EGER, AUSTRIA (Czech, Cheb), a town of Bohemia, Austria, 148 m. W.N.W. of Prague by rail. Pop. (1900) 23,665. It is situated on the river Eger, at the foot of one of the spurs of the Fichtelgebirge, and lies in the centre of a German district of about 40,000 inhabitants, who are distinguished from the surrounding population by their costumes, language, manners and customs. On the rock, to the N.W. of the town, lies the Burg or Castle, built probably in the 12th century, and now in ruins. It possesses a massive black tower, built of blocks of lava, and in the courtyard is an interesting chapel, in Romanesque style with fantastic ornamentations, which was finished in the 13th century. In the banquet-room of this castle Wallenstein's officers Terzky, Kinsky, Illo and Neumann were assassinated a few hours before Wallenstein himself was murdered by Captain Devereux. The murder took place on the 25th of February 1634 in the town-house, which was at that time the burgomaster's house. The rooms occupied by Wallenstein have been transformed since 1872 into a museum, which contains many historical relics and antiquities of the town of Eger. The handsome and imposing St Nicholas church was built in the 13th century and restored in 1892. There is a considerable textile industry, together with the manufacture of shoes, machinery and milling. Eger was the birthplace of the novelist and playwright Braun von Braunthal (1802-1866). About 3 m. N.W. of Eger is the well-known watering place of Franzensbad (q.v.).
The district of Eger was in 870 included in the new margraviate of East Franconia, which belonged at first to the Babenbergs, but from 906 to the counts of Vohburg, who took the title of margraves of Eger. By the marriage, in 1149, of Adela of Vohburg with the emperor Frederick I., Eger came into the possession of the house of Swabia, and remained in the hands of the emperors until the 13th century. In 1265 it was taken by Ottakar II. of Bohemia, who retained it for eleven years. After being repeatedly transferred from the one power to the other, according to the preponderance of Bohemia or the empire, the town and territory were finally incorporated with Bohemia in 1350, after the Bohemian king became the emperor Charles IV. Several imperial privileges, however, continued to be enjoyed by the town till 1849. It suffered severely during the Hussite war, during the Swedish invasion in 1631 and 1647, and in the War of the Austrian Succession in 1742.
See Drivok, Altere Geschichte der deutschen Reichstadt Eger und des Reichsgebietes Egerland (Leipzig, 1875).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)