas of volcanic origin emanating from mofettes. Remains of the two most recent Bohemian volcanoes, which Goethe had also explored there.
Eger / Cheb was first mentioned as Egire on February 13, 1061. The castle was possibly built in the early tenth century. In 1167 Eger came into the possession of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa. Eger was made a city before 1179. King Frederick II signed the Gold Bull of Eger there on July 12, 1213, which strengthened the legal status of the empire's bishops and enlarged the Papal States. In 1242 Eger received Nuremberg city rights and in 1277 it became an imperial city.
We were to encounter another surprise during our visit to the Aleš Gallery in Hluboká nad Vltavou, which has nothing to do with works by HR Giger, but was made a long time ago and was consecrated as early as 1274 in the Dominican Church in České Budějovice : Madonna by Rudolfov.
On the way to the South Bohemian Aleš Gallery to the exhibition “Metamorphoses” with works by HR Giger, we had planned an overnight stop in Františkovy Lázně, probably the oldest of the Czech seaside resorts.
After our short visit through the city, the Frauenburg (Hluboká nad Vltavou) attracted us so much that we started the climb. Directly from the town centre or from the Hotel Podhrad for a forest path to the castle, which is, however, quite bumpy on the second section as it is very rocky.
After a hearty breakfast in Františkovy Lázně, we continued towards Hluboká on the Vltava to our agreed meeting with the director Aleš Seifert of the South Bohemian Aleš Gallery and the following day finally to the long-awaited exhibition “Metamorphoses”.
Who doesn't know Michael Ende's tragic-funny story about the little green dragon Nepomuk, who actually has everything a dragon needs for happiness: sharp teeth, shimmering scales and his own fire-breathing volcano.
The healing properties of Karlovy Vary's thermal springs were well known as early as the 14th century. There is a legend about the discovery of the warm springs, according to which a thirsty deer is said to have uncovered the first warm spring with his hooves.
The former imperial palace, also called Eger Castle, was built before the end of the 12th century by extension and reconstruction of the older stone castle, which had been built on the acropolis of a Slavic castle.
In the first part of the pedestrian zone of Cheb, formerly called Eger, the typical image of a shopping street opened in front of us, window next to window, but still to the extent seize that were current many years ago.
Of course, we were curious about what would experience next to the historic buildings of the city of Eger, now Cheb, so we set out for the city center after the vehicle had been parked, where we first looked at the large map at the beginning of the pedestrian zone.
The first written reference about the town of Cheb in 1061 was made in a document of German King Henry IV. In the Middle Ages, Cheb became a city where tradesmen and merchants did quite well, got rich and powerful.