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.
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.
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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