Plauen is located in Saxony in the eastern part of the country near the border of Bavaria and Czech Republic. In the 1930s, Plauen hosted the first chapter of the Nazi Party outside of Bavaria, and about 75% of the city was destroyed during World War II. During the division of Germany, Plauen fell into East Germany. Plauen was also the site of some of the earliest and most significant peaceful demonstrations against the socialist regime in 1989, which helped lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The city of Plauen is well known for its lace production that began in the late 19th century. The lace is highly regarded throughout the world due to its quality. At the Plauen Lace Museum, the only lace museum in Germany, visitors can learn about the lace and embroidery industry and how it has developed over time. Plauen is also home to the Alte Elsterbrücke, the oldest bridge in Saxony, and the Friedensbrücke, the largest stone arch bridge in the world.