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Zittauer Gebirge

The smallest low mountain range of Germany located in the heart of Europe

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History

In the 6th and 7th Centuries the Slavic tribe of the Milzener settled the area. King Heinrich I defeated them in 923, and so began the German settlement. The land belongs to Mark Meissen, and was at times Polish, at times Bohemian. At this time, the local castle of (Bautzen) stood as the border. In 1253 the biggest part the Upper Lusatians fell to the district of Brandenburg.

In 1346 Görlitz, Lauban, Löbau, Bautzen, Zittau and Kamenz founded the Six Cities Alliance as a land peace group. Now parts of the upper Lusatians belongs to Bohemia and gets by cloth production and trade. 1526 the Upper Lusatians (whose name had held since 15th Cent.) as the Bohemia land connection to Austria. As the Reformation grasped the towns, the Sorbian population remained partly Catholic. Subsequently came the (hard times) with the decline of the cloth production.

From 1635 the electors receive the Upper Lusatian as a fief from Saxony. The whole country then suffered from the Thirty Years War. Afterwards Zittau experienced a period of bloom by way of linen production. In the 18th Century the Seven Year Old war hit the whole region (from 1756-1763). In 1815 the eastern part of the Upper Lusatian was integrated into the Russian province of Silesia, the rest remained with Saxony.

From 1850 on, the Upper Lusatian developed into a significant industrial region. After the Second World War the areas situated to the east of the ?Neiße?(river) became part of Poland in 1945, and the western part came under Soviet occupation.

In 1952 Saxony is dissolved and the area becomes a part of the German Democratic Republic district in Dresden. The (intensely pursued brown coal industry) then changed the scenery. Since 1990 the Upper Lusatian has been a part of the newly-founded Free State of Saxony. Today, because of the opening of the borders excursions and wanderings are also again possible in the scenery beyond the Neiße and the Zittauer Gebirge.