Görlitz is the easternmost city in Germany, and in contrast to most other historical German cities, it wasn’t severely destroyed during World War II. After Reunification, Görlitz emerged from under communist East German rule well preserved, but notably grey and colourless.
Today, the town’s rich European architectural heritage (late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Historicist, Art Nouveau), provides a chronicle spanning five centuries in stone. Friend Frank from Berlin drove down to meet us, and arranged for Eva, a local guide to walk us through the old town. It’s fascinating for us not only to see buildings with richly decorated facades, arches and frescoed ceilings from different epochs, but to understand the historical aspects.
Eva tells us stories that bring the past of Görlitz to life, The town was strategically located on the east west trade route from Santiago to Kiev, and the north south from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean.
The old town of Görlitz has also drawn much popular interest from a surprising source – movie-making, Inglorious Basterds’ with Brad Pitt (which purports to be in Sicily) was shot here, as were ‘The Book Thief’ and ‘The Reader’. The town was used as the primary shooting location for the film ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ with Görlitz standing in for a resort in the fictional East.
Expiring under century temperatures, it was cold beers for everyone at the Dreibeininger Hund, where we ended up for a local pub lunch – before driving south in the Czech Republic, to Prague.