The town Forst (Lausitz) has a long industrial history. The textile trade in the region had a long-standing pre-industrial tradition. In the time of Count Heinrich von Brühl (Saxony’s prime minister and Lord of Forst-Pförten) in the 18th century, the town received a decisive boost, as a cloth and linen manufactory was set up in the former town castle on Kirchstrasse (destroyed in 1945). Over the next few decades, textile production in Forst developed from here. Proto-industrial production was no longer controlled by the guild and mechanical production was first introduced in 1821. In the context of the industrialisation and thanks to the related technical achievements (such as the invention of the steam engine) and in particular to the connection to the railway network in 1872, Forst (Lausitz) evolved into a hub of the German textile industry around the end of the 19th century. The town was referred to as the “German Manchester” and for many decades, it was among Germany’s most important cloth-making towns. Large parts of the town were destroyed in World War II. However, many witnesses of the outstanding industrial architecture survived and continued to be used for their original purpose. The economic structural transformation in the context of the political turnaround in 1989 eventually led to the collapse of the textile industry as the biggest employer of the town Forst (Lausitz). Many of the former industrial buildings have since been vacant and are threatened by structural decay, especially in the north of town, along Mühlgraben. The “Industrial Culture Path” was established to preserve the architectural heritage, to inform about it and to raise awareness.
In the first step, the path will focus solely on the industrial (cloth-making) history by which the townscape is characterised to this day.
Touristinformation Cottbuser Straße 10 03149 Forst (Lausitz)