The occasional residence of sovereigns, today known as Cheb Castle situated in Karlovy Vary region, became a witness of important diplomatic negotiations and significant political events as time went by. Monumental castle located on the rock which surrounds the city center of Cheb was built in the early 12th century. Unfortunately but on the other hand due to its age, it can be found only in ruins today.
The history of Cheb Castle, which can be also known as Eger (German name), dates back to the 12th century when it was built by the Emperor Fridrich I Barbarossa. We can thank Stauf family for the foundation of the castle and its development, because they rebuilt the old castle into an imperial palatinate. Thanks to that, Cheb Castle became the only representative of this type of castle architecture in Czech Republic in these days.
But why is Cheb Castle worth visiting even nowadays? I can mention the Chapel of St Erhard and Ursula, the Black Tower and the ruins of a palace as the main tourist attractions; all dated back to around 1180. The chapel has two stories: the upper is Gothic, while the lower storey was built in Romanesque style. Only the torso of the ostentatious palace, the robust Black Tower and especially the unique two-storey Romanesque and Gothic Chapel of St. Martin, St. Erhard and Ursula have been preserved from the once extensive castle stronghold. Visitors can also walk through the castle grounds and visit the casemates with an exposition dedicated to the history of stove building in the area of Cheb, the remains of the outbuilding known as the Kuchelhaus, or the Mill Tower. In the court, children can play with many wooden toys and rack their brains about wooden brain teasers, while the adults can explore the old tombstones discovered at the original Slavic burial grounds located on the site of the present-day chapel, the castle well, or the castle cannons.
Another interesting fact is that J. W. Goethe, a famous German writer and statesman, who liked to stay in Cheb and in Marianske Lazne, a spa town situated nearby, considered the strange castle tower from black lava stone a work of old Romans. He was mistaken but the tower is still counted as the oldest structure of the picturesque historic town.
For more information about the Karlovy Vary Region where this place is located click here.