Every year in August the so called "Forstfest" takes place in Kamenz. Literally translated it is a "Forest Festival", but in reality it is the School- and Home(town) Festival. The tradition goes back to the 14th century, since about 130 years the schedule is basically the same: Opening on a Friday mid August, closing with a parade the Thursday after. During the festival there is a pleasure ground with merry-go-round, rides and other attractions, beer tents and such in the forest in the outskirts of Kamenz (bus shuttle).
But it is not just amusement, drinking and eating - there are also concerts, from cello music to oompah-bands, all over the town, in churches, theatre and seniors residences, sports competitions, church services, flea market, shooting matches ... and of course there are the two parades on Monday and Thursday.
I saw the big parade on Thursday, which is the final day and probably the bigger parade. The kids were dressed in white with sashes depicting their respective school colours. They carried beautiful flower arrangements, bands played nice music. The marching order was pretty impressive, especially on the Markt square with the beautifully decorated houses (town hall!). I had picked a great place to watch - the terrace of Hotel Goldner Hirsch is just perfect. I enjoyed this parade VERY much. The excitement of the kids was palpable, you could feel they wanted to do that and they were proud of the long tradition.
- Arts and Culture
Georg-Baselitz-Trail in Deutschbaselitz
Lessing aside, there is another famous man who has ties to Kamenz: Georg Baselitz, one of the much acclaimed contemporary artists. He was born as Hans-Georg Kern on 23 January 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, a small village which is part of the municipality Kamenz. In 1949 the family moved to Kamenz. 1956 he started his studies in East Berlin, after political troubles he continued studying in West Berlin from 1957 on. His works are mostly paintings and sculptures, often inspired by the nature/landscape around his old home town Kamenz, especially the lakes around Deutschbaselitz. Nowadays he lives at Ammersee/Bavaria and Imperia/Italy.
Locals created a trail around and through the village Deutschbaselitz that conducts the landscape and the painter/sculptor Georg Baselitz. Right in the centre of the village is an installation with a map - directions are easy to find - and a text with an introductions. The 12 stations (at the moment, more are in planning) have art installations and descriptions. Calculate about an hour for the whole trail. Guided tours are available in German, English and Spanish ... see website and click on "FÜHRUNG".
- Arts and Culture
Of course Kamenz *must* have a festival to honour the greatest son of the town, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. The festival is named "Lessingtage" and takes place every year since 1962 in the weeks around his birthday (22 January) and his day of death (15 February). Since 2003 opening ceremony is the award of the Lessing prize of the State Saxony.
During the festival they have several classy events, from readings of well-known writers, talks, discussion, movies over concerts to plays in the theatre. Usually they invite two or more companies from other cities in Germany. In 2013 Karlsruhe's theatre company performed Lessing's "Minna von Barnhelm" and the Rottstraße 5-Theatre company from Bochum performed Lessing's "Philotas." But they also have performances of school kids and amateur theatre clubs from the town or the region. Everything well worth seeing - and prices for tickets are ridiculously cheap: From 3 Euro or free for readings/discussions etc. over 7 Euro - 14.50 Euro for plays.
Most events take place either in the theatre (which has a tradition back to the early 19th century) or the Lessing museum.
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel
There is a market in Kamenz on Thursdays on the Market square and a side street, right next to the town hall. The relation of food/non-food was about 40/60, I'd think. Better focus on the food stalls selling the yummy local Wurst (sausages), Bratwurst, organic cheese and veggies from the region, gingerbread from Pulsnitz ... The non-food selection was more or less cheap stuff, not worth a second look.