Welcome to Hutkönig’s hat kingdom! By Don Heimburger • Photographs Courtesy Don Heimburger
Children’s author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, has educated generations of children with silly stories and fanciful phrases. Before the later popularity of his nonsensical rhymes, Dr. Seuss penned a prose work called The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, featuring the eponymous Bartholomew and his enviable collection of headwear—a collection based on Dr. Seuss’s own menagerie of fantastic hats. The public, however, remained unaware that the author maintained a fully stocked hat closet in his San Diego residence, consisting of several hundred hats of every description.
There’s another place where you can find hundreds even thousands of hats—15,000 hat items to be exact—of every color, size, and description. And some of them have been made and fitted for some famous heads.
Hutkönig In the Kräuterermarkt, the old section of Regensburg right off the Danube waterfront near the Gothic St. Peter Cathedral built in 1273, sits a first-floor shop in a six-story creme and white-faced building. The sign outside reads “Der Hutmacher am Dom”, and Dr. Seuss’ hat collection doesn’t stand a chance against the number and variety of hats a visitor will see inside. “The goal of our family business is to find a hat for every head,” reads one of the firm’s advertising lines.
Hutkönig has been in business since 1875—146 years of family ownership since it opened its doors! Today Der Hutmacher is run by the two Nuslan brothers: Andreas, who is responsible for the manufacturing end of the business, and Robert, who oversees the store.