In the Footsteps of the Liebieg Family

The story of the Liebig family perfectly exemplifies the industrial boom and its effects on the development of the city, its new lifestyle and culture. The Liebiegs left an indelible mark on the Liberec architecture due to the fact that they were not only skilled entrepreneurs, but also enlightened engineers and generous patrons.INCITY App.

The founder of the dynasty of textile tycoons was Johann Liebieg Sr (1802-1870) who came from Broumov in Eastern Bohemia and settled in Liberec in 1818. His tenacity and hard work made it possible for him to evolve from a simple drapery worker to a small trader and eventually to one of the most successful industrialists in the monarchy. His business activities were not limited to textile production and Liberec. The Liberec factory Johann Liebieg & Co. was closely connected to the creation of settlements for employees known as Liebieg small town (Liebiegovo městečko, No. 13).  The following people were involved in its construction: the founder of the dynasty by managing the construction of the workers’ house, his descendants – daughter Marie Liebiegová (1835-1914), by initiating the construction of the social facilities for the female workers’ children and the church of St.Vincent de Paula, partly his son Johann Liebieg the younger (1836-1917) and especially his grandson Theodor Liebieg Jr (1872-1939).

For their own use, the family built three representative seats: The Villa of Johann Liebieg Jr (No. 4)., the Villa of Theodor Liebieg Jr (No. 11) and the Villa of the founder’s son Heinrich Liebieg  (1839-1904)  (No. 8) , who is known today primarily as an art collector and patron. He was also instrumental in the construction of a tourist restaurant with a lookout tower known as Liberecká výšina (No. 7). The founder’s brother Franz Liebieg (1799-1878) left the company in 1831 because of poor health. After his recovery he established his own company in Vesec. He is also connected with the construction of the tomb (No. 2) at the former civic cemetery. His descendants are known primarily as generous contributors in the construction of the new Liberec town hall (No. 1) in 1893.  In 1881 his son Ludwig Liebieg (1846–1909) bought the house No. 20/V in the present day street 8. března, which was built by the factory owner Adolf Schmidt based on the architectural design of Gustav Sachers on the site of the old post office.

The escutcheon displays the coat of arms of the family, which marked the Liebiegs’ newly acquired noble status. Johann Liebieg Sr. and Franz Liebieg Sr. were ennobled for their achievements in the industry; the first was awarded the hereditary title of Baron and the latter was knighted. The Liebiegs cooperated with a number of architects and engineers from Liberec and abroad. Nevertheless, the most fruitful cooperation the Liebiegs established was with a Nuremberg architect, Jakob Schmeissner, who deserves to be called their chief architect.



Liebieg Town (Liebiegovo městečko)

The Liebieg Town is the most distinctive example of Art Nouveau apartment buildings in Liberec. An employee housing estate built in the immediate vicinity of the factory was under construction from the mid-19th century to the 1920s.
Address:náměstí Pod BranouLiberec, 460 01GPS:50°45'38.7''N; 15°03'51.3''E[Map]
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Liebieg Town

Being textile magnates, the Liebiegs needed a lot of labourers for their empire back then. And they looked after them well, too. Between the mid-19th century and the 1920s of the 20th century, they built an employee housing estate near their factory, poetically dubbed the Liebieg Town. The colony is bordered by Perštýn hill and Svatoplukova ulice, where the oldest part is, as well as the streets Andělčina, Klicperova, Gollova, Mikulášská, Plátenická, Na Zátočí, and the squares Příbramské náměstí and Pod Branou.

Town in the city

The colony was a kind of “town in the city” and was self-sufficient to a certain extent. The little town included a school, a kindergarten, a creche, a church and a fire station, as well as laundries and an inn; shops occupied the ground floor of houses that had porches back then (they are not there anymore). Not only did this make life easier for the inhabitants, it was also a very profitable step by Theodor Liebieg. In building the housing, he ensured that his employees not only earned a living with him, but then also spent their earnings in his shops. The estate gradually expanded until 1929. It is worth noting the doors of the individual buildings, which feature some highly detailed carvings. The historical charm of the houses set into the hillside attracts locals, tourists and filmmakers to this day - take a walk through the little town and you're sure to see why.

Dům Pod Branou (House under the Gate)

The dominant landmark of this whole district was Theodorovo náměstí – now náměstí Pod Branou (Square under the Gate), symbolised by the house of the same name. 


The building was constructed as a smaller estate on the other side of Perštýn hill from 1916 to 1921. It was primarily intended for World Ware One veterans from the Liebieg factory. 


The building was originally used as a shelter for poor and school-age children, who were looked after by nuns. The building is in the neo-Romanesque style. It now houses a special school.