Linoleum Factory "Smell of Chemistry"

The Kohlmühle district is the smallest part of the community of Hohnstein in the Saxon Switzerland region and is located in the valley of the river Sebnitz. 

The impressive building of the Kohlmühle linoleum factory is characteristic of this place. Due to its brick construction, it is a listed building. In 1901/1902 the industrial factory for paper and cardboard production was opened. Another company took over the factory in 1906 with a focus on the production of artificial leather and oilcloth. In 1921, the production of table and print 

Abandoned Linoleum Factory in Germany

linoleum began. In 1931, the company acquired the Planitz leather cardboard factory. During the Second World War, the Junkers company from Dessau used the plant as a supply depot in 1944. The machines and systems were dismantled by the Soviet military administration in 1945/46 and taken to the Soviet Union as reparations.

With the founding of people-owned companies in the former GDR, the plant became state property in 1948 and was modernized and expanded. In 1952 the plant was renamed "VEB Linoleumwerk Kohlmühle".

From the late 1960s, most of the technologies used came from West Germany. At the time, the company was one of the most modern manufacturers of floor coverings with high safety standards. In 1967 the production of PVC floor coverings began.

After the German reunification, the name was changed to "Likolit Linoleumwerk Kohlmühle GmbH".

Insolvency proceedings for Likolit Linoleumwerk Kohlmühle GmbH were opened on November 25, 2013. The company was shut down in March 2014. Following the company's bancruptcy, it was auctioned and sold on May 31, 2016.

However, due to numerous damages and contaminations, the purchasers themselves have serious doubts about a quick and complete renovation. The expansion of the "Kulturfabrik Kohlmühle" ("Culture Factory") is currently being promoted at this location.

The Sebnitz river was polluted by an accident in May 2015. According to the State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology, about five cubic meters of dioctyl phthalate got into the water. This is an organic chemical compound that reacts neutrally, is insoluble in water, oily, colorless to clear yellow and slightly hazardous to water. The chemical, which is used industrially as a plasticizer, is a leftover from the production of PVC flooring.

In September 2015, the volunteer fire brigade in Kohlmühle recovered three empty containers with a radioactive symbol that had been found in the bushes by hikers. Radioactive material was used at Likolit for testing and measuring procedures.


Visited: August 17, 2018 [legal visit]

Location: Kohlmühle, Germany

Status: active

Share this page:

Search this Page