Industrial – weaving trail


Jihlava was founded in the middle of the 13th century near rich silver deposits as a royal mining town. However, the decline in silver mining and processing came before the Hussite Wars and despite several attempts to open new adits, mining could not be resumed. The economic policy of the town was then based on trade, brewing, crafts and, above all, cloth weaving, which made Jihlava the second largest producer of cloth in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, after Liberec, in the 19th century. Therefore, the industrial trail primarily casts our minds back to the history of the textile industry, though little survives today except for the factories.

The trail starts in Staré Hory, at the bend of the Jihlava River, where Berthold Bernhard Kern had a new military cloth factory built from 1860–1862 on the site of a burnt-out mill. A few hundred metres further downstream, the modern Modeta knitting factory, built from 1969–1977, can be found, which was prosperous in its time, but its late date of establishment actually heralded the beginning of the end of the local textile tradition. In 1909, the Kern family had a new factory built near the centre of Jihlava, on Žižkova Street, according to a project by the industrial specialist Bruno Bauer. Later, it was used by the company J. K. Sedláček to produce various types of cars and carriages, as well as car bodies at a later stage.

The trail continues to the Fürst and Hausner weaving mill at the corner of U Dlouhé stěny and Polní Streets, nowadays converted into flats and offices. Hermann Pollack’s plush and krimmer factory on Křižíkova Street was also put to new use, producing soft furnishings from the end of the Second World War until the beginning of the millennium. It has now been converted into an apartment block. Visitors to the Jihlava Zoo can have a look at the former knitting factory Ehrlich a spol., which used to produce stockings, socks, and gloves. It is the only local textile mill still in operation today, producing swimwear and sportswear.

The area between what are now Havlíčkova, Třebízského, and Srázná Streets has a complicated history. At first, Johann Tost's factory manufactured military cloth there. In the middle of the 19th century, the Tobacco Directorate of the Ministry of Finance (Tabáková režie c. k. ministerstva financí) moved in, while after the Second World War, the buildings were taken over by Tesla for electrical production. Today, the renovated buildings serve as flats, a home for the elderly, a hotel, offices, and related services. Opposite is the exhibition house with the adjacent production wing, designed for Richard Weissenstein in 1909 by the architect Arthur Corazza, and next to it is the distinctive corner woollen goods factory of Augustin Krebs and Son built from 1883–1894. The impressive modernist shoe factory designed by the architect Ernst Epstein for Moritz Altstadt and Anton Čapek in 1912 interferes with the character of Havlíčkova Street in a similar way.

The original character of the industrial architecture can also be found on the premises of the cooperative factory for the production of linen twine on Polenská Street, where the Viennese company of Rudolf Schmidt moved its production of files in the 1920s. They are still being produced there today. The trail ends at the nearby Franz Wenzelides spinning mill, which was purchased in 1888 by the Třebíč businessman Wilhelm Budischowsky, who adapted it for leather production and expanded it six years later. After the Second World War, it was taken over by the national company Motorpal for the production of fuel pumps for diesel engines, just like the Kern textile mill in Staré Hory, where the industrial walk begins. Fuel pumps are still produced there today.


Audio guide

Objects on the trail