Bautzen in Saxony

Monday, 3 October 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bautzen is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany, and the administrative centre of the district of Bautzen. It is located on the Spree river. In 2018 the town’s population was 39,087. Until 1868, its German name was Budissin. Bautzen is often regarded as the unofficial, but historical capital of Upper Lusatia. The town is also the most important cultural centre of the Sorbian minority, which constitutes about 10 percent of Bautzen’s population. Asteroid 11580 Bautzen is named in honour of the city. The town is situated about 50 km (31 mi) east of Dresden between the Lusatian highland and the lowlands in the north, amidst the region of Upper Lusatia. To the north stretches the Bautzen Reservoir, which was flooded in 1974. This is the former location of the villages of Malsissy (Małšecy) and Nimschütz (Hněwsecy).

The old part of Bautzen is located on the plateau above the Spree, whose top is marked by the Ortenburg castle. It is bordered by the city walls. The later-built more recent quarters in the east were enclosed by the city ramparts. After their removal, the city expanded further east and to the left bank of the river. However, there has only been a small urban area west of the Spree until today. In the 1970s, the development areas of “Gesundbrunnen” and “Allendeviertel” were erected. After 1990, several neighbouring villages were incorporated.

Yellow Misery © Knarf-bz © Julian Nyca/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Tilman2007/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Julian Nyca/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Tilman2007/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Conrad Nutschan/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Frank Vincentz/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Monster4711/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0 Town hall © Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0 Bautzen II - The central stair © Stephencdickson/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Bautzen II - The central stair © Stephencdickson/cc-by-sa-4.0
From 1952 to 1990, Bautzen was part of the Bezirk Dresden of East Germany. Bautzen was infamous throughout East Germany for its two penitentiaries. “Bautzen I” was used as an official prison, soon to be nicknamed Gelbes Elend (“Yellow Misery”) due to its outer colour, whereas the more secretive “Bautzen II” was used as a facility to hold political prisoners, dissidents and prisoners of conscience. Today, Bautzen I is known as the Bautzen Correctional Institution and is used to hold prisoners who are awaiting trial. Bautzen II which was also operated by the GDR’s Ministry for State Security, has served as an open memorial since 1993, operated by the Saxon Memorials Foundation. It is accessible to the public. Guided tours are provided and occasionally, films are screened. A permanent exhibition depicts the misery suffered by occupants; visitors may tour detention cells, the isolation area and the yards where prisoners were allowed to exercise.

Bautzen has a very compact and well-preserved medieval town centre with numerous churches and towers and a city wall on the steep embankment to the river Spree, with one of the oldest preserved waterworks in central Europe (built 1558). Sites of interest include:

  • The Reichenturm, one of the steepest leaning and still passable towers north of the Alps
  • Ortenburg Castle
  • The Old Waterworks, an architectural monument and museum
  • Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Eastern Germany’s only historic interdenominational church edifice
  • Hexenhaus (Witch’s House), oldest preserved residential building (built in 1604)

There are six museums in Bautzen, including the Stadtmuseum Bautzen (“Bautzen city Museum”), the “Sorbisches Museum”(“Sorbian Museum”, Sorbian: Serbski muzej) and the Senfmuseum (“Mustard Museum”).

Read more on Bautzen, visitsaxony.com – Bautzen-Budyin Tourist Information, stsg.de – Bautzen Memorial and Wikipedia Bautzen (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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