THE ABANDONED PAPER PLANT IN GERMANY
‘Patent-Papierfabrik Hohenofen’ is an old paper plant in the German village Hohenofen. It was built in 1838 and stopped production after the German reunification. Today the site in a protected monument.
The paper factory was built on the site of the old blast furnace. The ‘Seigerhüttenwerk’ was shut down in early 1833 due to inefficiency. The paper plant went into operation on July 1, 1838. The annual production was 140 thousand kilo paper. Very fine watermark paper were produced the first years, in particular official papers for the government. The paper mill was privatized in 1886.
From 1886, a new paper machine was installed that could make paper with a width of 180 centimeters. In fact, for this new machine, a new production hall was built. During this time, three bleach plants, a cellulose storage and two warehouses were built. In 1905 the company ‘Felix Schoeller & Bausch’ from Neu Kaliß in Mecklenburg bought the Hohenofen factory.
Transparent drawing paper
From 1953 different papers, such as transparent drawing paper, transparent blueprint paper, book paper, cardboard, manila crêpe, knurled paper and wrapping paper were produced. The annual production that year was 820 tons of paper. During 1967 production was switched to the exclusive production of transparent drawing paper. The paper was exported to the entire Eastern Bloc, right up to Cuba.
Shortly after the fall of the iron curtain, production was stopped due to the competition from the west. Eventually, the plant had to close in 1992 and almost 140 employees lost their job. However, in 2003 the buildings and machines became an industrial monument and were saved from demolition.
Nowadays, the main building not only functions as a museum, but also as a location for concerts and other cultural events. The other buildings on the 1.5 hectare site are also used. Not only as studios also as workshops for the production and sale of local sustainable products. I visited ‘Patent-Papierfabrik Hohenofen’ in 2019.