HOF, a town of Germany, in the Bavarian province of Upper Franconia, beautifully situated on the Saale, on the northeastern spurs of the Fichtelgebirge, 103 m. S.W. of Leipzig on the main line of railway to Regensburg and Munich. Pop. (1885) 22,257; (1905) 36,348. It has one Roman Catholic and three Protestant churches (among the latter that of St Michael, which was restored in 1884), a town hall of 1563, a gymnasium with an extensive library, a commercial school and a hospital founded in 1262. It is the seat of various flourishing industries, notably woollen, cotton and jute spinning, jute weaving, and the manufacture of cotton and half-woollen fabrics. It has also dye-works, flour-mills, saw-mills, breweries, iron-works, and manufactures of machinery, iron and tin wares, chemicals and sugar. In the neighbourhood there are large marble quarries and extensive iron mines. Hof, originally called Regnitzhof, was built about 1080. It was held for some time by the dukes of Meran, and was sold in 1373 to the burgraves of Nuremberg. The cloth manufacture introduced into it in the isth century, and the manufacture of veils begun in the 16th century, greatly promoted its prosperity, but it suffered severely in the Albertine and Hussite wars as well as in the Thirty Years' War. In 1792 it came into the possession of Prussia; in 1806 it fell to France; and in 1810 it was incorporated with Bavaria. In 1823 the greater part of the town was destroyed by fire.
See Ernst, Geschichle and Beschreibung des Bezirks und der Stadl Hof (1866); Tillmann, Die Stadt Hof und ihre Umgebung (Hof 1899), and C. Meyer, Quellen zur Geschichte der Stadt Hof (1894-1896).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)