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Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health

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Old Spinning Works

It was not just the location of the food industry in Kulmbach that led to the Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition & Health at the University of Bayreuth being established here. Fritz Hornschuch, managing director of the Kulmbach spinning mill from 1900 to 1955, already embodied the guiding principle of the Faculty: Innovation and responsibility. 


Kulmbacher Spinnerei AG was founded in 1870 under the management of a Frankfurt cotton merchant. In 1899, the Hornschuch family of textile industrialists acquired the share capital of the obsolete plant. The Kulmbacher Spinnerei included a yarn production facility, a dyeing plant, a weaving mill, a sawmill, and two hydroelectric power plants for energy supply.

Fritz Hornschuch, born in Fürth in 1874, completed his training as a textile specialist. Afterwards he studied at the state technical college for textile industry. In a time marked by wars and economic crises, he succeeded in creating a modern textile company that was one of the most important spinning mills for coloured and speciality textiles in the Federal Republic of Germany. Hornschuch participated in the innovation of new products and techniques, greatly contributing to technical progress in the German textile industry. His commitment to his employees in the form of workers' housing estates and support funds as insurance against illness, hardship, and old age made him one of the leading representatives in the field of corporate social policy.

The successful corporate policy of the largest employer in the region was initially continued after Hornschuch's death. However, the oil crisis of 1974, cheap imports from Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as advancing globalization demanded a thorough restructuring of the company. The focus was shifted to the production of high-quality specialities. Due to the course of the global economic crisis in 2007/08, Kulmbacher Spinnerei was forced to file for insolvency, and operations were finally discontinued in 2012/13.

The buildings of the old spinning works in the middle of Kulmbach's city centre are still largely intact today.
 The development centre of the branch office of the University of Bayreuth is currently located in the former administration mansion. Besides the 'Fritz' shopping centre, the town’s bus station and a pizzeria are located in the former spinning works buildings. In the future, the "Grünes Behördenzentrum” (green administrative centre) and other facilities will bring more life into the quarter.

Every year on the occasion of the open day of Stiftung Denkmalschutz (German Foundation for Monument Protection), a small event is held (e.g. in the form of an open day with exhibition).

Exhibition material / accompanying booklet: "From the Kulmbacher Spinnerei to university campus - a city district in the course of time" for download.


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