Cities & Culture

A vibrant Medieval history and a shared future: Görlitz

Görlitz: town hall ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

Görlitz is the most easterly town in Germany and, for many, the most beautiful. This is perhaps not surprising when you consider that the town has over 3,500 architectural monuments spanning 500 years, most of which have been lovingly restored to wow visitors.

Görlitz is in fact split into two parts, with an eastern section in Poland called Zgorzelec, yet visitors are unable to sense a division between the two as they treat each other with laid-back warmth. As Görlitz survived World War II virtually unscathed, it has retained much of its original character. Visitors will be impressed by its Medieval influences and magnificent streets and squares from the 19th-century period. The department store on the Demianiplatz square is not just any old department store: This Art Nouveau gem has barely changed since the day it first opened.

Visitors can relive their childhood at Görlitz's Toy Museum, which features more than 4,000 toys from the Erzgebirge region, dating from 1850 to the present day. The town is also a first-class location for film-makers. In the days of East Germany, many historical films and fairytale dramatisations were shot here. Since German reunification, Görlitz has been transformed into 19th century Paris for a film, while Brad Pitt and co went on a rampage in the town for Inglourious Basterds. Some visitors would rather head to Görlitz for the rustic German cuisine. 'Zur schwarzen Kunst', a traditional inn with an open fire, atmospheric vaulted cellar and beer garden, is one place serving such dishes, where every diner is presented with a feast fit for a king.

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