Forst an der Weinstraße
Forst an der Weinstraße (or Forst an der Weinstrasse) is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality
Municipalities of Germany
Municipalities are the lowest level of territorial division in Germany. This may be the fourth level of territorial division in Germany, apart from those states which include Regierungsbezirke , where municipalities then become the fifth level.-Overview:With more than 3,400,000 inhabitants, the...

 belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde
A Verbandsgemeinde is an administrative unit in the German Bundesländer of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt.-Rhineland-Palatinate:...

, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bad Dürkheim
Bad Dürkheim (district)
Bad Dürkheim is a district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Kaiserslautern, Donnersbergkreis and Alzey-Worms, the city of Worms, the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, the city of Neustadt/Weinstraße, the districts of Südliche Weinstraße, the city of Landau , the district...

 district in Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...




The municipality lies at the hilly western edge of the Upper Rhine Plain
Upper Rhine Plain
The Upper Rhine Plain, Rhine Rift Valley or Upper Rhine Graben is a major rift, straddling the border between France and Germany. It forms part of the European Cenozoic Rift System, which extends across central Europe...

 in the Eastern Palatinate (Vorderpfalz). As its name suggests, it is also on the German Wine Route (Deutsche Weinstraße) in the Palatinate wine region
Palatinate (wine region)
Palatinate is a German wine-growing region in the area of Bad Dürkheim, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, and Landau in Rhineland-Palatinate. Before 1993, it was known as Rhine Palatinate . With under cultivation in 2008, the region is the second largest wine region in Germany after Rheinhessen...

. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Deidesheim
Deidesheim (Verbandsgemeinde)
Deidesheim is a Verbandsgemeinde in the district of Bad Dürkheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The seat of the Verbandsgemeinde is in Deidesheim....

, whose seat is in the like-named town
Deidesheim is a town in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany with some 3,700 inhabitants.The town lies in the northwest of the Rhine-Neckar urban agglomeration and since 1973 it has been the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde of Deidesheim. The most important industries are tourism...


Neighbouring municipalities

Forst an der Weinstraße borders in the north on Wachenheim, in the northeast on Friedelsheim
Friedelsheim is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.- Location :...

, in the southeast on Niederkirchen
Niederkirchen bei Deidesheim
Niederkirchen is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Its population is roughly 2,400.- Location :...

 and in the south on Deidesheim
Deidesheim is a town in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany with some 3,700 inhabitants.The town lies in the northwest of the Rhine-Neckar urban agglomeration and since 1973 it has been the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde of Deidesheim. The most important industries are tourism...



The Salian
Salian dynasty
The Salian dynasty was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages of four German Kings , also known as the Frankish dynasty after the family's origin and role as dukes of Franconia...

 Count Johann, Emperor Heinrich IV’s
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

 nephew and from 1090 to 1104, as Johann I, Prince-Bishop of Speyer, gave his personal holdings in the Speyergau in 1100, among which was Deidesheim
Deidesheim is a town in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany with some 3,700 inhabitants.The town lies in the northwest of the Rhine-Neckar urban agglomeration and since 1973 it has been the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde of Deidesheim. The most important industries are tourism...

, as a donation to the Bishopric of Speyer
Bishopric of Speyer
The Bishopric of Speyer was a state, ruled by Prince-Bishops, in what is today the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It was secularized in 1803...

. The vast woodlands north of Deidesheim, also known as Vorst or Forst (cognate with English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 forest and meaning the same) was excluded from this arrangement and was reserved as the Prince-Bishop’s hunting ground. In this forest lie the village’s beginnings, and of course its namesake.

On 10 May 1525, during the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

, Louis V, Elector Palatine
Louis V, Elector Palatine
Louis V, Count Palatine of the Rhine ; a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty was prince elector of the Palatinate....

 led negotiations with the insurgent peasants of the Geilweiler Haufen and the Bockenheimer Haufen.

When the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 spread to the German lands on the Rhine’s left bank, Forst, too, temporarily became part of France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

’s territory. In 1816, what had once been Electoral Palatinate territory on the left bank was named the Rheinkreis, and later Rheinpfalz, and annexed to the Kingdom of Bavaria
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

; the Palatinate remained Bavarian until the end of the Second World War.

Municipal council

The council is made up of 12 council members, who were elected by majority vote
Plurality voting system
The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

 at the municipal election held on 7 June 2009, and the honorary mayor as chairman.

Coat of arms

The German blazon reads: Geteilt und unten gespalten, oben auf grünem Boden in Silber sieben grüne Bäume unterschiedlicher Länge, unten rechts in Blau ein durchgehendes silbernes Kreuz, unten links in Grün mit rotem Boden ein silbernes Gotteslamm mit goldenem Nimbus und Kreuzesfahne.

The municipality’s arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 might in English heraldic
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 language be described thus: Per fess argent on ground vert seven trees in fess, the second, fourth and sixth taller than the others of the same, and per pale azure a cross of the first and vert on a mount gules and Agnus Dei tripping reguardant with a nimbus Or and bearing on a pole of the same a standard of the first charged with a cross of the fourth.

The arms were approved by the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior in 1902 and go back to a seal from 1725. The silver cross on the blue field recalls the village’s former allegiance to the Bishopric of Speyer. The trees are a canting
Canting arms
Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantation and recant.Canting arms –...

Charge (heraldry)
In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon . This may be a geometric design or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device...

 for the municipality’s name, Forst, which is also a German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 word for “forest”. The oldest seal mentioned above had a fourth charge, a hunter, but this does not appear in the modern arms. The arms have been borne since 20 March 1902.

Within the village

  • Nördliches Ungeheuer (“Northern Monster”), a stone sculpture at the village’s northern entrance by master sculptor Janet Weisbrodt, Niederkirchen bei Deidesheim
  • Kirche St. Margareta (Saint Margaret’s Church), a Catholic church built in 1716–1723, with a 40 m-tall tower from 1767
  • Kriegerdenkmal (War Memorial), built in 1933 on the church hill as an open crypt with a three-part vaulted ceiling
  • Eichbrunnen (fountain)
  • Pechsteinbrunnen (fountain)
  • Hansel-Fingerhut-Brunnen (fountain)
  • Südliches Ungeheuer (“Southern Monster”), a stone sculpture at the village’s southern entrance by master sculptor Bettina Morio, Deidesheim

Outside the village

  • Lagenstein (roughly “Winery Stone”) with Forst’s wineries engraved into it (a lookout point west of the village)
  • Madonnen-Statue at the Mariengarten winery (a lookout point west of the village)
  • Hahnenböhler Kreuz at the Hahnenböhl winery put up as a summit cross
    Summit cross
    A summit cross is a cross on the summit of a mountain or hill that marks the top. Often there will be a "summit register" at the cross, either in a container or at least a weatherproof case....

     in 1803 and replaced with an iron version in 1886 (a lookout point west of the village)
  • Bismarckhöhle (grotto) created in 1885 west of the village near the forest’s edge in honour of Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
    Otto von Bismarck
    Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

    ’s 70th birthday. The plaque at the entrance bears an inscription whose initials, read from top down, spell out the Chancellor’s name:
Bringt Wetter dich
In Not,
So kehre bei mir ein.
Arm wie
Christ oder Heid,
Künftig soll geschützet sein.
  • Pechsteinkopf, west of Forst, with basalt
    Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

     deposits that were worked into the 20th century, and moved into the dale by cableway.


  • Hansel-Fingerhut-Fest with Winterverbrennung, or “Winter Burning” in which “winter” is burnt in effigy (since 1722, on Laetare Sunday
    Laetare Sunday
    Laetare Sunday , so called from the incipit of the Introit at Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" , is a name often used to denote the fourth Sunday of the season of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar...

  • Weinkerwe beim Ungeheuer (“Wine Fair at the Monster’s”, on the first weekend in August)
  • Erlebnistag Deutsche Weinstraße (“German Wine Route Adventure Day”, on the last Sunday in August)


The fecundity of the soils and the mild climate made the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 choose to plant almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

s, fig
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

s and citrus fruits here, but also especially to introduce winegrowing. Forst lies in the Mittelhaardt-Deutsche Weinstraße Region and is famous for its wineries, above all for Forster Ungeheuer, Forster Kirchenstück and Pechstein. The predominant grape variety is Riesling
Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally...

 with a share of some 85% of the roughly 180 ha of vineyard area. The municipality’s livelihood is also based increasingly on tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, which itself is bound with winegrowing and gastronomy.


Forst is a “street village” – by some definitions, a “thorpe” – meaning that, originally at least, there was only one road leading through the village, in Forst’s case from north to south. Nowadays, a 1.2 km stretch of this road is part of the German Wine Route. In the beginning, this was also Bundesstraße
Bundesstraße , abbreviated B, is the denotation for German and Austrian national highways.-Germany:...

271 linking Bad Dürkheim
Bad Dürkheim
Bad Dürkheim is a spa town in the Rhine-Neckar urban agglomeration, and is the seat of the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.- Location :...

 and Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Neustadt an der Weinstraße is a town located in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With 53,892 inhabitants as of 2002, it is the largest town called Neustadt.-Etymology:...


An early, small bypass road was built about 1970 right at the village’s eastern outskirts; it has since been “assumed” by the municipality. In the 1990s, the B 271 throughout the whole region was shifted a kilometre to the east and no longer reaches the wine centres. Over the B 271 and its Deidesheim interchange
Interchange (road)
In the field of road transport, an interchange is a road junction that typically uses grade separation, and one or more ramps, to permit traffic on at least one highway to pass through the junction without directly crossing any other traffic stream. It differs from a standard intersection, at which...

, however, there has also been since then a quick link between Forst and the Autobahn A 65
Bundesautobahn 65
is an autobahn in southwestern Germany. The newest section, between Neustadt and Landau, was opened only in the early 1990s.Plans to build a final stretch between Kandel or Wörth am Rhein and the French autoroute towards Haguenau and Strasbourg were not implemented during the 1990s when the focus...

 (interchange 11 Deidesheim), over which Ludwigshafen can be reached in about 25 minutes and Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

 in about 50. Towards the north, the B 271 leads to Bad Dürkheim and the interchange on the A 650 (Bad Dürkheim–Ludwigshafen) found there.


In 2007, 52.4% of the inhabitants were Catholic and 29.6% Evangelical
Evangelical Church in Germany
The Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of 22 Lutheran, Unified and Reformed Protestant regional church bodies in Germany. The EKD is not a church in a theological understanding because of the denominational differences. However, the member churches share full pulpit and altar...

. The rest practised other faiths or none.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Wilhelm Spindler (1861–1927), chairman of the Palatine Centre Party
    Centre Party (Germany)
    The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

    , Member of the Landtag and the Reichstag, was born in Forst and there ran a winery.
  • Peter Lewandowski (1957–    ), journalist.

Famous people associated with the municipality

  • Annette Oehl, later Göb (1954–    ), Palatine Wine Queen 1974/75, grew up in Forst.
  • Paul Tremmel (1929–    ), Palatine dialectal poet, lives in Forst.
  • Wilhelm Spindler (1893−?), politician (Bavarian People's Party
    Bavarian People's Party
    The Bavarian People's Party was the Bavarian branch of the Centre Party, which broke off from the rest of the party in 1919 to pursue a more conservative, more Catholic, more Bavarian particularist course...

    ), ran a winery in Forst.

External links

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