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.

 

 

Town Hall, Liberec

The neo-Renaissance Liberec Town Hall building was constructed in 1893, and was designed by Viennese architect F. Neumann. It is famous for its close resemblance to Vienna City Hall. In 2023 the Town Hall was declared a national cultural heritage site.
Location
Address:nám. Dr. E. Beneše 1/1Liberec, 460 59GPS:50°46'11.5''N; 15°03'29.9''E[Map]

Grand architecture

The neo-Renaissance Town Hall was built in 1888-1893 by the renowned construction company Sachers and Gärtner following a design by Viennese architect Franz Neumann, and so it’s no wonder that it looks reminiscent of the Vienna City Hall. Above the massive entrance there is an eye-catching stone relief depicting the foundation of the old and new town halls and a balustrade balcony, from which many prominent figures have given speeches. Although the 61-metre-high main tower, topped by the sculpture of a knight, is an interesting feature, the lavishly decorated facades, rare stained-glass windows and magnificent ceremonial hall, a fine example of precise craftsmanship, are well worthy of note. Despite its age, the Town Hall is still one of the finest pieces of architecture in the city below Ještěd. 

Ornate interiors

Take a walk through the Town Hall’s corridors and try to guess what guilds are represented in the various panels, and you can be sure it’ll be no easy task. Notice the busts of the prominent figures in the niches by the main staircase. Do you recognise them all? In summer, you can join our guide and take a look at the Ceremonial Hall, the decor of which celebrates various aspects of life, and can also climb up to the Town Hall tower, from where there are beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Ceremonial Hall

Welcome to the hall where good triumphs over the dark forces of evil. This is the motif depicted in the ceiling painting by Andreas Groll, and it is also worth noting the original brass chandelier that hangs above your head. It weighs 450 kg and is so huge that it has to be lowered by a pulley in order to be cleaned. The impressive atmosphere of the Ceremonial Hall is enhanced by the six stained-glass windows, with the various figures depicted representing science, art, mercantilism, industry, the textile trade and the city administration. Another beautiful piece of work is the wooden allegorical sculpture above the ceremonial arch, the central figure of which is a woman representing the city of Liberec; science and education are depicted on the left, while the right-hand side is dedicated to allegories of trade, construction and crafts.


City hall tours

Tours are organised by Městské informační centrum Liberec (building Nový magistrat next to the city hall). 


TOURS AND PRICES see below.

In spring 2017 National Geographic presented a biographical series of Genius. This serial is inspired by life of Albert Einstein presented by Geoffrey Rush and directed by among others Ron Howard. Filming of the series took place also in Liberec! In the City Hall, on the square, in front of the museum and in other locations.

Opening hours




Month from / toDay in the week from / toHours from / toSymptom
July - August Mo - Fr 9:00 - 15:00 open
Sa 9:00 - 11:00 open

City hall tours start on the hour.
CIRCUIT I - ceremonial hall, corridors, tower
Full entrance fee:100,00 CZK
Family entrance fee:200,00 CZKMax. 2 adults and 3 children
Children's tickets:70,00 CZK for children up to 15 years
Student admission:70,00 CZK
Senior admission:70,00 CZK for persons over 65 years
Note:Ceremonial Hall is inaccessible during the event!
FREE OF CHARGE:
Primary, secondary and high school (during the school year with a teacher).
Disability Card holders year-round.
CIRCUIT II - ceremonial hall (only)
Full entrance fee:50,00 CZK
Family entrance fee:100,00 CZKMax. 2 adults and 3 children
Foreign language commentary:50,00 CZK
Note:Ceremonial Hall is inaccessible during the event!
No discounts.
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