A Guide to the Straw Hat Factories Heritage of Domžale
A long-standing local initiative to present the heritage of straw hat making typical of the town and its surrounding areas was completed by the opening of the Straw Hat Museum in the centre of Domžale, operating within the Franc Bernik Cultural Centre, Domžale. The permanent exhibition, 300 Years of Straw Hat Making in Slovenia, is a vivid presentation disseminating knowledge and know-how, as well as raising and enhancing awareness about the domestic straw hat heritage. In this way, our heritage has been positioned on the map of European centres of the straw hat industry. The museum has become a meeting place for people who value the preserved heritage of straw hat making and who consider it to be a common and important element in the enhancement of local and national identities.
In Domžale, buildings and areas remain that can tell stories about the making of straw hats. A thematic trail entitled A Walk around the Straw Hat Factories of Domžale has been created for that purpose. In Slovenia, this is a very popular way of heritage interpretation placed in an urban environment and designed as a story about the heritage of straw hat making
There are 12 points along the thematic trail, with the starting point at the Straw Hat Museum, which presents the Domžale straw hat heritage in more detail. A roundabout trail continues past a number of selected sites related to the straw hat factories, and their stories make up a mosaic of the history of straw hat making in Domžale. The past of the companies and buildings which no longer exist, or whose image and purpose have been changed, is recaptured by selected photographs. The factories and workshops that had a major influence on the image and history of the town, and which can still be identified in the area, are specifically presented. Despite the fact that the location of other smaller workshops – more than 30 in Domžale and its surrounding area – is also known, not all of them are included in the thematic trail. The walk is not designed as a map of straw hat-making locations, but rather as a narrative of the changes in space through the story of factories – a story that may also be told during a roaming walk.
The thematic trail is intended for the citizens of Domžale and for all visitors to the town, so that they may become familiar with its heritage, which is unique in Slovenia.
Katarina Rus Krušelj
By: Straw Hat Museum