Karlovarský kraj Karlovy Vary region
Okres: Cheb  


de: Asch
bg, ru, sr: Аш

2646 Aš (German: Asch) is situated at an elevation of 666 m in the extreme west of Bohemia in the Elster mountains (Halštrovské hory). The municipality has a population of about 13,400 (2010).

Previously uninhabited hills and swamps, the town Asch was founded in the 11th century by German colonists. The dialect spoken in the town was that of the Upper Palatinate, also known as northern Bavarian. In the adjacent Saxon Vogtland, which borders Karlovy Vary on the north, this dialect (Southern Vogtlandish) is only found in localities lying on the Czech border such as Adorf, Markneukirchen, Bad Elster or Bad Brambach. The Upper Palatinate dialect has a stronger presence in the Bad Brambach region, where it is known as Southern Vogtlandic (Südvogtländisch). The first recorded rulers were the Bailiffs (Vögte) von Weida, who gave the Vogtland region its name. In 1281, they turned control of the region over to the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1331 the lord of Neuberg (Podhradí, about 5 km north of Aš) put his town and lands under protection of Elector and King John I of Bohemia (Johann of Luxembourg). In 1394 the last lord of Neuburg died without a male heir, and Asch passed into the control of the Zedtwitz family with which it remained until 1854. In 1557 the region was claimed for the Bohemian crown by Emperor Ferdinand I, but it remained Protestant as the later Counter Reformation did not stretch this far. Maria Theresia of Austria granted the town the freedom of religion in 1775. In 1864 the town was linked to the railroad from Eger (now Cheb) to Hof in Bavaria. Due to the flourishing textile industry, Asch obtained the official status of a town in 1872. At the end of World War I, a soldiers' council seized power and rejected the demands of separatists from Eger for annexation to Bavaria, preferring to remain in German Austria, which was soon denied by the Paris Peace Conference. With the Treaty of St. Germain, the town, now called Aš in Czech, became part of Czechoslovakia in 1919. Up to World War II more than 95% of the population remained German. After the war, the German population was expelled.

The picture on glass no. 2646 shows the Bismarck tower on the Háj (Hainberg) hill (758 m), immediately north of the town. The stone observation tower (height 34 metres) on the summit was inaugurated in June 1904. It was designed by the Dresden architect, Wilhelm Kreis. The tower still stands and is one of the three Bismarck towers on the territory of the Czech Republic (the other two were built on the Grünberg/Zelená hora in Eger/Cheb and on the Tanzplan/Tanečnice at the border to the German town of Sebnitz). Kreis also designed a Bismarck column in Morhange (Lorraine, France), which, however, does not exist any more. (Several glasses of this collection show other Bismarck monuments.)

[Text adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aš, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Háj_u_Aše]

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