A Merchant’s Architectural Ensemble on
the Via Regia
500 years ago, Görlitz was
one of the most important
trading towns in Central Europe.
The Via Regia was one of the most important trade routes in Central Europe in the Middle Ages. Görlitz formed a central hub for goods on the Via Regia.
Designed for Trade
In the Middle Ages, the layout of Görlitz was completely oriented towards trade.
Where the Merchants lived
The merchants of Görlitz lived and worked in magnificent houses, many of which are still preserved today.
Hall house Untermarkt 5, built ca. 1510-1515, right: so-called treasury with wall paintings
Merchant’s house Neißstraße 30, built 1726-1729, right: hallway on the 1st floor
The hall Houses of Görlitz
A special feature are the Görlitz hall houses built 500 years ago. Their interiors are organised around a central hall: a pioneering idea.
It makes me immensely proud to own such an old house. On the other hand, I don’t really feel like an owner at all. With over 500 years of house history, I’m actually more of a caretaker over a period of time
Hall house Peterstraße 14
Hall house Peterstraße 14,
built in the 15th
Where trade was organised
The merchants of Görlitz were also members of the town council, which had magnificent buildings erected for the organisation and administration of trade.
Archive wing of the Town hall, built in 1534
Town scale and Woad house
left: Town hall, right: Business book of a Görlitz merchant from the 15th century
How trade was defended
To make their town a safe trading centre, the people of Görlitz built powerful defences over 500 years ago.
left: Kaisertrutz bastion, built c. 1490–1520, right: Kaisertrutz and Reichenbach Gate c. 1830
Kaisertrutz bastion, built c. 1490–1520
What the merchants donated
From the money they earned through trade, the merchants of Görlitz donated churches and chapels.
St. Peter’s Church, left: Main portal from
the 13th century, right: interior view
Görlitz: A hub for ideas
Due to the far-reaching trade networks, Görlitz became a hub for ideas and cultural innovations. Artists from all over Central Europe came to Görlitz.