“Egerer Stadtwald” –
A Bohemian Forest In Bavaria (6)

Egerer Wald

This 643-ha large woodland has been owned by the town of Eger since 1544. Historically, this situation goes back to the times of the so called “Fraisch”. Because of the disbanding of the Bavarian “Nordgau” region in the 14th century an area with overlapping legal and jurisdictional competences arose and, with it, persistent arguments between the monastery of Waldsassen and the town of Eger. It was not until 1591 that an agreement was reached according to which, among other things, the jurisdiction and the right to receive the tithe from the farmers changed annually between the town of Eger and the Cistercian monastery of Waldsassen. This regulation endured until 1862, when the area was divided and the affected villages were assigned to the kingdoms of either Bavaria or Bohemia. With the demarcation of this borderline came the fact that, today, a part of the forest belonging to the town of Eger (now Cheb, CZ) lies in Bavaria.

Problems occurred due to the division of Europe after the Second World War. Former citizens of Eger, which were displaced and dispossessed as a result of the Benes decrees, claimed possession regarding the Eger forest in Bavaria. In several legal proceedings the main question was whether the city of Cheb had become the legal successor of the city of Eger and thus the owner of the forest area. In the meantime, the forest area is held in trust and administered.

In autumn 2012 the participants agreed on a German-Czech foundation. With the revenues of the foundation the culture and history of the historical “Egerland” shall be maintained on both sides of the borders and the neighbourly relationships shall be developed further. The city of Cheb got back the Eger forest with all rights of ownership and now manages the forest with their own forestry personnel.

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