Goerlitz stadtansicht.jpg
Görlitz, Frenzelhof (Untermarkt 5).jpg
Görlitz - Landeskrone (Reichenbacher Turm) 01 ies.jpg
From top: View over Görlitz,
inside Görlitz Department Store, Untermarkt (market square),
Landeskrone (Sedło) mountain, Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences (Oberlausitzische Bibliothek der Wissenschaften)
Coat of arms of Görlitz
Coat of arms
Location of Görlitz
Görlitz is located in Germany
Görlitz is located in Saxony
Coordinates: 51°09′10″N 14°59′14″E / 51°09′10″N 14°59′14″E / 51.15278; 14.98722

Görlitz ([ˈɡœɐ̯lɪts] (About this soundlisten); Upper Lusatian dialect: Gerlz, Gerltz, and Gerltsch, Polish: Zgorzelec, Upper Sorbian: Zhorjelc, Lower Sorbian: Zgórjelc, Czech: Zhořelec) is a town in the German federal state of Saxony. Located in the region of Lusatia on the Lusatian Neisse River, it is the second largest town of Lusatia after Cottbus, and the largest in Upper Lusatia. Seat of the district of Görlitz, Germany's easternmost district, its approximately 56,000 inhabitants also make Görlitz the sixth largest town of the Free State of Saxony. It lies opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was part of Görlitz until 1945. While not Lusatiophone itself, the town lies just east of the Sorbian-speaking parts of Lusatia.

From 1815 until 1918, Görlitz belonged to the Province of Silesia in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later to the Province of Lower Silesia in the Free State of Prussia. It is the largest town of the former Province of Lower Silesia that lies west of the Oder-Neisse line and hence remains in Germany today. Thus it is both the most Silesian town, in terms of character, and the largest in Germany today. The town combines Lusatian and Silesian traditions as well as German and Sorbian culture. Görlitz has a rich architectural heritage. Many movie-makers have used the various sites as locations.[2]


Historical affiliations

Duchy of Poland 1002–1025
Kingdom of Poland 1025–1031
Margraviate of Meissen 1032–ca. 1072
Duchy of Bohemia ca. 1072–1198
 Kingdom of Bohemia 1198–1253
Margraviate of Brandenburg 1253–1319
Duchy of Jawor 1319–1329
 Kingdom of Bohemia 1329–1466
Kingdom of Hungary 1466–1490
 Kingdom of Bohemia 1490–1635
 Electorate of Saxony 1635–1697
Poland-Saxony 1697–1706
 Electorate of Saxony 1706–1709
Poland-Saxony 1709–1763
 Electorate of Saxony 1763–1806
Kingdom of Saxony 1806–1815
 Kingdom of Prussia 1815–1871
 German Empire 1871–1918
 Weimar Republic 1918–1933
 Nazi Germany 1933–1945
 Allied-occupied Germany 1945–1949
 East Germany 1949–1990
 Germany 1990–present

The Landeskrone, literally "land's crown", the local mountain of Görlitz, as seen from Zgorzelec

As a small Sorbian village named Gorelic in the region of Upper Lusatia in the March of Lusatia of the Holy Roman Empire, it was temporarily conquered and held by the Kingdom of Poland during Bolesław I Chrobry's invasion of Lusatia between 1002 and 1031, after which the region fell back to the March of Lusatia under the counts of the Margraviate of Meissen. Around 1072 the village was assigned to the duchy of Bohemia. The date of the town's foundation is unknown. However, Goreliz was first mentioned in a document from the King of Germany, and later Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV in 1071. This document granted Görlitz to the Diocese of Meissen, then under Bishop Benno of Meissen. Currently, this document can be found in the Saxony State Archives in Dresden.[3] The origin of the name Görlitz is derived from the Slavic word for "burned land",[4] referring to the technique used to clear land for settlement. Zgorzelec and Czech Zhořelec have the same derivation. In the 13th century the village gradually became a town. Due to its location on the Via Regia, an ancient and medieval trade route, the settlement prospered.

In the following centuries Görlitz was a wealthy member of the Lusatian League, which consisted of Bautzen, Görlitz, Kamenz, Lauban, Löbau and Zittau. In 1352 during the reign of Casimir the Great, Lusatian German colonists from Görlitz founded the town of Gorlice in southern Poland near Kraków.

Görlitz in the 16th century

The Protestant Reformation came to Görlitz in the early 1520s and by the last half of the 16th century, it and the surrounding vicinity, became almost completely Lutheran.

After suffering for years in the Thirty Years' War, the region of Upper Lusatia (including Görlitz) was ceded to the Electorate of Saxony in 1635. After the Napoleonic Wars, the 1815 Congress of Vienna transferred the town from the Kingdom of Saxony to the Kingdom of Prussia. Görlitz was subsequently administered within the Province of Silesia, and, after World War I, the Province of Lower Silesia, until 1945.

Near the end of World War II, German troops destroyed all bridges crossing the Lusatian Neisse. The redrawing of boundaries in 1945—in particular the relocation of the German-Polish border to the present Oder-Neisse line—divided the town. The right bank became part of Poland and was renamed Zgorzelec by the Polish communist government in 1948, while the main portion on the left bank remained part of Germany, now within the state of Saxony. When the East German states were dissolved in 1952, Görlitz became part of the Dresden District, but the states were restored upon German reunification in 1990.

On 27 June 1994, the town became the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Görlitz, but it remains a Lutheran Protestant stronghold.

In 2002 Lake Berzdorf, located south of Görlitz, began to flood. The Altstadtbrücke (literally old town bridge) between Görlitz and sister city Zgorzelec was rebuilt between 2003 and 2004. It was officially opened on 20 October 2004. As soon as Poland signed the Schengen Agreement (20 December 2007), movement between the two banks of the river again became unrestricted, since border controls were eliminated. Indeed, users of the new pedestrian bridge are not told by any signs that they are leaving one country and entering another.

Whilst the town was well preserved, it was notably grey and colourless under communist East German rule. Since reunification, and as of 2013, over 700 buildings have been renovated. It is a popular place to which the elderly of Germany retire, being quiet and relatively affordable by German standards. Its tourist potential is rapidly expanding, being very much an eastern counterpart to towns such as Heidelberg.[citation needed] In the case of Görlitz, much of the funding for the renovations of the towns buildings comes from an anonymous donor, who, from 1995 onward, has sent an annual donation of over 500,000, totalling over €10,000,000.[5]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Görlitz
العربية: غورليتس
تۆرکجه: قرلیتز
башҡортса: Гёрлиц
беларуская: Гёрліц
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гёрліц
български: Гьорлиц
brezhoneg: Görlitz
català: Görlitz
čeština: Görlitz
dansk: Görlitz
Deutsch: Görlitz
dolnoserbski: Zgórjelc
eesti: Görlitz
Ελληνικά: Γκέρλιτς
español: Görlitz
Esperanto: Görlitz
euskara: Görlitz
فارسی: گرلیتز
français: Görlitz
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Görlitz
한국어: 괴를리츠
hornjoserbsce: Zhorjelc
Bahasa Indonesia: Görlitz
italiano: Görlitz
עברית: גרליץ
Basa Jawa: Görlitz
ქართული: გერლიცი
қазақша: Гёрлиц
Кыргызча: Гөрлиц
latviešu: Gerlica
lietuvių: Giorlicas
magyar: Görlitz
македонски: Герлиц
Bahasa Melayu: Görlitz
Nederlands: Görlitz
日本語: ゲルリッツ
norsk: Görlitz
norsk nynorsk: Görlitz
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Görlitz
پنجابی: گورلٹز
Piemontèis: Görlitz
polski: Görlitz
português: Görlitz
română: Görlitz
русский: Гёрлиц
Scots: Görlitz
Simple English: Görlitz
slovenčina: Görlitz
ślůnski: Görlitz
српски / srpski: Герлиц
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Görlitz
suomi: Görlitz
svenska: Görlitz
татарча/tatarça: Гөрлиц
Türkçe: Görlitz
українська: Герліц
Tiếng Việt: Görlitz
Volapük: Görlitz
Winaray: Görlitz
粵語: 哥利茲
中文: 格尔利茨