Forst (Lausitz) (German) or Baršć (Łužyca) (Lower Sorbian) is a town in Lower Lusatia, Brandenburg, Germany. It lies east of Cottbus, on the river Lausitzer Neiße which is also the German-Polish border, the Oder-Neisse line. It is the capital of the Spree-Neiße district. It is known for its rose garden and textile museum. The town's population is 18,651. In Forst, there is a railway bridge across the Neiße belonging to the line Cottbus–Żary which is serviced by regional trains and a EuroCity train between Hamburg and Kraków (2011). There is also a road bridge across the river north of Forst.
Part of the region of Lower Lusatia, Forst was awarded to the Kingdom of Prussia in the 1815 Congress of Vienna. The town was administered as a part of the Province of Brandenburg from 1815 to 1947. After World War II it became part of the German Democratic Republic, from 1952 to 1990 within Bezirk Cottbus.
Forst has experienced severe problems as a result of the 1990 German reunification, most notably from extreme unemployment. In the past, the town was known for textile manufacturing, but all of the textile plants and factories have closed down.
A short distance to the south of the old Sorbian village of Altforst, the town probably originated around 1150 at a river crossing point on the important west–east route (known as the Salzstraße / Salt Road) connecting Halle and Głogów. By 1265 it was developing into a permanent trading settlement round the Church of St Nicholas. The commercial importance of Forst increased with the development of a north–south route connecting to Guben, downstream along the Neisse River. In the fourteenth century the council was able to take on responsibility for the lower courts locally. In 1352 of Ileburg took over the overlordship of Forst from Frederick III of Meißen.
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