On the site of the former C. G. Wilke hat factory on Gas Str., on a total area of 450 m², an innovative bilingual museum has been opened, presenting the history of the city and its centuries-long tradition of hat-making. The exhibition concept combines elements of abstract, modern, and traditional art. By entering one of the 14 hats, visitors can learn interesting details about the city, the production of hats, and have the opportunity to see historical, thematic exhibits. Using VR glasses, visitors can look over the shoulder of craftsmen as they work or watch a 3D movie about the city of Guben. Another element of the exhibition is trying on real and virtual hats.
With the invention of the weather-resistant felted sheep-wool hat by manufacturer Carl Gottlob Wilke, Guben became one of the most important cloth and hat manufacturing centers in Europe. Wilke and his whole family had generations-long had not only a significant impact on the economic development of the municipality, but also the socio-urban form of the city itself - it was here his son Friedrich founded the Naemi-Wilke-Stift hospital and the Good Shepherd Church, and his grandson Max, a now defunct villa town, built right next to the present Promenade am Dreick. The museum, situated in a former hat factory from 1864, literally emphasizes this link and offers many creative and engaging opportunities to learn and live the history of Guben. The former "Museum of Hat Industry Technology" can be described as the predecessor of today's City and Industry Museum. After a comprehensive renovation in 2006, the facility was reopened under a changed name.
Gas Str. 4-7, 03172, Guben, Germany
Official opening: 2006