Görlitz Photos. Summer was winding down in Berlin, and life was pretty stressful. I wasn’t sleeping or eating much, and as I hadn’t travelled anywhere in months, all I wanted to do was get away from everything and take a day just for myself.
I had no greater desire than to experience somewhere new, walk through picturesque streets, gaze at old-world architecture, and as always, take tons of photos. After all, it was one of the reasons I’d moved to Europe!
Just like when I went on a day trip to Schwerin last spring, I woke up early one Saturday morning, jumped on a train, and headed to a city that I’d wanted to visit for the longest time: Görlitz, Germany.
Görlitz, with a population of around 50,000 people, is Germany’s easternmost city, and I’d venture to say, one of the prettiest!
Having withstood the Second World War without sustaining any significant damage, the architecture of Görlitz, most notably the historic Old Town, remains intact. With over 3,500 various monuments that were built over the course of 500 years, you’ll see an abundance of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance, baroque, historicist, and art nouveau.
While the city’s beauty suffered during the Soviet occupation, massive restoration efforts took place after the fall of the Berlin Wall through generous wealth transfers from the West and also a private donation of $650,000 US from an anonymous donor. Some believe that it was actually Nicolas Cage who donated the cash, as he’s known to be such a huge fan of Görlitz!
The city’s classic beauty was even noticed by Hollywood, garnering it with the nickname “Görliwood” after movies like The Reader, The Book Thief, Grand Budapest Hotel, Around the World in 80 Days, and Inglourious Basterds were filmed there.
As the Old Town is quite small, it’s easy to explore and get lost in the narrow alleys and cobblestoned streets to experience Görlitz’s history.
The city impresses you from the moment you step off the train. This is the art nouveau interior of the main train station, which opened in 1917.
This was just the start of my many Görlitz photos.
After you exit the main train station, you’ll walk along Berlinerstr. toward the Old Town and find many old- and new-styled trams passing you along the way.
The city dazzles you with its attention to small details, especially when it comes to doors. You’ll certainly get your fill of “door porn” as you wander through the streets of Görlitz.
If the doors fail to impress you, the facades of the various buildings definitely will.
There are many cathedrals that you can enter and museums that you can visit in Görlitz, but on this day, the only thing I did was walk, walk, and walk some more.
I joyously let myself get lost and ended up not even using the city map I’d purchased at the main train station. I stopped often, snapped more and more Görlitz photos, and appreciated my surroundings.
It was therapeutic to wander those charming and beautiful streets, and it was exactly what I needed to alleviate my stress.
The Old Bridge to Zgorzelec, Poland
One of the coolest things you can do while in Görlitz is walk across the Old Bridge to Zgorzelec, Poland. The Polish city was actually part of Görlitz until 1945.
I did a quick border run and went across to Zgorzelec to buy some fruity Polish beer for the train ride home that night.
You know me, I’ll journey all the way to Poland just for beer and pierogies, just like the last time I went to Szczecin.
Good to Know
- If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of Berlin like me, Görlitz is just over three hours away from the capital by car or train. You can travel there cheaply by a regional train – check the options.
- My other favourite day-trip options from Berlin are Braunschweig, Germany; Schwerin, Germany; and Szczecin, Poland.
- There is not much to see and do in Zgorzelec, but as Lonely Planet advises, it’s a great place to grab cheap cigarettes and vodka (or in my case, fruity beer).
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