/ The Vonwiller Area/Buildings

The buildings of the formerly renowned Vonwiller Textile Factory are a landmark of Haslach. Marvellous jacquard fabrics were produced there and exported to countries all over the world even before 1900. Messrs. Vonwiller and Messrs. Simonetta at nearby Helfenberg were the largest factories in the Upper Mühlviertel embedded in a structure of small enterprises which gave work to hundreds of people and changed the life of the town in many ways. After turbulent times the Textile Centre Haslach is now spinning on the thread of the tradition of the house.


// The History of Vonwiller

Messrs. Vonwiller were founded by a Milanese family of merchants with Swiss roots, who had been buying the local linen from the weekly market at Haslach to sell in Italy. In 1819 it was decided to build a factory on the foundations of eight burghers’ houses, and to produce the necessary ware with the cheap but experienced labour force of the area.

The company was soon widely recognised; its fabrics were exported in just about all the world. Wonderful sample books with the precious Jacquards woven around 1900 continue to witness the high quality of the fabrics produced then.

Built like a castle on a rock not far from the town centre the factory complex has been dominating the view of Haslach for 200 years, and is an identity-conveying symbol for the former importance of weaving for the life in the town.

// Cointinuing spinning the thread

When after many highs and lows, it became certain in 1999 that Messrs. Vonwiller had to close down, the municipality of Haslach had two alternatives: either the ruin of a factory building would in future dominate the view of the town, or it would be time to fight for a revival. Instead of leaving the building to ruin, thanks to Norbert Leitner, the visionary mayor at that time, the building was bought, revitalised with funds from the EU and the Federal Government of Upper Austria. In 2006 the adjacent factory building of the former multi-colour weaving mill Obermüller was also acquired. Today the building complex houses various social and cultural enterprises, meeting halls, a music school, a restaurant and some companies. With the large-scale project TuK-Vonwiller Haslach was able to counteract its reputation as merely a museum town that looks into the past rather than the future, and give new impulses. The opening of the permanent exhibition “Mechanische Klangfabrik” (mechanical sound factory) under the guidance of Manfred Quatember in 2007 was a first cultural highlight. This modern Museum contains the unique collection of fully functioning mechanical musical instruments and automatons by the local collector Erwin Rechberger. As the most recent extension the “Textile Centre Haslach” has been opened in July 2012.