Strolling down the streets of Bautzen

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Ever since I’ve learnt at school about Bautzen and the whole Lusatia region I knew I wanted to go there. I just couldn’t really explain why but well, sometimes it happens. I have the huge urge to visit a particular place for no reason – it was the same with Heidelberg or Siena. This feeling got even stronger after I saw Bautzen from the Wrocław – Dresden train’s window couple of years ago. High spires, red roofs and colourful houses looked like from a fairy tale. I knew I had to visit it eventually!


The opportunity appeared in mid-November when bohun came up with the idea of visiting the area where Polish, Czech and German borders meet. I enthiusastically agreed but only on one condition – we’ll go to Bautzen too. It’s really convinient to travel in that part of Europe thanks to the Euro-Nysa ticket that allows you to travel all day long, using trains, buses and cities public transport on a pretty big area of Poland, Germany and Czech Republic – and if the ticket is bought in Poland it costs only 25PLN=6€. And so it wasn’t a problem at all to include Bautzen in our itinerary for the day.


Located 50kms from Polish border Bautzen is a typical German picturesque small town. It has an old castle (that dates back to 10th century), a cathedral, big town hall, main street with colourful old houses and couple of other worth-seeing buildings. But the most interesting fact about it is that Bautzen is the capital of Upper Lusatia – the area that has been inhabited by Sorbian Slavic minority since 7th century. These days only about 20% inhabitants belong to that group but they try very hard to keep their language and tradition alive. The city is billingual and not only all the signs are in both languages, German and Lusatian, but you can actually hear the Slavonic language on the street (it’s like a mix of Polish and Czech). There’s a Lusatian newspaper, radio, theatre and house of culture.


But like all the other east German towns Bautzen seemed to be empty… ok, maybe Saturday morning wasn’t the best time to visit and judge but even with the Christmas market on the main square there were not that many people around. But the city is really adorable, with narrow, cobbled streets, interesting and beautiful buildings and old times charm. It’s somewhere in between German and Slavonic culture and that’s what makes it so special. It makes a perfect half day trip from Wrocław or Dresden – strolling down the streets, especially in a warm sunny day, is a great gateaway from the nearby busy cities. I’m so glad I finally went there and if only I have a chance to go back – I wouldn’t hesitate, if only to dig more into Lusatian culture that seems to fascinate me more and more…


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If you think of visiting Germany or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!

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