Görlitz is located in eastern Germany on the Neisse River, which forms the border with Poland. We were impressed by the architectural wealth. Late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings can be admired. Especially the houses in the old town are fascinating with their richly decorated facades and entrance gates, ornate vaults and painted ceilings from the different eras.
In the relatively small old town, treasures from more than half a millennium of European architectural history can be discovered. The city was completely preserved during the Second World War.
Since 2004, this pedestrian bridge has connected Görlitz with its sister city Zgorzelec on the Polish side of the Neisse. The Via Regia runs over this bridge.
City tour, first impressions
We start at the Obermarkt. From left to right, the towers belong to the Church of St. Peter and Paul, the Town Hall and the Holy Trinity Church.
This baroque house on Obermarkt (No. 29) is currently being renovated.
It was built in 1718 for the Berlin linen wholesaler Wilhelm Schaumburg.
From Obermarkt we enter Brüderstrasse, which is busy with tourists, and walk towards the town hall - with its striking tower.
The Schönhof in Görlitz, dating from 1526, is one of the oldest burghers' houses that have been preserved in their original form in Germany.
Many exceptional buildings with late Gothic and Renaissance elements have been preserved in the old town of Görlitz. For example, the Biblical House in Neißstraße. Its picturesque façade depicts scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
Here we marvel at the Bible House and listen to the words of our guide.
One of the most prominent buildings in the city is the town hall, the oldest parts of which date back to the middle of the 14th century. The two dials of the hour clock on the town hall tower date from 1524.
The town hall staircase with the Annunciation pulpit, built in 1537, is famous.
The Untermarkt with the new town hall in the background.
The Görlitz hall houses are typical of the city. Their imposing cross vaults, which extend across the entire width of the entrance halls, provided space for entire horse-drawn carts. Merchants once stacked their cloth here.
View into one of the many small alleys.
Peterstrasse near the Untermarkt. The sign belongs to the Hotel Tuchmacher,
Görlitz was famous for its "cloth" and dye works.
City of Gates
On the left, a Gothic portal from around 1500, the famous Görlitz Whispering Arch (Untermarkt 22).
City of Towers
The Dicke Turm or Frauenturm is part of the historic Görlitz city fortifications. The 45 m high tower is, along with the Nikolaiturm and the Reichenbacher Turm, one of the three preserved of the formerly four large watch and defence towers of Görlitz. It is the most massive tower in the city, with walls up to 5.34 m thick in the lower part. On the tower, the city's coat of arms, granted by Emperor Sigismund, is depicted as a sandstone relief. On the left is the Mother of God Mary, on the right Saint Barbara.
City with the famous sun organ ("Sonnenorgel")
The Church of St. Peter and Paul stands directly on the banks of the Neisse, the border river to Poland. It is thus the easternmost city church in Germany and at the same time the largest house of worship as well as the place of preaching of the Bishop of Silesian Upper Lusatia.
The Sun Organ
On 12 October 1997, the restored organ was inaugurated in the town church of St. Peter and Paul in Görlitz. Exactly 300 years ago to the day, on 12 October 1697, the city of Görlitz signed a contract with the organ builder Eugenio Casparini for the construction of a new organ for St. Peter's Church, which became famous under the name "Sun Organ".
The impressive case of the organ was created in its Baroque form with elements of the Italian Renaissance by the Görlitz sculptor Johann Conrad Büchau and has been completely preserved over all the centuries. The actual organ work, however, became unplayable and was dismantled in 1926. Apart from the pipes of the 12-fold pedal mixture in the "suns", which gave the organ its name, and the stop "Onda maris" ("Sea Wave"), nothing remains of Casparini's instrument.
The Mathis company, Switzerland, was awarded the prestigious contract to redesign the organ.
We were privileged to hear a wonderful concert by the organist and cantor, Reinhard Seeliger, showing the various possibilities of this unique organ.
The Holy Sepulchre
From the St. Peter and Paul Church, a Way of the Cross leads to the Holy Sepulchre, a replica of the Jerusalem complex. Here we go to the upper Chapel of the Cross.
On the lower floor is the Adam's Chapel, ...
... the Golgotha Chapel on the upper floor.
The replica of the Holy Sepulchre.