Peitz is a small town 10 km north of Cottbus on the edge of the Spree Forest and on the banks of a large system of connected lakes. The town is notable for its ancient fortress tower which has walls more than 6 m thick.
A state ironworks, whose principal products were munitions, was established at Peitz in 1554, and the extraction of bog iron ore subsequently created the lakes. The water-powered blast furnace was rebuilt in 1809-10 for King Friedrich August of Saxony, under the direction of Carl Gottlob Voigtmann, superintendent of the ironworks, who designed the highly innovative wooden roof of the casting hall, which has a span of 15 m and extends for 30 m. After the furnace was blown out in 1858 castings were made from iron melted in cupola furnaces until the works ceased operation completely in 1898.
The buildings were used by local fishing companies until 1973 when an ironworks museum was opened. Most of the buildings of the ironworks remain, including the blast furnace, two cupola furnaces, the casting hall, the moulding shop, the warehouse, some workers’ homes, and a workshop that since 2006 has housed a museum of fishing. The lake system is notable for carp, and visitors to the museums are able to take refreshment in the Karpfenclause, a characteristic fishermen’s inn.