The city of Plauen is the largest city in the Saxon Vogtland and is not only intersting for its architectural heritage, but is also known for the embroidery products of the regionally produced Plauener Spitze. As early as during the 18th century the town established itself as an important location for the Saxon fabric and textile industry.
The Weisbachsche House shown in this panorama was built in 1776 by Johann August Neumeister as a residential and factory building. It is characterised by the impressive style of late baroque and is a forerunner of Saxon factory architecture and reflects the self-image of the Plauen cotton processors in the 18th century through its representative appearance. Today it is considered the most important still existing manufacture building in Saxony.
Neumeister built the middle, now renovated part of the building as a Kattundruckerei – a calico printing shop (printing on cotton fabric). In 1780 the flourishing factory was extended by a new building extension with a second risalit (left in the picture). The printing shop as well as the warehouse, drying rooms, colour kitchen (colour mixing), office and even apartments for the employees were all under one roof. When Neumeister moved to Zwickau in 1794, Ernst Wilhelm Conrad Gössler took over the manufactory. He extended the building, which was then called the Gössler factory, by a mechanical cotton spinning mill with weaving machines. The increasing demand for space led to further extensions. Due to economic difficulties, however, the company was dissolved in 1830. Four years later the Chemnitz manufacturer Carl Wilhelm Weisbach took over the building complex, which he continued to use as a factory until his death. Between 1900 and 1934 a twisting mill was accommodated, and from 1945 on the complex was partly used by small businesses and apartments. The building was not only named after the Weisbach family, but still serves the family as a residential building today.
As a branch of the Vogtlandmuseum in the Weisbachsche House, the German Forum for Textiles and Lace (Deutsches Forum für Textil und Spitze) will be housed here in the future. A summer academy with art exhibitions and workshops has been held here since 1994. Some of the buildings are also used as offices, artists’ workshops and apartments. Thus the building will continue to shape the cityscape of Plauen as an important part of the city’s industrial heritage.
This panoramic view of the Weisbachsches Haus in Plauen is a contribution to the Saxon Year of Industrial Culture 2020.