The museum in the castle tells the story of the manufacturing industry in the city. Initially, a trading city for many products including wool, a textile company was founded in 1899 to start adding value to the raw material before selling it down the river.
The local factory became experts at Fez making, which they exported to Turkey until 1925. That year, Turkey banned the wearing of Fezzes. Luckily the factory had other manufacturing lines such as Berets and other clothes.
Nowadays seat covers for HGVs and public transport are made in Strakonice’s textile plants.
Another manufacturing industry in the town also has a varied history. Founded as an arms factory making pistols,
the metalworking factory transitioned away from guns to motorbikes in the 1950s, making the CZ range of bikes.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, profitability could not be achieved and it changed its focus again, this time on component parts of large diesel engines. How long that will remain profitable remains to be seen!
Nestled between these two exhibits on the local industry is a collection of bagpipes. Strakonice hosts a bagpipe festival most years and has gathered a large collection of instruments over the years.
Unlike the Scottish ones many people are familiar with, most bagpipes around Europe are inflated by bellows under the left arm, not the mouth. I heard some being played at an event and found the sound less piercing than the Scottish style. The inflation style also enables performers to sing while playing the bagpipes.