Friday, July 12, 2013

Walking from Poland to Germany: Zgorzelec to Görlitz

Can you say you have walked from Poland to Germany - and back again? Well, if you visit the Polish - German border towns of Zgorzelec and Görlitz you can. Once, the same city, they are now divided by Lusatian Neisse River: one side Poland, the other side Germany.

Entering Gorlitz, Germany
Leaving Gorlitz, Germany
Entering Zgorzelec
Lusatian Neisse River dividing the two countries and cities
For anyone in Wroclaw looking for a day trip, this is a great day getaway. It is about 1 hour 45 minutes, to 2 hour drive from the city center. We parked on the Polish side and walked across the river to Germany. They have two bridges you can easily walk from one side the next.

It is interesting to see the two different cities which feel very different even though not that long ago - they were one in the same - and are just steps away from each other. There is definitely more to see and do in Gorlitz: from shopping, to cafes, to city sites. It is a beautiful small city, very clean and charming. Zgorzelec is more run down but they have a beautiful walk way along the river - which easily will place you at either of the bridges. It would be a shame to see one and not the other.

Park as you enter Gorlitz

Dicker Turm (Frauenturm)

Peterskirche Church (St. Peter)
An old wall in Gorlitz

Nikolaiturm- a look out tower
Entrance to a pretty park near the Nikolaiturm. It will walk you all the way to the St. Peter church
The park on the way to the church
View from behind the church
View from behind the church
A square in Gorlitz

The Bible House in Gorlitz
Fountain in Gorlitz
Butcher shop in Gorlitz
Sister buildings in Gorlitz: One has been renovated and the other not. Pretty crazy to see the difference.
Not renovated
Pretty tree in Gorlitz
Run down apartment in Zgorzelec
Pretty river walk in Zgorzelec
Both of these towns are great for a day of walking. One cool fact about Gorlitz: "Due to the historical parts of the city, many movie-makers have used the various sites as backgrounds. Today the most prominent example is Quentin Tarantino who shot the movie-in-a-movie Stolz der Nation (Pride of the Nation) for Inglourious Basterds (which incidentally purports to be Sicily) on the Untermarkt and Obermarkt in Görlitz' oldest parts of the city." 

Travelers Note: We drove from Wroclaw but also consider the train. It makes two stops: one in Poland, one in Germany. A nice way to get there if you don't have a car. It's the same fast train headed to Dresden - so maybe even consider a stop there on your way to Dresden for a day/half day excursion.

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