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Interesting NPR article on Görlitz

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/09/776518303/the-berlin-wall-fell-and-thousands-left-this-east-german-city-now-some-are-retur

An interesting NPR article on Görlitz and its rejuvenation, on this, the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I knew The Grand Budapest Hotel had been shot there, but didn't know about Inglourious Basterds. The new mayor says he's hoping to build train connections to Berlin and Prague.

Posted by
2933 posts

Thanks for the link , Allison . It is , indeed , a beautiful place . I have my doubts as to whether direct rail links are practical , since the connection to Gorlitz is a direct route from Dresden ( ALEX train ) . Creating a line from Berlin , and / or Prague to Gorlitz would form a hypotenuse of a triangle between them , not saving much travel time over the existing routing . This would be unlikely to justify the massive expense of the construction of the rail lines . The place is well worth a visit , we loved it ..

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Nice story, indeed. Not always correct, but no major flaws. Btw, not only the government provided money to restore the city, there was a lot of private money involved, too. And there was the anonymous person, of course, who - for more than a dozen years - gave one million DM, later the equivalent in Euro, every year for the restoration of the old town.

It is the Trilex, not ALEX, train that connects Dresden and Görlitz. There is already a railroad between Görlitz and Berlin and Görlitz and Prague which is served by regional trains (one change in Cottbus for Berlin, more changes for Prague). The problem - and that what the mayor meant - is that it is not electrified. That will cost a lot of money. At least the connection with Berlin will probably be upgraded in not so far future. The federal government gives some billion Euro to the Lausitz region (where Görlitz is) as compensation for the end of the coal mining industry there. This money will be used for better infrastructure (e.g. railroads.)

Posted by
2933 posts

Sorry about that , it is indeed Trilex , I guess a bit of dyslexia on my part ( very bad pun intended ; -- )

Posted by
1878 posts

I was in Goerlitz in May 2019 and it was great! Not a huge amount to do there, it provided a perfect vacation from my vacation spliced in between Krakow and Dresden. Walking the town is the main sight. If this town was in the U.S. I would consider retiring there.

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12086 posts

If one is into Prussian-German history, the museum on Silesia (Schlesien Museum) is located in Gorlitz, another incentive for my going there.

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865 posts

I was in Goerlitz in May 2019 and it was great! Not a huge amount to
do there, it provided a perfect vacation from my vacation spliced in
between Krakow and Dresden. Walking the town is the main sight. If
this town was in the U.S. I would consider retiring there.

Görlitz was actually a retirement city in the 19th century. That's why the 19th century quarters are so huge and posh (for a provincial city). Görlitz was on the train route from Berlin to Silesia and the Silesian mountains, where the Hohenzollerns and the Prussian nobility spent their summers. And before Prussian times Görlitz was on one of the main medieval trade routes, the Via Regia, which connected Western Germany/Europe and Eastern Germany/Poland.

Görlitz always connected East and West. But since 1945 this role doesn't work anymore. Economically this part of Germany is just a transit region between the economic centres of Western Germany and the special economic zones of Poland, and touristically the routes changed too. People travel from North to South, fom Berlin to Prague/Vienna/Budapest via Dresden, or vice versa. Görlitz' hinterland on the now Polish side is unknown and touristically not attractive anymore. The area where the Prussian nobility spent their summers for example, with 40 castles and palaces, several large English landscape parks, one medieval town (Jelenia Gora, formerly Hirschberg) and several cute villages, was largely destroyed between 1950 and 1980. Even today most buildings aren't landmarked, since you have to prove a connection to Poland, which is difficult in former German regions.

That's why the mayor favors a North-South connection. Which sadly ignores the fact that Germany, and the state of Saxony, where Görlitz is located, plan a faster connection between Dresden and Prague (a tunnel through the Ore Mountains to bypass the Elbe valley), which would stengthen to North- South connection from Berlin to Prague via Dresden.