Lusatia

Regional Overview

A Postcard from the Kaiser

If there was any single region in Germany that fully immersed you in the ambiance of the Wilhelmine Empire, it would be Lusatia. Lusatia was a region built on the flow of trade from East to West, and its cities flourished for centuries. In a somewhat remote corner of Europe, it was spared destruction in countless wars and offers a fully immersive tour through the ages.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • The legacy of the Via Regia and the Lusatian League in the form of Renaissance and Gothic monumental architecture.
  • Catholic Silesia and Protestant Saxony meet in Lusatia, with its Baroque cityscapes and monasteries.
  • The Cityscapes of the Industrial Revolution survived to a larger degree in this corner of Germany than anywhere else.

7.2

8

9

Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel My suggested travel destinations with the top three destinations highlighted.

What is Lusatia?

There are two parts to Lusatia, Upper, and Lower Lusatia. The greater region was only sparsely inhabited by Slavic tribes when the region was claimed by the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century. Lower Lusatia, around the city of Cottbus, would be handed to the Margraves of Brandenburg and Upper Lusatia to the Bohemian (Czech) Crown. Eventually, the region would be united under Bohemian control in the 14th century and would pass then to Saxony at the end of the 30 Years War and then to Prussia in the 19th century.

Unlike the other Slavic tribal lands along the Elbe, Lusatia was mostly uninhabited forests. German colonization of the region would only begin in the 13th century, and for the most part did not violently displace the Slavic inhabitants, as elsewhere. Today the Slavic-Speaking Sorbian minority continues to exist around the city of Bautzen.

With the arrival of the Germans and the reemergence of continental trade in the 15th century, Lusatia would grow wealthy on the trade flowing from Krakow to Paris on the Royal Road, or the Via Regia. The six major urban centers formed a league, called simply the Lusatian City League, for protection and to assert their rights at the Bohemian court. These cities, Görlitz, Bautzen, Zittau, Lauban, Löben and Kamenz form many of the most interesting destinations in the region. With the exception of Lauban, all survived the Second World War and the urban renewal campaigns of the 1970s. It is entirely possible to feel fully immersed in the cultural landscape of Lusatia.

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

7.2 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 6
  • Transportation: 8
  • Volume/Capacity: 10
  • Infrastructure: 6
  • Interactivity: 6

8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 9
  • Monuments: 8
  • Quality: 7

9 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 10
  • Tradition: 8

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Saxony

Saxony today is a diverse land focused on the families that emerged from the collapse of the Saxon tribal duchy in the early Middle Ages.

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