The western-most town of the Czech Republic invites you to visit its museum and the interesting sites in its surroundings. Travel here to absorb the atmosphere of this remote and distinctive region, where the historical borders of Bohemia, Bavaria, and Saxony once met.
History woven into cloth
The ethnographic and textile museum in Aš reminds one primarily of its famous and long-lasting history of the textile industry. Prior to World War II, over 120 weaving mills, fifty-three knitting shops, or 129 hosiery mills were based here. In the museum, you can also see the old tools, knitting machines and looms, or historical weapons.
Just beyond the end of the built-up area is one of the most interesting sites in Aš, the Háj Lookout Tower and its adjacent sports grounds, hidden in the forests. The lookout tower appears to have come directly out of a Gothic novel and is one of the most massive stone constructions in the country, as well as being the western-most lookout tower in the Czech Republic. Children and adults alike will have a good romp at the sports grounds all year round. There is an equipment rental for both summer and winter sports here.
Three historic castles
Fans of castles will find three of them around the town of Aš. The first are the ruins of Neuberg Castle in nearby Podhradí, established at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries by the Swabian Knights of Neuberg. The round guard tower has remained preserved, which from afar looks like a terrestrial lighthouse. When in Podhradí, visit the Baroque church of the Good Shepherd, with a wooden interior and paintings from the 18th century.
Two more castles are located further, about twenty kilometres south of the town. Libá Castle is currently under reconstruction, but parts of it are open to the public. The exhibit on the Passage of Time is worth visiting, showing the architectural development of the castle and chateau throughout the centuries, including a view of the future.
Several kilometres from it, we find the third castle, called Seeberg, which is built on the site of a hillfort or settlement from the Bronze Age. It was founded already in the 13th century and contains interesting exhibits to this day. For instance, one of them is dedicated to the dramatic and bloody assassination of Albrecht von Wallenstein. Authentic buildings such as the tower granary, the half-timbered barn, and others that suggest 18th-century rural life in the Cheb area, are also preserved.
The deserted nature of the Czech-German borderlands is truly distinctive. Among the silent, deserted forests and rock outcrops, the Goethe Rocks stand out, a natural monument in the form of a four-hundred-metre-long rock formation with a memorial plaque that reminds the stay of Johann Wolfgang Goethe here.
If you have already gotten this far, then do not leave out the adventurous visit to the most western point of the Czech Republic. It is a place hidden in the forests, labelled with a granite stone, and it is possible to reach only on foot on a small and easily missed path. With the help of a map, however, you will surely manage.
Rest after all this travelling in the Aš area can be found at the Bílý Halštrov spring, located about six kilometres from the town. You can also have a seat at the rest spot with benches and a monument.