kamila

Can’t live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Görlitz – the hidden gem of East Germany

Probably not many of you have ever heard of the German city Görlitz. I also used to pictured it for a very long time only as a border town with Poland. But since I’ve figured it appeared in the 2004 version of “Around the world in 80 days” (the one with Jackie Chan) as a very convincing version of old Paris I realized it’s a city that is worth a visit. I also had a picture in my head of the celebrations after Poland joined European Union in 2004 – the main event then took place on the bridge between Polish city Zgorzelec and Görlitz and a majestic cathedral could be seen in the background, on the German side of the Lusatian Neisse river.

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So when I’ve decided to go for the weekend trip and explore places just outside the south-west border of Poland I just knew I have to include Görlitz in my itinerary. After few hours of discovering Bautzen I arrived at the beautiful train station that dates back to the middle of XIX century. That was a really good start in the new city! The old fashioned tram took me to the center that I really liked from the very first moment. Beautiful houses with red rooftops and narrow, cobbled streets with arches above them are definitely my thing. Görlitz is one of the very few cities in that part of Europe that weren’t damaged during World War II hence it’s rich in monuments and buildings in various architectural styles. There’re XIIth century churches, XVIth century town hall or XIXth century department store.

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What makes Görlitz even more special is that it takes only crossing the bridge and you’re in another country, Poland. Zgorzelec and Görlitz used to be one city but after the Potsdam Conference Lusatian Neisse became a border river and the city was divided. All the beauty and glory stayed on German side whereas Polish part consisted mostly of suburbs and now it’s just the average city with lots of post-communism blocks. But the riverside there is pretty and it’s definitely worth crossing the bridge to admire the old town on the German side. Besides it’s an unique place that gives you the sense of united Europe – there are not many places out there that used to be one city and now are kind of back together.

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Sadly due to the really bad economic situation too many inhabitants moved out from Görlitz and the city feels way too empty. The city is known from ridiculously low rent prices and these days it’s actually cheaper to live there than on the other side of the river, in Zgorzelec. When I was there it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon yet there were very few people in the city, enjoying the last pretty days of the year (it was mid-November). And that’s what it lacked for me – the feeling of the lively place. Still I believe it’s one of the hidden gems of East Germany that shouldn’t be missed. It makes a great day trip from Dresden or Wrocław (especially when combined with Bautzen) or a perfect stop when travelling between these two great cities.

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For more pictures of Görlitz check my Picasa galery.

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5 Kwi '13

There are 2 Comments.

  1. lee hamilton
    20:26 14/04/2015

    Wow looks such a lovely place.I think that’s another place at sometime I will pencil it in.I agree it might lack being a lively place but sometimes that’s nice,I rally love and enjoy reading all the places you have been being a fellow traveller.the more I travel the more I want to see.

    • kami
      11:39 29/04/2015

      thanks! I think you’d enjoy Goerlitz as well, it’s just so stunning and so off the path! And actually the lack of crowds really help there!

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