Forst (Lausitz) sits on the Polish border, in Lusatia. The town’s roots extend deep, with a history reaching back to 1150 and surviving occupations, wars and annexations.
Unfortunately, the town’s economy based on textile manufacturing did not fare well during German reunification. Most of the factory jobs that once employed locals were eliminated.
Nevertheless, you can still see proud examples of the past at the Textile Museum. Its displays focus on the machinery used in spinning, twisting, weaving, stitching, and cleaning for materials produced here from 1900 to 1950.
Your visit to the museum may include a presentation of how artisan towels or patchwork pillows are made. Educational programs are free to the public and offered each Monday through Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Forst, you will want to see the famous East German Rose Gardens. They cover 15 hectares with some 700 different varieties of roses and more than 40,000 individual bushes.
Locals like to think of the gardens as a living exhibit, rather than a park. Since 1913, the town has selected a Rose Queen to represent the lovely flowers and the community. Weddings are often held in these beautiful surroundings, too.
You may wish to ask the expert groundskeepers for gardening tips as you stroll along. Then, make a stop by the Restaurant-Cafe Rose Flair for a scrumptious treat. The facility is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am.
Be sure to schedule in some sightseeing, too. There are no fewer than eight architecturally significant churches around town. For contrasts, see the charming Johann Sebastian Bach Church of 1950 and the stately Village Church Sacro, built around 1500. The two could not be more different.
Also, take a little time to enjoy the local countryside. The best way to do so is by bicycle. A network of well-maintained and posted cycle paths will take you from the town streets to pastoral landscapes and the thick forests near at hand.
When the day draws to a close, head over to one of the many restaurants, bistros and taverns downtown. You can choose from Greek, Mexican and French cuisine, or go with the local specialties, influenced by proximity to Poland. Delicious!