Located in an unassuming suburb of Hof, Fernweh Park is an eclectic collection of thousands of city and street signs from all corners of the world. The park takes its name from the German word Fernweh (literally: “far away-pain”), which is the exact opposite of homesickness (Heimweh), and means “a painful longingness to travel”—proving again that the Germans really do have a word for everything.
Fernweh Park was inspired by the Yukon’s Sign Post Forest and was opened on November 9, 1999 (the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall). This date holds a particular significance for the locals thanks to Hof’s proximity to the former East-West German border, and the park itself is dedicated to “borderless freedom” as well as the understanding between peoples.
The park began with a handful of German, Austrian, and American signs. It has since grown to a collection of more than 85,000 signs from every continent as visitors donated signs from their hometowns and travels. Highlights of the collection include the longest city sign in Europe (for llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales), a collection of signs from places with amusing names (such as Fucking, Austria), and a corner dedicated to the separation and reunification of East and West Germany.
Know Before You Go
Public transit: 10-15 minute walk from Oberkotzau train station, accessible via regular regional trains from Hof (5 minutes).