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?

The term Bohemian is often associated with “dark art”.

Gargoyle from the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

And if anything, this type of image is what the world sees combined with the reputation of being rebels.
But the name Bohemia itself stems from a Celtic tribe called the Boii:

Contemporary derived words include Boiorix (“king of the Boii”, one of the chieftains of the Cimbri) and Boiodurum (“gate/fort of the Boii”, modern Passau) in Germany. Their memory also survives in the modern regional names of Bohemia (Boiohaemum), a mixed-language form from boio- and Proto-Germanic *haimaz, “home”: “home of the Boii,” and ‘Bayern’, Bavaria, which is derived from the Germanic Baiovarii tribe.

In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy, with various peoples including the Boii. The Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Placentia (194 BC) and the Battle of Mutina (193 BC). After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps.


Map showing the approximate location of the Boii in Bohemia and in Italy. The contemporary La Tène Culture is indicated in green tones, the preceding Hallstatt Culture in yellow.

So let’s take a quick look at the historical affiliations of Görlitz:
Duchy of Poland 1002–1025
Kingdom of Poland 1025–1031
Margraviate of Meissen 1032–ca. 1072
Duchy of Bohemia ca. 1072–1198
Kingdom of Bohemia 1198–1253
Margraviate of Brandenburg 1253–1319
Duchy of Jawor 1319–1329
Kingdom of Bohemia 1329–1466
Kingdom of Hungary 1466–1490
Kingdom of Bohemia 1490–1635
Electorate of Saxony 1635–1697
Poland-Saxony 1697–1706
Electorate of Saxony 1706–1709
Poland-Saxony 1709–1763
Electorate of Saxony 1763–1806
Kingdom of Saxony 1806–1815
Kingdom of Prussia 1815–1871
German Empire 1871–1918
Weimar Republic 1918–1933
Nazi Germany 1933–1945
Allied-occupied Germany 1945–1949
East Germany 1949–1990
Germany 1990–present

Notice something?

Görlitz has been a part of the Kingdom of Bohemia or the Duchy of Bohemia for a total of about 463 years.

Görlitz in the 16th century

So once again:
Who are the Bohemians?
If you are from Görlitz, chances are they are inside of you. You are carrying their genes and are the heirs of this great kingdom.
And to this day you will be reminded of this history when you read the names of artists’ groups, experience Bohemian cuisine in Görlitz or visit some of the oldest buildings.
Görlitz has a lot to offer. And so does Bohemia in general. And that is why it was easy for us to come to this conclusion as all we have to do is bring our history back into the light of the present.

Stay Celtic, Görlitz!

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