Trip dates: August 25, 2013

Every year, our son has tennis training camp in North Bohemia, in Raspenava close to the border. The camp always starts on Sunday at noon. We took him there and had the whole afternoon free. This is ideal for a short trip, and twenty km from the border is Gorlitz. I heard a little bit about that city. When I was looking for some information, I found out that the city and whole area once belonged to the Czech Kingdom. Due this fact, the name of the city came from the Slavic word "Zhořelec" (city that burnt).
The city has two parts: the German one and the Polish one. These parts are divided by the Neisse River. The original centre of the city is the German part.
Some articles said that Gorlitz is one the most beautiful cities in Germany and that it is a favorite destination for movie makers. It aroused my curiosity.
We had lunch in Raspenava at Hotel Zámeček and we set off about 1PM to Gorlitz. The weather in the Czech Republic was not good. Despite the fact that it was summer, it was quite cold and rainy. When we crossed the border in Habartice, the weather significantly changed – no rain and the temperature was ideal for a trip. We went through Poland to Gorlitz.


When we arrived in Gorlitz, we saw an enormous amount of people and cars. We had a big problem finding a place to park. That was odd, there are usually empty streets in German cities on Sunday. 
The explanation was simple. We hit the festivities, more precisely Altstadtfest Gorlitz (old town festival) and that was great. Germans love festivals. During our travels, we often came across the local fests or celebrations. It is a favorite activity of municipalities.


We came to a lively city, which was full of stands, kiosks and street performers. The town is beautiful: nice old buildings, two squares in the city center (Obermarkt and Untermarkt) and the high St. Peter and Paul Cathedral over the Neisse. First we went through the German part. We were astonished, the city was really nice. The narrow and winding streets in the old town, the decorated houses in the perfect condition. A large main square with the historical town house and Trinity Church. This church was built in the 13 century, than here was a monastery. We visited it and it was very mysterious inside. Almost the only place where there were not a lot of people that Sunday.
Gorlitz town hall
Another interesting building close to Obermarkt is Art Nouveau department store, a historical shopping mall. It was closed at that time so we could see it only from outside, but we look forward to the next visit of Gorlitz.

Then we carried on to the cathedral and river. Around the church we met a lot of street performers and we went through Nikolai zwinger. We enjoyed great views over the river and had a rest on Hainwald, a small plaza in front of cathedral. We could see the oldest secular Gorlitz building: "Waidhaus - Renthaus" with a black facade.


After visiting the cathedral we went down to the river, we crossed the river by a bridge pedestrian and we got to Poland. There was the fest too, a lot of booths and many street performers, but only on the streets close to the river.
We left the city in the evening completely enthusiastic. That was great trip to an amazing city. Gorlitz is an inconspicuous city and it is not so famous, but it is indeed worth a visit.



Gorlitz map