Lusatian Neisse (Lausitzer Neiße) — The German/Polish Border

One thing I know for sure, is the Lusatian Neisse (Lausitzer Neiße in German) wasn’t an easy river to navigate. That’s in the figurative sense, since no motorboats are allowed on this river at any point (special permission is needed if you’re doing non-motorized boating).

The Lausitzer Neiße might be “only” 254km long, but it makes it way through three countries, starting in the Czech Republic in the Jizera Mountains.

Fifty-five kilometers later, the Lusatian Neisse finds its way to Germany and the Polish borders in Zittau. The Sky Bridge will take you from the German side to the Polish side; and one of the many bridges found over the next 198km between the two countries.

There used to be plenty more, but sadly too many of them were blown up by all the fighting in WWII. Some were eventually rebuilt, and some are still undergoing restoration and renovation.

Back to Zittau (and the Lusatian Neisse), which meet the Via Sacra and the Lausitzweg (Lusatia Trail) at this point.

We keep going in a northerly direction to Görlitz, and the Old Town Bridge (didn’t I tell you). The Pedestrian Bridge is overlooked by the Church of Sts. Peter & Paul, and at the Marienplatz you’ll find the Dicker Turm, a fountain, and the Anna Chapel.

The route of the Lausitzer Neiße doesn’t change, but after visiting Bad Muskau we leave Saxony behind, heading into Brandenburg.

Before all that happens, let’s see what this spa town offers. Hmm, how about the ruins a 13th century church? What about the Old and New Palaces? I know I’ll take all the half-timbered houses.

So, Brandenburg it is too when we’re in Neiße-Malxetal. The Malx River empties here, so the Lusatian Neisse picks up its first of its eight tributaries.

No wonder the Lusatian Neisse is the largest of the four Neiße Rivers.

I take that back, it is the longest of the Neiße Rivers.

The Lausitzer Neiße’s record setting in Neiße-Malxetal is accentuated by the animal park, and three nature reserve areas.

It’s still Brandenburg for the Lusatian Neisse in Forst (Lausitz), but the river has somehow managed to drop to 72 meters above sea level, from its original height of 655 meters.

That’s quite a long way to come down, and it still has a way to go (eventually to 32 meters). But, that changes nothing for Forst’s Village Church in the hamlet of Groß Bademeusel, the Textile Museum, or the Rose Garden Festival on the last weekend of June.

In Ratzdorf the Lausitzer Neiße finishes its trek at the mouth of the Oder River. The 350 residents of this village are no stranger to the flooding that has occurred here time and time again.

The levees of the rivers have been rebuilt to keep the place from sustaining any more flood damage, but I’m so glad the old church is still here. It doesn’t look like much, for all its grey stone and little windows, but that’s all part of its charm.

At least I think so. ;-)

I hope I’ve managed to make “navigating” your way around this tri-country river a bit easier. Just be aware of which bridge you cross-because for 198km the Lusatian Neisse is an international border.

FYI, the area of this river was a hotly debated subject after Germany’s reunification. Poland was afraid that Germany would request its pre-1945 border that stretched further east than the Lusatian Neisse.

Didn’t happen, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

I’m just lettin’ you know about the bridges, because you can’t leave Germany yet — we got so much more stuff to see together… ;-)

 

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