So far, over 130 truss structures were documented on 90 houses. The oldest were built in the late 14th century, in the times of Charles IV and Wenceslas IV. The possibility of large number of preserved historic trusses was considered in the area, yet the results exceeded all expectations.
At the moment, 15 medieval trusses (built before 1550) are documented, together with two Renaissance trusses, 25 Baroque trusses (1600 to 1800) and 90 trusses from the 19th and 20th century. Many of these structures are the oldest representatives of their kind in the Czech Republic, or they are extraordinary carpenter works in terms of craftsmanship or size. The biggest of them are almost 20 meters wide and similarly high, divided to up to five levels. No such diverse yet self-contained set of historic trusses has been preserved in any other Czech or Moravian town. It’s probably unique in the whole Central Europe.
The trusses that are part of the tour inform the visitors on all aforementioned stages of development of truss structures, while each of them offers unique atmosphere. Access is provided, for example, to the large Baroque multi-level truss of the house No. 478, on the western side of Krále Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, impressive for its size and quality of craftsmanship. There are also five other trusses accessible in the eastern part of the square and in Kostelní Street – the corner house No. 505 built in the second half of the 19th century; Gothic truss of the house No. 506, damaged by recent insensitive replacement of several parts; large late Gothic truss of the adjacent house No. 507, and two examples of 20th century post-war work in the houses No 508 and 509. Currently it’s the largest set of historic trusses accessible for public in the Czech Republic; in summer and autumn, it attracted over 1,000 visitors.
The tour was established due to good and functional cooperation of the Cheb Town Hall that first enabled the acknowledgment of the value of the trusses, and then provided for their accessibility. The Historic Cheb Foundation Fund then took over the promotion and popularization of the trusses. Once the first-stage findings were published by the research team (Michal Panáček, David Otáhal, Tomáš Kyncl), Historic Cheb Foundation Fund started numerous follow-up activities, culminating with the opening of the tour “Under the Cheb Roofs”. Other activities include financial contribution for the survey of other houses in the center, publication of good-quality promotional materials in Czech and German, publication of the book “Historic Trusses – the Cheb Phenomenon”, establishment of the continuous exhibition on Cheb trusses with a catalogue, or the presentation of Cheb trusses on the international level. The project “Historic Trusses – the Cheb Phenomenon” became the main project of the Historic Cheb Foundation Fund.
Nominated for the Karlovarský Region by the regional center of the National Heritage Institute in Loket.
The Town Hall of Cheb and the Historic Cheb Foundation Fund, represented by Marcela Brabačová (Head of the Department of Culture and Tourism, and chairwoman of the Foundation Fund Board), were nominated for the National Heritage Institute Prize, category: Presentation of Values.