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Panoramablick auf Görlitz, Bild: Sergey Dzyuba / shutterstock

Görlitz – welcome to “Görliwood”

There is also a Hollywood in Germany, better known as “Görliwood”. We are talking about Görlitz, the easternmost city in Germany. Thanks to the many impeccably preserved buildings from every conceivable era, it is the ideal film set. Whether Heidelberg, New York, Paris or Frankfurt – for some blockbusters, the directors have already made use of Görlitz. But what makes the city on the Neisse so special?

1. The Art Nouveau department store Görlitz

The department store in Görlitz
The department store in Görlitz, Image: Robson90 / shutterstock

This backdrop is made for Hollywood. The majestic glass dome and the many pompous chandeliers of the Art Nouveau department store in Görlitz alone make a name for themselves. The historic building near Postplatz has been decorating Görlitz’s city centre since 1903. This makes it the only surviving Art Nouveau department store in the whole of Germany today.

Wes Anderson is also taken with the magnificent fashion house in Görlitz. It is not without reason that the American director had some key scenes of his Oscar-winning film success “The Grand Budapest Hotel” filmed here.

2. The Council Pharmacy

Just as pretty to look at as the Art Nouveau department store is the Ratsapotheke. The detailed entrance gate alone is worth a visit. The colourful paintings have only been visible to others for a few years. Before that, they hid under thick masonry for many decades. In addition to the colourful paintings, the two sundials, the eye-catching, two-storey bay windows and the inscriptions on the wall of the house also attract full attention.

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3. The New Synagogue Görlitz

The New Synagogue is located near the Görlitz City Park. It is one of the few Jewish places of worship that survived the Second World War almost unscathed. Nevertheless, the impressive building by the Dresden architects William Lossow and Max Hans Kühne had to endure long restoration work. It was not until the summer of 2021 that a service took place again for the first time after an 80-year break.

When the clergy are not holding mass in the New Synagogue, the elegant gates are open to visitors to exhibitions and guided tours.

4. The Renaissance House Schönhof

In the middle of Brüderstraße, visitors come across the oldest Renaissance town house in all of Görlitz – the Schönhof. Since the 16th century, it has served the city as a representative building, but also as a hostel for high-ranking guests. Many a king has already spent the night in the magnificently decorated four walls.

The playful murals of the historic building deserve particularly high praise, as well as the wooden ceilings decorated with tendrils and flowers. But the many gables, bay windows and towers on the façade are also quite impressive. If you have a little more time on your tour of Görlitz, you can also visit the Silesian Museum. It is housed directly in the Schönhof.

5. The Museum of Cultural History

Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul, or St. Peter's Church in Görlitz for short
Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul, or St. Peter’s Church in Görlitz for short, Image: Andrew Mayovskyy / shutterstock

In the Cultural History Museum, Görlitz accommodates three of its listed buildings. One of them served as an important trading house in the 18th century.

It was not until 2011 that the building was extensively renovated. Since then, the Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences and Humanities has made an even greater impression. Equally impressive are the numerous decorative works and works of art from the Baroque.

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Another architectural highlight of the museum is the so-called Kaisertrutz. Since the 15th century, the fortress has taken its visitors on a short journey through Görlitz’s history.

6. Görlitz Zoo

Animal lovers also get their money’s worth in Görlitz. The Görlitz Zoo makes sure of that. In the spacious enclosures and wide-ranging theme worlds, there are creatures around the planet to marvel at. The Tibet Village, the first Tibetan village in Germany, is particularly well received by zoo visitors. Here you get a first feeling for the animals and people in Tibet. Between the monks’ colourfully decorated huts, typical Tibetan animals such as Yanks, camels, Cashmere goats, Tibetan pigs and porcupines cavort.

But the Lusatia Valley is also well visited. Here, visitors meet all kinds of animals from the region. From raccoons to otters to whooper swans, everything is included. A particularly authentic insight into the regional animal world is provided at the show feedings. The keepers impart valuable background knowledge and get up close and personal with the inhabitants of the Lausnitz Valley.

6. The Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall has settled directly on Görlitz’s Untermarkt. Even from the outside, the stately façade in Renaissance style delights. If you want to go high, climb the town hall tower. From the top you have a unique view of the whole of “Görliwood”.

The oldest parts of the Görlitz town hall date back to the 14th century. Just as worth seeing is the decorative outdoor staircase from the 15th century, just like the two art chests on the tower. Since 1584, the two chests have not left their place