Bautzen Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsBautzen (in Sorbian Budysin), the 1,000-year-old chief town of Upper Lusatia, lies on a granite plateau on the upper course of the Spree, some 50km/30mi east of Dresden. The imposing silhouette of this many-towered town, particularly on the side facing the Spree, reflects its long history. Bautzen is now the principal center of Sorbian cultural and political life.
Bautzen's traditional center is the Hauptmarkt, with seven streets and lanes opening off it. On the east and west sides of the square are a number of patrician houses (Nos. 6, 7, 8).
Bautzen Town Hall
The Bautzen Town Hall (1729-32) is a three-story Baroque building incorporating some Gothic work.
The Gewandhaus in Bautzen's Hauptmarkt is in neo-Renaissance style (1882-83), with a Ratskeller of 1472.
There are numbers of handsome burghers' houses in Reichenstrasse (Nos. 4, 5, 12).
The Bautzen Reichenturm is a tower leaning 1.44 m/4ft. 9 in. off the vertical (1490-92) and has a Baroque top and lantern (added in 1715-18). On it is a monument to Emperor Rudolph II (1577).
There are a number of fine burghers' houses in Bautzen's Innere Lauenstrasse (Nos. 2, 6, 8, 10).
The Lauenturm (1400-03) in Bautzen was built with a Baroque top and lantern of 1739.
The Fleischmarkt in Bautzen is dominated by the Cathedral and has a monument to Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony (1865). In the market there is also the chapterhouse of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral of St Peter in Bautzen is a Gothic hall-church (1213-1497) with a tower almost 85 m/280ft high and a ground-plan which is curiously off the straight. It is now Co-Cathedral of the diocese of Dresden-Meissen.The Cathedral has been used in common by Catholics and Protestants since 1524. The most notable features of the Catholic part (the choir) are the high altar (by G. Fossati, 1722-24), with an altarpiece ("Peter receiving the keys") by G. A. Pellegrini, sandstone sculpture by B. Thomae, a pupil of Balthasar Permoser, and a life-size crucifix by Permoser himself (1714). Of particular interest in the Protestant part are the Fürstenloge (the Elector's box; 1673-74) and the reredos (1644).
The Bautzen Domstift is a horseshoe-shaped Baroque building (1683) with the coat of arms of the cathedral chapter over the main entrance (1755).
The Bautzen streets An der Petrikirche and Schlos-strasse, with the old House of the Estates (Ständehaus; 1668) and the Castle Pharmacy (Schlossapotheke; 1699), lead into the Burgstadt, the oldest part of the town. The Burgstadt grew around the castle in Bautzen's early days in an entirely unregulated way - unlike the planned layout around the Hauptmarkt.
The Mönchskirche (c. 1300; destroyed by fire 1598) in Bautzen's Burgstadt is all that remains of the monastery which once stood here.
The thousand-year-old castle of Ortenburg in Bautzen, once the seat of the royal governor of Lusatia, has lost much of its architectural unity as a result of destruction during the Thirty Years War and rebuilding at various times during its history. The tower (1486) at the north-east entrance dates from a rebuilding in the Late Gothic period; it bears a seated figure of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (of which Lusatia was a province from 1469 to 1490).The massive main block of the castle, also Late Gothic, was altered in the mid 17th century and embellished with three Renaissance gables in 1698. On the first floor is the Audience Chamber, with fine figural stucco decoration on the ceiling (by Vietti and Comotan, 1662).
Address: Ortenburg 3-5, D-02625 Bautzen, Germany
Opening hours: Closed: Fri
Museum on the History and Culture of the Sorbs
In one of the buildings within Bautzen's Schloss is the Museum on the History and Culture of the Sorbs.
Address: Ortneburg 3, D-02625 Bautzen, Germany
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 31: 10am-12:30pm, 1pm-5pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 10am-12:30pm, 1pm-4pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 10am-12:30pm, 1pm-4pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €2.50, Concession or reduced rate €1.50, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: Guided tours require reservations.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
The Ortenburg in Bautzen has the castle's water-tower (Burgwasserturm; probably 10th C.) which also contains a prison.
The Schülerturm in Bautzen dates from before 1515.
St Nicholas's Tower
The Nikolaiturm in Bautzen was built some time before 1522.
St Nicholas's Church
The Nikolaikirche (1444) in Bautzen is in ruins as a result of two bombardments during the Thirty Years War (1620 and 1634).
The Alte Wasserkunst, designed by W. Röhrscheidt the Elder (1588), served both for the town's protection and for water supply. The very emblem of Bautzen, it now houses a Museum of Technology.
The Friedensbrücke in Bautzen was built during 1908-09 and rebuilt between 1946 and 1949.
New Water Tower
The Neue Wasserkunst in Bautzen was designed by W. Röhrscheidt the Younger (1606-10).
At Grosswelka, 5km/3mi north of Bautzen, is the "Urzoo" (Primeval Zoo), with life-size models of numerous species of dinosaur.
In Wilthen, 10km/6mi south of Bautzen, are examples of an old Lusatian house type, the (umgebindehaus), with external posts and beams supporting the upper story and roof.
From Mönchswalder Berg in Wilthen there are magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
Neukirch, 15km/9mi southwest of Bautzen, has a Pottery and Regional Museum.
The Valtenberg (588 m/1,929ft) in Neukirch, near Bautzen, is the highest peak in the Lusatian uplands.
Schirgiswalde (near Bautzen) is the "Pearl of Upper Lusatia", and a popular holiday resort.
The Baroque parish church (1739-41) of Schirgiswalde, 15km/9mi south of Bautzen, has a richly decorated interior.
In Schirgiswalde, near Bautzen, the Town Hall (1818) is built in the neo-classical style.
Features of interest in Bischofswerda, 18km/11mi southwest of Bautzen, are the neo-classical Town Hall (1818), with an external staircase; St Mary's Church (originally Gothic, rebuilt in neo-classical style 1815-16), now known as the Christuskirche; and numerous neo-classical burghers' houses. The Begräbniskirche (Late Renaissance, 1650), now known as the Kreuzkirche, has an over-lifesize sandstone crucifix (c. 1535) and a pulpit with figural reliefs.
Rammenau, 4km/2.5mi northwest of Bischofswerda (near Bautzen) is the birthplace of the great German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) and has one of the finest Baroque palaces in Saxony (by J. C. Knöffel, 1721-35; occasional concerts), with a Fichte Memorial Room.