Cheb (khĕp) [key], Ger. Eger, city (1991 pop. 31,847), NW Czech Republic, in Bohemia, near the German border. A commercial and manufacturing center in a lignite-mining area, Cheb has industries producing machinery, bicycles, and textiles. The city is also an important railroad junction, serving Karlovy Vary and other famous spas nearby. Originally a Slavic village, Cheb was contested and alternately ruled (12th–14th cent.) by Bohemia and by the German emperors. It was finally incorporated into Bohemia in 1322 by John of Luxemburg. The city, which suffered greatly during the Hussite Wars, retained a privileged status until the 16th cent. Industrialization and the coming of the railroad stimulated rapid growth in the 19th cent. Present-day landmarks include the ruins of a 12th-century castle, two 13th-century monasteries, and the 17th-century castle in which Wallenstein was murdered in 1634.
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