At the beginning of the 20th century, the old cotton mill (Alte Baumwolle) in Flöha was the largest spinning mill in Saxony and the most modern in the German Reich. It was during this phase that the buildings documented in this panorama were constructed. On the left we see the so-called Wasserbau and on the right the twisting mill with the former office and administration building. They are located on the east side of the new marketsquare (or Claußstraße), which was newly formed in the center of the old industrial area. At the back the river Flöha flows and borders the area. These buildings were built between 1900 and 1904 according to plans by Paul Ranft for the then Baumwollspinnerei E. I. Clauß Nachfolger.
New Town Centre
After the old cotton factory was shut down at the beginning of the 1990s, Flöha, which was formed by the merger of several individual communities in 1920 and 1962, began to plan a new town center here in the geographical center of the city. In the Wasserbau (the former winding mill) a cultural and association center including a Sparkasse bank and a library was created. Meanwhile, the day care center for Baumwollzwerge moved into the shed hall of the twisting mill and the office building became the new town hall of Flöha. Other buildings around the emerging market are also being converted.
In 1789, Kommerzienrat Benjamin Gottlieb Pflugbeil, owner of a calico printing works in Chemnitz, built a bleaching and dyeing plant on the then Kohlwiese in the small village of Plaue. This was later converted and expanded by Christian Gottlieb Seeber, a member of the council of commerce, into a cotton spinning mill. The historic spinning mill from 1809 was also built (master builder Johann Traugott Lohse), today the oldest part of the site, diagonally opposite the office building here in the panorama. In 1815 the spinning mill passes to the brothers Peter Otto Clauß and Ernst Iselin Clauß. Under their name, the company developed from the first spinning mill driven by water power to a large-scale operation at the beginning of the 20th century. As “VEB Vereinigte Baumwollspinnereien und Zwirnereien Flöha”, Plaue remained a center of the spinning mill industry during the GDR era and still employed 1,200 workers in 1989. Earlier in 1962 Plaue merged with the town of Flöha.
Since the purchase of the area by the city of Flöha in 2001, the New City Center project has been strategically advanced. The project has already received several awards, for example at the denkmal fair in Leipzig or the Denkmalpreis of the district of Mittelsachsen. Additional residential and commercial units are currently being built and a newly constructed shopping center was awarded the “Store of the Year” prize of the German Retail Association in 2020.
This street front view of the Alte Baumwolle in Flöha is a contribution to the Saxon Year of Industrial Culture 2020.