The 1st motorway, Cheb-Liberec-Görlitz

The origins of motorway construction here are generally linked to the end of the Sixties. The fact is, however, that we began building motorways before the Second World War, the second country in the world to do so. The idea of building a motorway to link the country from west to east appeared in 1935 with the Pilsen-Košice national road project and designs for the Cheb-Košice central road. But, in the autumn of 1938, the First Czechoslovak Republic was living the last few days of its existence. The Munich Agreement of 30.9.1938 signalled the surrender of a considerable part of the country to Germany and Poland and the disruption of the traffic infrastructure. What happened from then on was linked to gradual occupation and the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. A programme of road and motorway construction had been announced in Germany, in the first state in the world, by Adolf Hitler in May 1933. Within two months the Construction of Imperial Motorways Act has been issued and in August of that year the "Imperial Motorways" company  was  founded.  The  first  ceremonial  excavations were made on 23.9.1933 on the Frank-

furt – Darmstadt route, which representatives of the German state then opened in 1935. Some 1500 km were turned over for construction and plans made for another 2000 km. Plans for a motorway in this country in the shape of the Görlitz - Zittau - Liberec - Karlovy Vary - Bamberg - Frankfurt route began following the occupation of the Sudetenland in October 1938. Then, on 1st December 1938, the Germans began work on the so-called Sudeten autobahn in Cheb.
Construction of the Cheb – Liberec – Görlitz Sudeten motorway was ceremonially commenced on 18th April 1939 close to what is now the Horní Hanychov tram stop in Liberec. However, the only work done before the final discontinuation of construction in 1942 was on the landscaping, earthwork, approach roads, drains and manholes. The planned Cheb – Liberec – Görlitz motorway temporarily waned in importance. It is currently replaced in certain places by the “Podkrušnohorská magistrála” dual carriageway.

Edited by OHK v Jablonci nad Nisou
Translation: EDUCA – vzdělávací centrum, s.r.o., Jablonec nad Nisou 



On the map