FriedensstraÃ?e 23, Zittau, 2763, de
More about Zittau
RRRRRing ... More coffee, please!
Haberkorn monument - tap water!
Travel Tips for Zittau
Father aparently knows best
Though the entire town was pretty devoid of tourists especially on this very chilly mid-week winter visit, once you got out of the center, you really had the place to yourself. The cemetery was particularly empty and was in the perfect position to reap the full benefits of the setting winter sun. Sometimes you lead and other times you follow. I tend to do a lot of the former but I am not too full of myself to not know a good ride when I see one. When you marry into a family that speaks a language foreign to your own you have to learn to listen closely, even if you don’t understand a lot of what is being said. When my father-in-law dragged me to Görlitz last year I saw Bautzen en route and thought he’d missed the point entirely. I was proven wrong when his choice turned out to be even better. Wanting to head to Bautzen on a subsequent trip he again came up with another unheard of to me town called Zittau. Who was I to argue, he’d already shown me he knew a thing or two about getting off the beaten path. So, I succumbed to his choice as long as we could stop in at mine on our way. Oh, and of course, I had some beery plans to spring into action when it came time to eat. Unfortunately the brewery I had chosen for Bautzen was closed for renovations and Zittau didn’t seem to present itself with much according to my beer guide. My father-in-law had spent time working in Zittau when it was still the GDR so we gave into his restaurant selection and were pleasantly surprised to find what was obviously a great little beer hall in its day. It had gone a bit upscale but still retained much of its glory day charm. Not only was the food excellent but I even found a very tasty beer I’d never hear of before. It led us to a local beer store where I found more from the same brewery. As it turned out the beers were better than those of Bautzen. I can’t exactly say my father-in-law knew this in advance but at the same time I was man enough to admit he had been right once again.
As you may know the economy is weak in Germany at the moment. Last year the government decided to cut expenses for social security ... the reform was called Hartz IV.
Demonstrations were starting all over Germany, especially in the East. Soon these demonstrations took place on Mondays - the organising folks (mostly unions and left parties) tried to get the image of successors of the demonstrations which initiated the fall of the wall in 1989. A ridiculous idea.
Well, this is not the place for debating politics ... I just want to let you know that - surprisingly for me - these demonstrations still take place in Zittau (and probably some other German cities). I happened to be in Zittau on a Monday in July 2005 and did not trust my eyes when I saw about 100 or so people on this (peaceful) demonstration, walking through the city centre and protesting against these reforms.
According to my in-laws, Lusatia is well known for this particular style of surrounding structure around windows. They must have stopped at ten places as we left town so I could take photos. Unfortunately, the sun had already gone below the horizon so the light wasn't so great. I didn't have the heart to tell them I didn't need to stop for every one of them. I won't bore you with more than a couple! ;)
The Marstall, also called Salzhaus, is a huge building which dominates the "Neustadt" square (east from the town hall). The Marstall was built 1511 (3 floors height). In the 18th century another floor was added plus the huge roof construction.
After long years of decay it was finally reconstructed in 2004. The result is absolutely worth seeing. On the ground floor you find a sort of passage with several shops, bakery and restaurant. The second floor houses a hairdresser and offices, while the two upper floors are occupied by the public library of Zittau. Please visit this library! The rooms are so wonderful - a perfect combination of old and new - and they have a huge selection of books, plenty about history and architecture stuff.
This is another of the buildings that were erected at the circle around the old town where the former city walls had been. 1846-48 Carl August Schramm, a student of Schinkel, designed the building in the tradition of Schinkel's famous Bauakademie in Berlin.
Outside Schramm used elements of Tudor gothic style. The facade appears quite ornate: Above the main entrance are symbols for Mathematics and compass, angle, perpendicular for architecture. Take a closer look also at the pattern of the roof tiles and the plaster sgraffito.
Since 1990 the building is home of the adult education centre.