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Glass tradition in the Bavarian Forest

Poschinger Glassworks since 1568

Glass has been produced for seven centuries in Germany’s most forested mountain chain.

The first existence of glassworks in the area around Zwiesel/Frauenau was recorded as far back as 1420. But as the Benedictine Monastery Niederaltaich allowed the region to already be settled in the second quarter of the 14th century, it is thought that glassworks were even operated long before 1420. In line with this, the glassworks in Rabenstein and Frauenau were likely founded in the mid-14th century.
The Poschinger family has been mentioned time and again in official documents since as far back as the 12th century – as judges, patricians, council members and traders in Straubing, Deggendorf and Regensburg. Joachim Poschinger gave up his work as an orderly on 10 July 1568 to take over the Zadlershütte glassworks near Frauenau. He brought such success to the Zadlershütte that he was able to build a second glassworks in 1582. Mirrors and window glass was produced there, as was glass for spectacles and hollow glassware. In 1587, Joachim Poschinger split the family business between his two sons Hans and Paulus – heralding the start of the Poschinger’s still intact family tradition as glassworks and estate owners.

The von Poschinger barons

The von Poschinger barons are among the oldest families in Bavaria; the first Poschinger was mentioned in a document as far back as 1140. In 1547, Duke Albrecht V. award the Poschingers a family coat of arms, which is still maintained to this day. With Joachim Poschinger’s acquisition of the Zadlershütte glassworks in 1568, the now 450-year history of the Poschingers as glassworks and estate owners in the Bavarian Forest begun. The glassworks in Frauenau and the corresponding Oberfrauenau estate were acquired in 1605. Over the course of the centuries, the family also operated glassworks in Spiegelhütte, Buchenau, Oberzwieselau and Theresienthal. Only the glassworks in Frauenau still remains, standing firm as the only one of its kind. It is the oldest glassworks in Germany with the longest family tradition of any glassworks worldwide.

Ahnengalerie

Benedikt Freiherr Poschinger von Frauenau

*1971

is the 15th generation of the family to run the glassworks. With its almost 450-year history, the glassworks is the oldest in Germany with the longest family tradition in the world.

Stephan Freiherr Poschinger von Frauenau

*1939

ran the glassworks estate until 2007 when he passed on ownership to his oldest son Benedikt.

Hippolyt Freiherr Poschinger von Frauenau

1908-1990

ran the glassworks in Moosau until 1980. The entrepreneur and qualified forester was elected as representative of the forestry industry to the Bavarian Senate in 1952. From 1968 to 1982, he served as President of the Senate. In 1980, Baron Hippolyt Poschinger passed on the glassworks estate to his oldest son Stephan.

Eduard Georg Benedikt Freiherr Poschinger von Frauenau

1869-1942

took over the glassworks in Moosau, which was rented to Isidor Gistl between 1905 and 1924, leading it through the First World War and the global depression. The furnaces at numerous glassworks in the Bavarian Forest went out during this period, including the Poschinger works in Buchenau, Spiegelhütte and Oberzwieselau.

Eduard Ferdinand Freiherr Poschinger von Frauenau

1842-1917

took over the glassworks estate from his childless brother Georg Benedikt II in 1900. One year later, Prince Regent Luitpold raised him to the status of baron.

Georg Benedikt II. Reichsritter und Edler von Poschinger

1845-1900

ran the glassworks in Moosau. He was the driving force behind the construction of the Zwiesel-Grafenau rail bridge in 1877, which offered the Moosau works ideal transport connections from that point on. The Neuhütte works were destroyed in 1867 by fire, while the Altposchingerhütte and Spiegelhütte works grew increasingly unprofitable. Their furnaces went out for good in 1890 and 1893 respectively.

Johann Michael II. Reichsritter und Edler von Poschinger

1794-1863

took over the glassworks in Theresienthal (founded 1836) in 1861, and they remained in family ownership until the death of the last Poschinger from the Theresienthal line in 1977. In 1835, Johann Michael built the Spiegelhütte glassworks in Oberfrauenau and a corresponding grinding shop on the Kleine Regen river. The Moosauhütte works entered operations in 1848, and Poschinger glass is still produced there to this day.

Georg Benedikt I. Reichsritter und Edler von Poschinger

1749-1830

was made part of the nobility in 1790. He operated glassworks in the Regenhäng area as well as the Altposchingerhütte, and built the Neuhütte in Oberfrauenau in 1825.

Johann Michael I. Poschinger

1709-1787

constructed a new glassworks in the Regenhäng close to today’s Trinkwassertalsperre dam in 1747. In 1769, he closed the glassworks and instead opened a glassworks on the former site of the Altposchingerhütte.

Georg Wilhelm Poschinger

1663-1733

took over the glassworks estate from his childless brother Christian. He passed on his glassworks in Unterbreitenau to one of his sons, who was forced to shut down the unprofitable works in 1752.

Christian Poschinger

1668-1730

closed the Altposchingerhütte glassworks in 1708 and instead opened a new site in Glaserhäuser. Eight years previous, his brother Georg Wilhelm had bought the Unterbreitenau glassworks estate near Bischofsmais. Another brother, the master glassmaker Hans-Carl Poschinger, wrote the first recipe for the production of red, yellow and green glass.

Franz Poschinger

1637-1701

closed the glassworks in Zell in 1666 and opened a new glassworks in the Altposchingerhütte in 1668. He sold the Riedelhütte glassworks in around 1675. These dates were sourced from a diary that Franz Poschinger wrote between 1666 and 1700 in which he offers descriptions of life in the glassworks and on the estate. His accounts are still in family ownership and provide a unique cultural historical document of life in the Bavarian Forest at the time.

Wilhelm Poschinger

1607-1658

operated the Frauenauer Hütte glassworks in Zell, a district of Frauenau. In 1652, he purchased the Riedelhütte near Grafenau for his successors. In 1639, the rights to the Oberanzenberg estate and the Upper Palatinate were bestowed upon him. This made the Poschinger family freeholders to the nobility of the Upper Palatinate.

Paulus Poschinger

1553-1610

is the patriarch of the Bohemian line of the Poschinger family. He purchased the Frauenau glassworks estate in 1605. His brother Hans founded the Oberzwieselau line of the Poschinger family. Under Benedikt von Poschinger, the goblets and glasses made in the colourful and elegant Historicism style in byzantine tradition at the Oberzwieselauer Hütte achieved worldwide renown. The divided inheritance of the Oberzwieselau glassworks estate created the Buchenau line of the Poschinger family and the corresponding glassworks. Their art nouveau glass and work for church windows from the connected “Spiegelhütte” won international acclaim.

Joachim Poschinger

1523-1599

started the glass tradition of the Poschinger family by purchasing the glassworks estate Zwieselau near Frauenau on 10 July 1568. 21 years previous to that, in 1547, imperial court palsgrave Peter Apian awarded the Poschingers a family coat of arms, which is still maintained to this day.

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