Lusatia is a region between Mittelelbe and Mitteloder. Lower Lusatia belongs to Brandenburg, Upper Lusatia to Saxony. The name derives from the Slavic tribe of the Lusici, which means swamp dwellers. To this day, about 50,000 people of Slavic descent live in Lusatia. The Sorbs in Upper Lusatia have their own language, which is related to Czech. For centuries the Sorbs were discriminated against. Today they are recognised as an ethnic minority in Germany. The landscape of Upper Lusatia is characterised by intensive agriculture. The mountain ridges at higher altitudes are mostly wooded.
Journey through half a millennium
Those who visit the city on the Neiße embark on a journey through five hundred years of European architecture. With structures of late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau Görlitz is now considered an urban Gesamtkunstwerk. The city benefited from remaining completely intact during World War II and also from being spared from the West German postwar architectural eyesores. The old town impresses with richly decorated facades, ornate vaults and intricate painted ceilings from the various eras. Nowhere else in Germany is there such a density of masterfully restored monuments. Among the most striking buildings is the town hall from the mid-14th century.