A spacious, modernly designed square with a complex of buildings on the site of the former C. G. Wilke hat factory, combining elements of industrial architecture of the mid-nineteenth century with modern aspects. The renovated complex of interconnected buildings houses the city administration, exhibition grounds, music school and the city library. All buildings, except for the dye-house, are from two to three floors, and almost 3.5 meters high. The whole is closed with flat gable roofs. The intricately designed 19th-century façade and monumental staircases in the form of historicized (Italian neo-renaissance) towers were glazed with large-format, iron-frame windows. The building closest to Promenade am Dreieck is covered with white plaster; the one in the background was left in its original, raw-brick form. The coat of arms of the city of Guben from 1822 was placed over the former main entrance to the factory.
The one-storey "Old Dye-Shop" (Ger.: "Alte Färberei") has only one hall and is distinguished by three large, hood-like chimneys set on a flat roof.
The whole building complex is surrounded by a neat landscape architecture, with domination of water (longitudinal fountains) and green elements (saggy flower beds, fruit trees, shrubs).
The first hat factory founded in 1822 by famous German hat maker Carl Gottlob Wilke, was initially located at König Str. (now the area of Gubin). Along the progressing industrial revolution, the Wilke’s business expanded: in 1864 he opened a much bigger hat manufacture facility at Gas Str. One of the flagship goods produced here was Carl Wilke's original hat, made of weather-resistant wool felt. It is believed that it was thanks to this special garment that Guben was recognized internationally as one of the best hat making centers in the world. Thanks to this reputation, more and more companies began to settle in Guben at the end of the 19th century, making the hat industry the most important over the whole Neisse. In the 1920s and 1930s, the city was a leader in the industrial production of hats. The family business existed until 1945, when, due to profound political and economic changes, it was transformed into VEB Bereinigte Hutwerke, operating until the fall of the Berlin Wall. The transition to Gubener Hüte GmbH after 1990 heralded the end of almost 200 years of hat production. The last caps were produced in 1999. Currently, the buildings are used by the municipal administration, city library, museum, and music school.
Gas Str. 4-7, 03172 Guben, Germany
Official opening: 1864
Material: clinker, brick
Production technology: partially plastered, solid, partially veneered
City administration opening hours
Monday 8:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 8:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 8:00 - 14:00
Thursday 8:00 - 18:00
Friday 8:00 - 14:00
Access may be restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.