A Grand Residence of the Factory Owner
Schubert’s factory premises can be found on the neighbouring grounds in the city centre. In the thriving factory, the threads were produced and exported around the world. The manager of the factory Hermann Schubert built his new family residence in 1924. A plan of the building was made by the renowned architecture firm Lossow & Kühne (the company also designed the impressive building of the main railway station in Leiptzig, or the theatre in Dresden). The firm used Baroque forms combined with then popular Neo-Classicism.
The imposing villa has the L-shape. It is covered by a sturdy mansard roof. Otherwise austere facades are brightened up by evenly spread arched French windows on the ground floor and rectangular ones on the first floor. The indoor garden is attached to the main building on the east side and its flat roof is used as a terrace. The main entrance is on the east side and is sheltered by a roof supported by massive columns. A garden with staircases, terraces and also an outdoor swimming pool was a part of the house at the time when the building was finished.
We can still admire richly decorative window bars, the fencing of the terraces, gargoyles or the remains of the original lights in the villa’s exteriors.
The space is divided into representative quarter of the house and living quarters as was usual for the time when the villa was built. The inside layout of the living quarters of the villa was inspired by the English Hall House. The representative wooden staircase with a marble fireplace goes from the hall up to the first floor. Around the hall, there were the cloakroom, the men room, the dining room, the library and the indoor garden. On the first floor, there was the bedroom of the owners and the children’s room.
The staff entered the first floor by separated entrance. A plain staircase led to the servants’ quarters.
Cellars, a boiler room and a sophisticated drainage system were in the basement. Many details have survived in the exteriors as well as in the interiors to the present day: original door and window panels, window blinds partially functioning, a fireplace, an elegant staircase leading to the first floor, a build-in wardrobe, in some cases the original door and window iron-work.
The Villa after WWII
Many of the Hrádek’s inhabitants remember Schubert Villa as a day crèche. It was used as a crèche for four decades. After the war, there was also temporarily the first office of Hrádek’s organization of the Czech Red Cross. Since December 1st, 1997, the inhabitants of the town can come here to borrow books and magazines; it became home to the town’s library. The premises of the first floor are used by the home center Korálek, by the organisation People in Need (Člověk v tísni) and by other organisations. There are also two flats.
After WWII, the use of the villa was very varied. Therefore, it is almost a miracle that the villa has survived to the present day almost in unchanged condition including many details.
The History of the Factory
Where the Hermann Schubert thread factory is, there used to be the so-called Old Mill. If we trust the documents, the corns were milled here already in the 14th century. It is certain that there was a mill race in the first military survey from 1764 - 1768 which was used not only by the mill but also by other buildings in the town. Ferdinand August Hiebsch became the owner of the mill in 1883, he used to have a thread factory, a spinning mill and a dye house in Hrádek. The complex was rebuilt several times due to expanding the production. The complex burnt out in 1905. Two years later, Joseph Schubert from Zittau bought the company. Hermann Schubert supervised the Hrádek’s branch of the company. He built a completely new company and made it modernized as well. It is very likely, but not mentioned in any documents, that the main office building which is parallel with Václavská ulice (Václavská Street) was also designed by the architecture firm Lossow & Kühne. The products were slowly getting recognition in the world.
The factory remained the property of Schubert’s family until 1945. In 1950, the factory still carried the name of the family that employed more than five hundreds of workmen, clerks and mechanicians in its time. Later it was renamed to Sponit. It became a part of an organization Benar in the 60s. In 1994, it got a new name Bekon. But the Hrádek’s thread production did not have a bright future. The production of the threads was ended by June 1st, 1998. The premises were used just partly. Hrádek nad Nisou bought it in 2016 as strategic premises in the city centre.