The roots of the Villa Barbara are closely linked to the history of the industry in Dresden-Pieschen in the turn of 19th to the 20th Century.
For the construction of the first German long-distance railway line from Leipzig to Dresden in 1835, the fields of the not wealthy peasants and petty bourgeois of Pieschen were intersected rigorously. The railway, which from now on still blew at ground level through fields and meadows, began the industrial development in Dresden. Long-sighted people saw the fine residence, the Florence of the North sinking in a sea of smoke and soot. Therefore in 1878 Dresden as first city in Germany established where future plants could be built and where no anymore.
On 5 February 1878 the municipality of Pieschen issued a local law requiring new plant buildings should be concentrated in the area between the railway and the road Großenhainer Straße. In the early 20th century, there was almost nothing what could not be produced in Pieschen. Among the major companies among others the earthenware factory Villeroy & Boch, the kitchen appliances of Eschebach works, Germany’s largest wafer factory of the brothers Hörmann and Europe’s oldest sewing and typewriter factory Clemens Müller.
On 15 April 1893 for its part, the brothers Clemens and Ernst Köckritz from Radeberg requested a building permission for the construction of a factory building and a villa on the newly created Barbara Road 41, which was named after the patron saint of miners and steelworkers and the gunners. They moved their straw hat factory in Radeberg to Dresden and founded the felt and straw hat factory Gebr Köckritz in 1896.
From 1935 the address book of the city of Dresden listed several tenants at the entrance number 41 b, c and d. A sign that the brothers gave up their business and installed flats in the factory building. The apartments have remained until today after several renovations. The brothers are still the owner and live in the mansion.
In GDR times the manufacturer’s villa is then typically used as a company kinder-garden to the next door’s former state-owned enterprise for sewing machine parts. When fundamentally refurbished after the German reunification now offices were established. After the renovation in 2012, the villa now has again regained its original meaning as a house, but now with a total of six units including a loft.
Today the smoking factories have disappeared from Pieschen long since. The culture and state capital Dresden has developed into a modern service, university and research center with a focus on the IT and semiconductor industries. Pieschen is now a popular residential area especially because of its charming houses from the end of the 19th century and the excellent transport links and proximity to the river Elbe. The remaining factory buildings are now offices or have been converted into attractive apartments.
Picture: City archive Dresden