Brandenburg Textile Museum

Industrial culture , Museums , Historic monuments and sites
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Forst as a thriving industrial town? The museum in the former cloth factory “Daniel Noack” tells the incredible true story of the German Manchester.
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  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Buckskinwebstuhl, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Streichgarnselfaktor, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Tuchmacherwerkstatt, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz), Foto: Verein Lausitzer Land
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Außenansicht, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
Did you know that Forst was the hub of the German textile industry in the imperial period? During this time, most families in the small town in the Lausitz region were involved in fabric production in some way. Around the turn of the century, about one third of the around 30,000 residents of Forst used to work in one of the around 100 factories! By the 1920s, there were more than 400 textile companies in Forst. This is why the town was referred to as the German Manchester. This era has long gone, but its memory is kept alive at a museum that is well-worth a visit. 

The history of cloth making in Forst – and the entire Lausitz region – goes back a long way. It was an important economic factor for the town, even in the early 15th century. The final breakthrough was achieved when machine weaving was introduced in the 19th century. Fabric made in Forst was also exported abroad. The town became very rich as a result. Stately homes were built, and an urban railway, too. The town flourished.

Then came the war. And another one. In World War II, the front-line ran right through the town. When the fighting was over, Forst was devastated. The textile industry recovered gradually and as part of the state planned economy, operations continued until the end of the GDR era. This was when the glorious time of the German Manchester was over once and for all.

Many of the former cloth factories are preserved to this day. They are architecturally appealing ensembles of production halls, gatehouses and the factory owners’ stately homes. Among these is the factory “Daniel Noack” that was completed in 1897. It is now home to the museum “Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum”.

The permanent exhibition tells the story of the cloth making trade that is linked so closely to the town history of Forst. Craftsmanship and mechanical processes of cloth making are shown in the affiliated presentation workshop, using historic manual tools and functional historic machinery. The museum workshop is among the few places in the Niederlausitz region where weaving looms are still in use almost every day.

Tips: 

Visitors to the museum are provided with a map for a walk dedicated to town and industrial history. The walk will take you to the station of the urban railway, to factory owners’ homes, to the factory association building and the town mill.

The museum is also a great place for school classes to visit. There is a wide range of educational activities. For example about the textile making process or the issue of the transformation from manual to industrial textiles production.

For cyclists:

Continue readingcollapse
Forst as a thriving industrial town? The museum in the former cloth factory “Daniel Noack” tells the incredible true story of the German Manchester.
Continue readingcollapse
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Buckskinwebstuhl, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Streichgarnselfaktor, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz) - Tuchmacherwerkstatt, Foto: Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz)
  • Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum Forst (Lausitz), Foto: Verein Lausitzer Land
Did you know that Forst was the hub of the German textile industry in the imperial period? During this time, most families in the small town in the Lausitz region were involved in fabric production in some way. Around the turn of the century, about one third of the around 30,000 residents of Forst used to work in one of the around 100 factories! By the 1920s, there were more than 400 textile companies in Forst. This is why the town was referred to as the German Manchester. This era has long gone, but its memory is kept alive at a museum that is well-worth a visit. 

The history of cloth making in Forst – and the entire Lausitz region – goes back a long way. It was an important economic factor for the town, even in the early 15th century. The final breakthrough was achieved when machine weaving was introduced in the 19th century. Fabric made in Forst was also exported abroad. The town became very rich as a result. Stately homes were built, and an urban railway, too. The town flourished.

Then came the war. And another one. In World War II, the front-line ran right through the town. When the fighting was over, Forst was devastated. The textile industry recovered gradually and as part of the state planned economy, operations continued until the end of the GDR era. This was when the glorious time of the German Manchester was over once and for all.

Many of the former cloth factories are preserved to this day. They are architecturally appealing ensembles of production halls, gatehouses and the factory owners’ stately homes. Among these is the factory “Daniel Noack” that was completed in 1897. It is now home to the museum “Brandenburgisches Textilmuseum”.

The permanent exhibition tells the story of the cloth making trade that is linked so closely to the town history of Forst. Craftsmanship and mechanical processes of cloth making are shown in the affiliated presentation workshop, using historic manual tools and functional historic machinery. The museum workshop is among the few places in the Niederlausitz region where weaving looms are still in use almost every day.

Tips: 

Visitors to the museum are provided with a map for a walk dedicated to town and industrial history. The walk will take you to the station of the urban railway, to factory owners’ homes, to the factory association building and the town mill.

The museum is also a great place for school classes to visit. There is a wide range of educational activities. For example about the textile making process or the issue of the transformation from manual to industrial textiles production.

For cyclists:

Continue readingcollapse

Comfort Information

  • Leisuretime
    Visitor parking
    • Distance of visitor parking to the entrance (in meters, approx.): 5
    Flooring
    • Partly restricted walkable flooring (inside and/or outside)
    Guest bathroom
    • Guest toilet is accessible without stairs
    Additional info
    • There are enough seats available
    • Handrails on all stairs
    • Parking facilities for baby carriages / walkers etc.

Arrival planner

Sorauer Straße 37

03149 Forst (Lausitz)

Weather Today, 29. 5.

14 17
broken clouds

  • Thursday
    12 18
  • Friday
    11 21

Tourist information

Tourismusverband Lausitzer Seenland e.V.

Am Stadthafen 2
01968 Senftenberg

Tel.: +49 (0) 3573-725300-0
Fax: +49 (0) 3573-725300-9

Weather Today, 29. 5.

14 17
broken clouds

  • Thursday
    12 18
  • Friday
    11 21

All information, times and prices are regularly checked and updated. Nevertheless, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the data. We recommend that you inquire about the current status by phone / e-mail or via the provider's website before your visit.

(+49) +49(0)331 2004747​ We are available for you via telephone: weekdays Mon – Fri 9 am – 1 pm and Oct. 31 from 9 am – 1 pm.

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We are also glad to answer all of your questions surrounding the State of Brandenburg at (+49)(0)331- 200 47 47. Please send us an e-mail at service@reiseland-brandenburg.de.

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