Walk in the footsteps of history

Get to know the rich history of Aš from the first written mention in 1270, through its designation as a town in 1872, to the present day. Discover the stories of aristocratic families and the everyday life of mortals in the place of the traditional clash of Czech and German statehood. Discover the history and present of Aš.

12st century

12st century


There are few reliable records of Aš region from ancient times. The area was gradually settled in the 12th century by German colonists. At the time of German colonisation Ašsko was part of the historical Cheb region.

14st century


The Neubergs then offered their estates voluntarily to the Czech king John of Luxembourg in 1331. The Aš region became a permanent part of the Czech lands in 1331.

At the end of the 14th century the Neubergs died out by the sword.  The castle and chateau of Neuberg/Podhradie and the chateau of Kopaniny are inherited by the son-in-law of the last Neuberg - Konrad of Zedtwitz.

16st century

timeline 16. století


During the 1630s and 1640s, the Axis region was reformed, the church patronage of the Teutonic Knights ceased and the Zedtwitz family themselves took over the patronage. 

The Zedtwitz family converted to the Protestant faith.

Further development of Ašsko was influenced by the Thirty Years' War.

18st century

timeline 18. století


Zedtwitz decided to build a new town hall according to the design of the Cheb builder Angelus Pfeffer. The population grew and in 1747 the foundation stone of the new church was laid. Within two years, the magnificent church was completed and consecrated on the first Sunday of Advent in 1749. The capacity of the church was around 4,000 visitors. During the 18th century, the Aš region was affected by the wars fought by Maria Theresa. Maria Theresia declared the Zedtwitz territory part of the heritage of the Austrian lands and issued the so-called Temperament Points. This document put a definitive end to the autonomous development of Ašsko. Ašsko was integrated into the framework of Bohemia and the whole Austrian Empire. The Zedwitz were guaranteed land protection, freedom of religion, their own jurisdiction and above all exemption from taxes. Joining the monarchy brought great economic benefits to Ašsko. In 1780, the construction of the Catholic church on Mikuláš Hill began.

20st century

timeline 20. století


The twentieth century was crucial for Aš. The first half was marked by innovation and construction. The Apollo Cinema, the new Post Office building, the Shooting Range and the Greta Friedrich Central Cinema were opened. Thanks to the growing population, the city built a new central square. Upon its completion, a monument to J.W. Goethe was unveiled, the only one to depict the great poet holding a crystal. A new modern hospital opened and in the same year the new central cemetery was consecrated.

The history of the town was then decisively influenced by two historical events - the occupation of the Czechoslovak borderlands on 1 October 1938, the occupation of the rest of the republic by the German Wehrmacht on 15 March 1939 and the communist takeover in 1948. The Nazi occupation of Aš ended with its liberation by the American army on 20 April 1945. In 1938 Aš had about 24,000 inhabitants, in 1951 less than 10,000. The decision of the communist regime to close the Aš salient as a border zone with a special regime played a role in this. Demolitions became another characteristic feature of this period. It is estimated that 60 houses were demolished in Aš during the 1920s since the end of the Second World War. In the 1960s, a project was set up to turn Aš into a new modern town. However, it failed to come to fruition. The spaces in the centre remained undeveloped and undeveloped. Nevertheless, the city made efforts and opened, for example, a house of services, an indoor swimming pool, a department store Centrum, a new railway station and others. The end of communist rule in 1989 saw the opening of the Aš - Selb border crossing and an increase in private service providers. Businesses based on Czech-German cooperation prevailed.

13st century

timeline 13. století

Aš (probably) in the possession of the Lords of Plauen - in 1270 Heinrich (Henry) of Plauen/Sasko hands over the Aš parish/church and the associated patronage to the Order of German Knights, as Heinrich von Plauen received it as a gift from the Reich.

Ašsko first appears in written records in 1270. 

1281 Emperor Rudolf confirms the possession of Aš and Selb to the feudal lords of Plauen with a charter dated 8 August 1281, when he gives them Aš and Selb as a fief in return for their loyal service and 600 talents of silver (this was not paid until Wenceslas IV in 1387).

The family of the Lords of Neuberg established their seat in the middle of Aš. In the second half of the 13th century, the influence of the Lords of Neuberg grew in Aš and most of the territory of Aš was under their rule. However, others also laid claim to this territory.

There is a power struggle between the Lords of Plavno, the Lords of Neuberg and the town of Cheb to see who will have the most influence over Aš (i.e. the Neubergs do not want to be under the rule of Cheb or the Lords of Plavno ... to pay them taxes and so on).

There was an armed clash, Konrad of Neuberg was forced to promise obedience to Cheb.

15st century

timeline 15. století


The Zedtwitz family gradually expanded their property over the course of the century and became the most influential noble family in Aš.

During the 15th century Peter Zedtwitz bought the last estates of the Neubergs, thus the family disappeared from the history of Aš. He also acquired Selb, Schöneck Castle in 1419 and the Libá estate in 1426. The Zedtwitz family became the most powerful family on the Bohemian-Saxon-Franconian border. Aš is mentioned as a market settlement. In addition to agricultural products, handicrafts were also produced here. Unfortunately, life in Aš was fundamentally affected by the Black Plague, which broke out in 1633, and the forced recatholization, when the evangelical clergy had to leave. Aš became the only territory of the Bohemian Crown that remained Protestant after 1648. The Protestant church in Hranice was reopened and in 1682 the Protestant Church of the Good Shepherd in Podhradie was rebuilt and consecrated.

17st century

timeline 17. století


In 1622 the Zedtwitz family had the church of St. Ludwig rebuilt. The old church was no longer sufficient. The church of the Holy Trinity was built on the site of the former St. Ludwig. Only the tower of St. Louis remained.

Although the Catholic Habsburgs won the Thirty Years' War, the Zedtwitz family still held on to their Protestant faith. Until the end of the 17th century, the whole of Aš was Evangelical. This state of affairs was only changed by the marriage of Anton Josef Zedtwitz to the strictly Catholic Emilie of Hertenberg, who had a Catholic chapel built at the Zedtwitz castle in Aš. 

The whole Aš region had two court administrators. 

In 1659, Emperor Leopold granted the Zedtwitzes the fief of Aš again and confirmed the existing freedoms and rights. Thus, Aš remained separated from Cheb as an independent imperial domain until the mid-19th century.

19st century

timeline 19. století


The whole of Austria felt the economic crisis. In 1814, a huge fire broke out in Aš, affecting a large part of the village, including the town hall and the castle on Mikulášský vrch. 167 houses and 78 barns fell victim to the flames. While the town hall was rebuilt two years later, the Zedtwitz castle in Aš did not see this restoration. After the disastrous crop failure of 1817 and the destruction of the crops a year later, a severe food shortage occurred. In 1850, the territory of Aš was expanded to include Hazlov, Polna and Skalka. The economic power of the Zedtwitz family ended. In 1854, the c. k. district court was established. Aš lost its autonomy except for the tax freedom. In 1872 Aš received the status of a town as a place with a population of more than ten thousand inhabitants. 

The education system also underwent great changes. The Town Hall School, the burgher school, the Stone School and the music school were opened. Gradually, the number of inhabitants grew and so did the suburbs - Mokřiny and Krásná. This influenced other construction works, a new hospital, a gasworks, a waterworks, a municipal spa, a municipal museum and the buildings of a vocational textile school were completed.

Around the middle of the century, Aš bought the Háj hill and construction of a stone lookout tower, now known as the Bismarck tower, began. In 1883, a statue of Dr. Martin Luther was unveiled to mark the 400th anniversary of his birth.

21st century


The new millennium began with the transformation of the hospital into a long-term care facility. The Secondary Industrial Textile School merged with the local gymnasium and other school facilities were gradually renovated. On 1 January 2003, Aš became a municipality with extended jurisdiction for a territorial district of less than 18 000 inhabitants as part of the reform of the territorial public administration. Improvements were also made to the prefabricated housing estates and the town library, museum and its surroundings were renovated with the help of European funds. New modern sports facilities were built. In 2012, a multi-sports complex was built on Háj Hill and Masaryk Square and Sady Míru with a summer stage were also improved. In 2015, passenger rail services towards Selb/Hof were restored.

21st century

The history of Aš in a picture


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