Category Archives: Görlitz in History

Who are the Bohemians?

Nobody would disagree that visiting different countries gives you different experiences. But taking Germany as our example, what you are really dealing with is a nation made up of nations if you will.
Genetic testing has proven that if you go to Bavaria, there is a strong presence of Celtic DNA. In the north, the gene pool is a lot more Viking-like and when you hit the east, today’s Saxons are more likely to have also Slavic ancestry than other Germans, generally speaking.
But let’s focus our microscope on an even smaller region than Saxony:

Lusatia.

Historically, Lusatia belonged to several different countries. Being part of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown (the so-called Czech Lands) for three hundred years, alongside them it passed to the Habsburg Monarchy and from it to the Electorate of Saxony. The greater part passed to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815 and the whole region merged into Germany in 1871. After the conquest of Eastern Germany by the Soviet Army and the partition in 1945, the eastern part of Lusatia along the Lusatian Neisse river was given to Poland where the boundary is called the Oder–Neisse line.

Who are the Bohemians?
Continue reading Who are the Bohemians?

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Why is Goerlitz such a great film location?

This video has some of the actors of major motion pictures speak about what makes our city so special and such an excellent background for a great story being told on screen. Bill Murray is one of the people speaking and expressing his gratitude towards the oldest city in Germany during a break from filming Grand Budapest Hotel:

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Goerlitz: The new center of Europe

With its location being the most Eastern city of Germany and half of the city, Zgoercelec being a part of Poland, Goerlitz is the center of Europe, where East and West meet.
If you want to know what Central Europe has looked like 100s of years ago, come to Goerlitz.
One city, 10 centuries and a history covering a multitude of events and eras which Goerlitz unlike other German cities nearby, survived in one piece.
This ZDF documentary is in German, but even if you do not understand everything, you will be able to see great footage of the Altstadtfest and other events where the majors of both parts of Goerlitz, the German and the Polish side open up the festival.
You can watch the documentary here:
Goerlitz, Schatztruhe der Geschichte

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What was the World War II damage in Görlitz?

One thing making Görlitz very unique is the fact that the damage from the many wars taking place in the region was minimal. That is why to this day you can walk the streets and few monuments from the past 10 centuries.
When looking at WWII, a relatively tiny toll was taken. Here are a few examples:
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Do you recognize these places?

Seen here: Der 8. Mai 1945 in Görlitz

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Happy 100th Birthday, Kreuzkirche Görlitz!

Time flies. 100 years ago this month, Dresdner architect Rudolf Bitzan´s creation has opened its doors on March 9th, 1916.
This Sunday at 10 AM you can join the regular church service followed by countless lectures about the history of the building combining the styles of art, neoclassicism as well as a touch of modern architecture.
goerlitz kreuzkirche

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And the oldest building in Görlitz is … ?

… and what is the story behind it?
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This story was told to me by Fabian Bonig, who is not only an artist, but also the town poet who serves as a living library for anything Görlitz to everyone who is lucky enough to meet him when entering the Bone Haus on Obermarkt 26.
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So what exactly is the story?
The house, of course is the Waidhaus located next to the St. Peter´s Church facing the Neisse river.

“Waid” is referring to Färberwaid which is the German name for Isatis tinctoria, a plant used to create the color Indigo blue.

Isatis tinctoria

One of the ingredients best used to create the blue dye in addition to the leaves of woad (the common name for Isatis tinctoria), is urine.

There is a saying in Germany called “Blau machen” meaning “turn it blue”, which is commonly being used as a reference for “taking a day off” or “going out to drink”.

The Waidhaus, “or Woadhouse” was used to store the woad and back in the 12th century, when it was built, it was tradition to go drink on Sundays for the men and outside of the bar was a barrel which the patrons of the bar uninated into.

This was the urine used to help create blue dye out of the woad leaves and a new term (excuse) for getting drunk was created!

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Görlitz/Zgorzelec – Urban development from 12th to 21st century

The 3D animated trailer depicts the development of the European twin city of Görlitz/Zgorzelec from the foundation up to the present time. The phases of the city’s history are exposed layer by layer on the basis of historical maps and town views. Continue reading Görlitz/Zgorzelec – Urban development from 12th to 21st century

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Görlitz in 1933

No other German city has remained intact the way that Görlitz has, looking the same before WWII as it does today. Watch a video from 1933 and see just how our town has been blessed not being destroyed and being able to serve as a living breathing museum independently of what political situations may have ruled at one point or another:
Continue reading Görlitz in 1933

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