The town hall of Zgorzelec is a former residential house from the late 19th century un the corner ul. Warszawska / ul. Boleslawa Domanskiego. The style must be defined as neo-renaissance, some elements like the gables and the tower-like oriels recall Saxon palaces of the 16th and 117th century. The triangular ground enforced the shape with the narrow facade towards the street crossing. The facade is ornated with the three flags of the town, the country and Europe.
Not only Görlitz, also Zgorzelec has its share of Jugendstil (art nouveau) architecture. Architects were working all over town before World War I, we find architecture of the same quality as over in Görlitz. Some of the art nouveau houses are already well restored. Keep your eyes open. They might not be spectacular, nevertheless they are a pleasant sight among all that grey-brownish post-war plaster.
I found these examples in ul. Daszynskiego.
The building in the park south of the town centre was erected in 1898 - 1902 as the Oberlausitzer Ruhmeshalle (Upper Lusatian Glory Hall) and Emperor-Friedrich-Museum. The purpose of the building was the glorification of the Emperors Wilhelm I and Friedrich. The architect was Hugo Behr. The huge dome was designed after the model of the Reichstag in Berlin. The sculptures on the main facade depict the terrors of war and the blessings of peace.
From the end of World War II it has been used by the city of Zgorcelec as cultural centre. It is used for exhibitions, concerts, theatre and cinema.
The architecture is a typical example of the Wilhelminic era, i.e. the reign of Emperor Wilhelm II. (If you want my personal opinion... It is a monster!)
The philosopher and mysticist Jacob Böhme, one of the most famous citizens of Renaissance Görlitz, owned his house in the suburb beyond the river. He lived here from 1590 to 1610.
More about Jacob Böhme in Wikipedia
The house by the river front is well restored. It is now a museum that tells about Böhme's life and work.
The house next door has also been repaired and refurbished. Since 2007 it hosts the Lusatian museum.
Looking over from Görlitz, the most striking landmark is the concrete complex of the mill by the river. It is still known by its German name Dreiradenmühle. Its silo tower is standing next to the pedestrian bridge.
Visitors are greeted by a large mural on the silo: an abstract head in red, blue and vellow. I admit I have not yet figured out its significance but it is for sure a pleasant splash of colours on the grey block. It might be a symbol of the divided and reunited city, with the blue line being the river Neiße. But this is just my guess!
Even if you have little time and don't want to venture far - crossing the pedestrian bridge over to Zgorzelec is a must, if only for the view. From the Polish side you have the best panoramic view of old Görlitz, with the Church of St Peter and Paul as a crown in the skyline. A photo opportunity that should not be missed.
The row of houses along the river front next to Altstadtbrücke is about all that is left of Görlitz's old suburb on the right Neiße bank. Some of those houses are baroque or even older and well restored. They shine in bright colours now.
Better enjoy the nice facades and overlook the not so nice ones, the cheap tobacco shops and the red light businesses.
The "Oberlausnitzer Ruhmeshalle" is now called Dom Kultury and is a most prestigious building. It was built from 1898 until 1902 in honor of Prussian achievements of the first kaiser, Kaiser Wilhelm I and his son Kaiser Friedrich III. On 28th November 1902 the building was inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm the Second.
Today it's used as a museum and for a variety of cultural events.
Around the Dom Kultury you find two parks/squares. The first one is Priest Jerzy Popieluszko square where you will find a rock monument to Zgorzelec/Goerlitz as a Europe city. In March the park was pretty bleak but some old men chatted standing there and feeding the pigeons. The big park is called after Andrezeja Blachanca.
In summer it could be nice to take a break here.
On the 11th May 1930 this Catholic church was consecrated by Cardinal Adolf Bertram from Wroclaw. It belonged to the Goerlitzer Holy Cross congregation and was a garrison church. In 1940 the archdiocese from Wroclaw took over.
Today the Goerlitzer are not too happy that the house of the philosopher Jakob Boehme is on the Polish side. You can visit the house as it is a museum. He lived from 1599 until 1610 in this house with his wife. His first three sons were born here too. He bought the house for 300 Mark and sold it in 1608 for 330 Mark but continued living in it for another two years.
From 1600 Boehme experienced special thoughts and wrote around 4000 pages. The clerics of the time were not too happy about him but his thoughts later inspired Adam Mickiewicz and Isaak Newton.
Museum opening times:
Tuesday to Thursay 12.00 - 14.00
Friday to Sunday 12.00 - 17.00
The post square or Plac Pocztowy in Polish is currently a construction site. It is situated opposite the Old Town bridge or Most Staromiejski. They plan to reconstruct various old houses and give it an old look from bygone times.
What you can see is the about 5 meter tall distance pole or rather a copy of the 1725 postal sign post which was destroyed in WWII. It shows the flags of Sachsen, Poland and Lithuania and the distances to other towns and the monogram of Augustus the Strong.
Already in 1298 there was a wooden bridge over the Neisse river. In 1907 a bridge of stone was built but this was destroyed on 7th May 1945 by the German Army. In 2004 the current bridge was built which is 82,5 meters long.
The Old Town bridge is for pedestrians and bicycles only. The frontier is in the middle of the river. If you are sightseeing in Goerlitz on foot then you are most likely to cross the border here.
Here in this area by the river was also the three wheel mill which originally dated back to the 13th century. It was last rebuilt in the 1920's. Once you cross the Old town bridge into Poland and follow the road to your left you find the Polish tourist office in the last building.
When you travel by car you will come across the Pope John Paul II bridge. On both ends you will find a monument to him in Polish on the Polish side and in German on the German side.