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Görlitz (Zgorzelec in Polish, Zhorjelc in Sorbian) is the easternmost city in Germany and is thus one of the “tip communities”. The city on the Neisse is the historical center of the Lower Silesian Upper Lusatia, today it belongs to Saxony.

Görlitz was hardly destroyed in the Second World War, which is why the architectural development - from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to Baroque and Wilhelminian style to Art Nouveau - can be read more clearly here than in any other German city. Many historical buildings have been restored in an exemplary manner. The city owes its international fame as a location for period films and the nickname “Görliwood” to this fact.


Conflicts repeatedly changed the cityscape. The originally existing Yzcorelik Castle no longer exists, and in 1429 some suburbs were burned during the Hussite War. In the late 15th century, the city grew rich, which can still be seen today in numerous buildings. But the Thirty Years 'War and later the Seven Years' War also left their mark on the city.

In the 19th century, industrialization began in Niederlausitz as well. Görlitz was supplied with a rail connection to Dresden and later also with a connection to the line to Berlin and Breslau.

The memorial for the victims of the Biesnitzer Grund concentration camp. commemorates the approximately 400 inmates of a satellite camp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp. You were forced to work here in the railway wagon construction.

Görlitz was far less affected by the destruction of World War II than most German cities. After the war, the Neisse became the border river between the GDR and Poland, the smaller eastern part of the city was added to Poland and has since formed the independent Zgorzelec. Since Poland joined the EU in 2004 and the old town bridge was reopened at the same time, the two parts have been more closely linked again and there are numerous cross-border initiatives and areas of cooperation.

Many of the city's valuable architectural monuments fell into disrepair during the GDR era. After the fall of the Wall and reunification, however, most of them were renovated in accordance with historical monuments. This was partly financed by the so-called "Altstadtmillion": An anonymous donor transferred one million D-Marks every year from 1995 (or 511,500 euros after the currency change) to the city of Görlitz for the restoration of the old town. In 2016, the annual payment was discontinued.

As early as the 1950s, Görlitz served as a backdrop for a number of DEFA films (e.g. Der Ochse von Kulm, 1955). After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hollywood productions were added. The main reasons for this are the well-preserved historical cityscape with buildings from different epochs of cultural history, the lack of "building sins" and annoying neon signs from more recent times, as well as the fact that Görlitz is a fairly quiet city in which sets can be locked off relatively easily and the actors are far less besieged by the curious. For example, scenes for In 80 Days Around the World (2004), Der Vorleser (2008), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Grand Budapest Hotel, Monuments Men (both 2014), Der Hauptmann (2017), Werk ohne Autor (2018) were recorded in Görlitz. as well as the television series Wolfsland (since 2016) filmed. Special city tours to the film city of Görlitz (or “Görliwood”) take visitors to the locations.