Zittau Things to Do

  • city hall
    city hall
    by christine.j
  • Things to Do
    by christine.j
  • Town hall
    Town hall
    by yumyum

Best Rated Things to Do in Zittau

  • yumyum's Profile Photo

    Klosterkirche

    by yumyum Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Klosterkirche

    In 1244 a Franciscan monastery was founded. The monastery and its church were built from 1260-90. With the death of the last monk after 310 years the monastery closed in 1554. From 1658-62 the church was renewed with a baroque interior. During the 7 year war Zittau was mostly destroyed but the church survived almost intact.

    Today, the Klosterkirche is a lutheran church.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • yumyum's Profile Photo

    Johanniskirche

    by yumyum Updated Mar 29, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Johanniskirche

    The Johannis church was originally built around 1230 as basilica in Roman style. During the 7 year war the town was destroyed on 23rd July 1757 by Austrian troops.

    The new church was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and was inaugurated on 23rd July 1837.

    The south tower got its previous appearance back like in 1709 and the north tower got a classicistic appearance and this 60 m tower can be climbed in order to get a good view over the town.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • yumyum's Profile Photo

    Rathaus (Town hall)

    by yumyum Written Mar 29, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Town hall

    The town hall was built from 1840-45 in the neo-renaissance style after the plans from Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1791-1841). It is located on the Marktplatz where you will also find a lovely fountain which was wrapped up for winter when we visited.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    The Large Lenten Cloth

    by christine.j Written May 21, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    in the churchyard

    From the late Middle Ages on lenten cloths were used to hide the altar during lent, so that the eyes should also fast. The large lenten cloth of Zittau is from 1472 and shows the stories of the bible in 90 pictures. In my mind this is no fasting for the eyes, but rather a feast.

    It is really big, 8,20 meter high and 6,80 meter wide. It was used for 200 years until 1672, after this nobody knew what had happened to it. Since there had been a fire in Zittau, it was thought to have been burnt. But in 19th century it was rediscovered, hidden behind some shelves in a library. After WWII it was used by Sowiet soldiers as part of a steam sauna.Finally in 1994 it was restored and hung up in ZIttau again in 1996.

    It is magnificent, truly a reason to come to Zittau. It is kept in the church of the holy cross.
    The church itself is also worth looking at, with medieval frescoes and carvings.
    We were the only tourists, bought our tickets at the ticket/gift shop, then a guide led us through the churchyard into the church. We got audiophones which told us the story and explained the cloth, all the time the guide was waiting in the back of the church.

    A word of warning: It is really cold inside, so bring a jacket.Our guide stopped on the way to get her coat.
    Picture taking is not allowed.

    The churchyard is also very interesting, with old tombstones which are very withered. And as almost everywhere in Zittau: Watch out for the crows when walking on the churchyard.

    Entrance fee is 4 Euro, but a combi ticket for both the lenten cloths is 5 Euro.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    The Small Lenten Cloth

    by christine.j Written May 21, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outside the museum

    The small lenten cloth is about 100 years younger, it was made in 1573. It is the only lenten cloth which was commissioned by a protestant church and shows the crucifixion scene.It is displayed in the museum Franziskanerkloster.

    It is one of only seven of its kind worldwide, something very special. As with the large lenten cloth, no picture taking is allowed. We got an audio guide, sat down in a darkened room and watched the cloth, listening to the explanations. Again we were the only tourists there.I suppose in summer there are some more tourists, Zittau certainly deserves it.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Rathaus & Marktplatz

    by richiecdisc Updated May 26, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the rathaus dominates the main square

    The city's original Gothic Town Hall burned down in 1757, little aside from the town's 1533 crest was salvaged. The newer version was built in the 1840s and stands as the ornate centerpiece of the main square that resembles towns in the nearby Czech Republic more so than Germany.

    Related to:
    • Beer Tasting
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Church of the Holy Cross

    by german_eagle Updated Jan 7, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Church of the Holy Cross with tombs
    3 more images

    The Church of the Holy Cross was built in the 14th century and its shape has not changed since 1410. Have a look at the Gothic vaults (Bohemian influence - only one, central pillar!), altar and pulpit from 1654 and the statues of Maria and Johannes from 1450, the oldest wood-carved figures of Zittau. Well worth to see are also the Gothic frescos in the main nave.

    Since 1999 this church is home of the Big Lenten Cloth. (Admission fee see separate tip)

    Absolutely stunning are the tombs and burial vaults on the church's cemetary. Their styles are Renaissance, Baroque, Roccoco and Classicism. I like in particular the Baroque burial vaults with tuscan pillars, iron-wrought gates and beautiful sculptures.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Petri-Pauli church

    by german_eagle Updated Jan 7, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Petri-Pauli church
    4 more images

    The Petri-Pauli church, the former Franciscan convent's church, is with its tall and very slender tower (70 m) another landmark of Zittau. The church was built in 1480 in Gothic style, later several additions were made.

    A specialty are the Baroque boxes at the southern side of the church. They were built by Patricians from Zittau between 1696 and 1748 in Baroque style. The most beautiful is the box of the Noack family.

    The interior of the church is mostly Baroque. Remarkable are the altar (1668/69) by local artists and paintings by a Dresden artist and the pulpit (same time, same local artists). Once inside you may also take notice of the beautiful epitaphs commemorating Zittau's noble families.

    Open on Saturdays in summer only or upon request.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    City museum

    by german_eagle Updated Jan 7, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gothic cloisters
    4 more images

    The former Franciscan convent was turned into the city museum (currently named: Museum on Art and History, but that changes from time to time :-)).

    Aside from the exhibits (small Lenten Cloth the most prominent piece) the buildings alone are worth a visit. You can see the remains of the Gothic cloisters, chapter house, refectory and the Baroque Banquetting hall in the magnificent Heffter-building (Renaissance style) for example. Upstairs are the former monk cells, now used for the exhibits. In one of the rooms they recently found fresco and secco paintings, one of them depicting a fountain of youth, totally amazing. It's fun to see what sorts of amusement the monks used to fantasize (or not?) about. LOL

    The exhibts are very interesting and range from local/regional history/customs over paintings/drawings of surprisingly high quality (Cranach workshop, Louis de Silvestre e.g.) to medieval works of art and scientific instruments from past centuries.

    A combined ticket for museum and church of the holy cross is available for Euro 6.50, admission fee for the city museum alone is 2.50 Euro.
    Opening hours: 10 - 17 h, April - Oct daily, the other months closed on Mondays.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Green well

    by german_eagle Updated Oct 24, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Green well

    Zittau has a number of beautiful wells. One of them is the Green Well, originally to find in front of the town hall, now in front of the city museum.

    When the town was damaged by an earthquake in 1856 the well dried up. In 1922 it was moved to its new location.

    The "Green Well" is a work of smith Michael Fröhlich from 1679.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Market Square

    by german_eagle Written Oct 24, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Market Square with fountain and town hall
    4 more images

    The Market Square is the "heart" of Zittau. It is surrounded by a number of magnificent Patrician houses:

    the former inn "Gasthof Zur Sonne" (1710),
    the "duke's hotel" in Rokoko style (1767),
    Noack's house, one of the most beautiful Baroque houses (1689),
    Dornspach's house, from 1553 with a nice arcaded patio

    to name just a few. At the east side you find the impressive town hall (see next tip).

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Zittauer Gebirge (mountains)

    by german_eagle Updated Jan 7, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    view from Hochwald mountain
    4 more images

    When in Zittau don't miss a side trip to the nearby Zittauer Gebirge. This mid-range mountain range is located a few kilometres south of Zittau right on the border to the Czech Republic. It is the smallest mountain chain in Germany, reaching only 793 metres elevation (P. Lausche).

    It offers a variety of beautiful mountain views, though. Especially the rocky sandstone formations are spectacular. Nice small mountain villages to see are Oybin, Jonsdorf, Grossschönau and Waltersdorf. They all have numerous of the cosy "Umgebindehäuser" (a sort of timber-framed houses).

    Hiking opportunities are endless. The panoramic views from the peaks (Lausche, Hochwald) are excellent. And for those who love art and architecture - the church in Oybin is a gem, and the ruins of the former convent on top of Oybin mountain are great, too.

    In winter skiing opportunities are very good. There are skilifts in Waltersdorf and Lückendorf and cross-country skiing trails are groomend as well.

    A narrow-gauge railway takes you from Zittau to both Oybin and Jonsdorf (see transportation tip also).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    A Constitution Pillar

    by christine.j Written May 21, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a constitution pillar, the only one still in existence today.

    In the first part of the 19th century there were several attempts in Germany to introduce more democracy and to break away from the rule of the aristocratic families.

    In Saxony the first liberal constitution was drawn up in 1831, giving the people more rights. This pillar has been erected in memory of this constitution.
    Again something I hadn't heard of before, but I think it's a good idea to put up memorials for democratic ideas, even if they failed in the course of history.

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Johanniskirche

    by german_eagle Updated Jan 7, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Western front of Johanniskirche
    4 more images

    This church is Zittau's main parish church, first mentioned in 1291. When the Austrians destroyed the town in 1757 the Johanniskirche also burnt down. It was rebuilt from 1766 - 1832 in Classicistic style by Christian August Schramm after plans of famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

    Somehow the church appears to be too large and imposing for the small town. The interior and decoration - pulpit, baptismal font, lamps, paintings in the apse - are mostly originally preserved. The organ was remodelled in 1930 by a workshop Schuster, using parts of the original Jehmlich organ from 1843.

    A must is to go up the tower, see the guard's room there and enjoy the fabulous views.

    Open daily, free of charge. Watch out for concerts.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    Town Hall

    by german_eagle Updated Jan 7, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Town hall
    4 more images

    The town hall looks a bit like an exotic building amidst all those Patrician houses with Baroque and Rokoko style facades on the market square. It reminds of an Italian Palazzo than a Saxon town hall. Reason for that is that after the town hall was destroyed in the war 1757 they rebuilt it according to plans of Carl August Schramm in eclectic style (a mix of Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles) in the years 1840 - 45. Some remains of the previous building are preserved (e.g. the lower parts of the tower).

    If you have a closer look you'll see a number of statues at the outside, created by Carl Gottlob Beyer in the 1840s, a student of Ernst Rietzschel, as well as some coats-of-arms that were preserved and transfered from the previous building.

    The grand citizens' hall (Großer Bürgersaal) is the most beautiful room. It is richly decorated with statues depicting people related to Zittau's history (like the Bohemian Kings e.g.), coats-of-arms, statues depicting good virtues. A highlight to find all over the town hall and not only in this hall are the excellent stained glass windows, manufactured in the Royal Saxon Glass Manufacture Türcke & Schlein.

    Tours of the town hall are offered on Wednesdays 3 pm (and upon special request). Tickets at the Tourist Information northern side in the town hall. Tickets are 3 Euro.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Zittau

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

82 travelers online now

Comments

Zittau Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Zittau things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Zittau sightseeing.

View all Zittau hotels