Liberec - In the footsteps of the Liebig family

Take a stroll In the Footsteps of the Liebiegs – the textile magnates that were the same to Liberec as Baťa was to Zlín. Their hard work and patronage transformed the city, for which they fully deserve their coat-of-arms motto Honour through Labour.
Phone:+420 485 101 709E-mail:info@visitliberec.euWeb:www.visitliberec.eu/liebieg

Johann: a poor journeyman who became a major industrialist and tycoon

Johann Liebieg  (1802–1870)  was born in Broumov and came to Liberec in 1818 as a journeyman. Through his incredible diligence and business skills, he gradually worked his way up so far that the company he founded became a textile giant, making Liberec the centre of the textile industry in the whole of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Johann Liebieg was the chairman of the board of directors of the Liberec Savings Bank and the first president of the Liberec Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as a member of the regional assembly and the Reich Council. His many merits earned him the title of baron in 1868. His four sons then continued in their father's footsteps. 

Heinrich: a keen collector and generous art patron

Another interesting member of the family was Johann’s son Heinrich Liebieg, who became famous as a generous patron of the arts. He amassed a remarkable collection of more than 200 works by German, Austrian and French artists, one of the finest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. He then left this treasure to the city of Liberec in his will, and his trove therefore still forms the precious heart of the Regional Gallery's collections. Thanks to Henrich, the North Bohemian Museum also boasts some important arts and crafts collections. The more than 2,500 objects he bequeathed to the museum include some exceptional pieces of armour and all kinds of weaponry from Europe and elsewhere.

Theodor Jr.: a lover of technology and a great adventurer

The three most important members of this family are joined by Johann's grandson, Theodor Liebieg Jr., who gained a reputation as a great fan and advocate of technology. It was Theodor who bought a Benz Viktoria in 1893, thus becoming the first motorist in Bohemia and the third in Austria-Hungary. He was of course also the first to get his driver's licence and embarked on the world's first long-distance drive. He was an adventurer through and through.

The Liebiegs: the family that shaped Liberec

The Liebieg dynasty played a fundamental role in shaping the history of the city for more than 100 years. Most of the newer public, secular and ecclesiastical buildings were at least co-financed by the Liebiegs. All in all, this family, one of the monarchy's biggest patrons, was extremely active in Liberec, living up to their family motto of “Per laborem ad honorem” – “Honour through Labour”. 

You can follow in their footsteps, too - the brochure about this family of textile magnates will guide you as you wander through the city, and you can find it attached or pick it up free of charge here at the information centre.

Video walk In the footsteps of the Liebieg family (YouTube, CZ)