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Görlitz City [Sorbian: Zhorjelc / Polish: Zgorzelec] (Germany)

Stadt Görlitz, Landkreis Görlitz, Saxony

Last modified: 2022-09-17 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: goerlitz | parted per pale | eagle(double headed) | lion(white) |
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[Görlitz city banner] 5:2 image by Stefan Schwoon and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Sep 2022

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Görlitz City

Brief History

In 1071 Görlitz had been a small settlement on the road from Frankfurt upon Main via Leipzig to Breslau, ruled by the Margraves of Meißen, who donated the village to the Bishopric of Meißen. On a nearby mountain the Kings of Böhmen built a fortress. Around 1150 Görlitz had been a settlement of merchants. A city developed since 1210. In 1234 a Franciscan monastery was founded. Around 1250 the city was extended, in the 14th century city walls existed. In 1234 /1238 the city was ruled by a reeve of the Bohemian kings. Mayor and council existed since 1282. In 1303 the privileges of a city according to the pattern of Magdeburg were confirmed. Görlitz and the surrounding area was acquired by the Margraves of Brandenburg in 1253, by the Silesian Dukes of Jauer in 1319 and again by Böhmen (Bohemia) in 1329. The same year the city was relieved from paying customs in all dominions of Böhmen. In 1330 a mint was established. In 1346 Görlitz became head of an Alliance of six Upper Lusatian Cities, including the right to deploy own troops. In 1547 the alliance was punished by later King Ferdinand I and sentenced to give away its estates and privileges. Until 1566 the biggest part of the estates and parts of the privileges were regained, but the former power of the city got lost. In 1635 it was acquired by the Electorate of Sachsen. At least Görlitz remained untroubled by the 30-Yeras-War (1618 – 1648). At the end of WW2 the city was conquered by Soviet and Polish troops. In 1950 the governments of the GDR and Poland signed a treaty. As a result the part on the eastern bank of the Neiße River, which since 1945 had been administrated by Poland, was formally ceded. That is the nowadays town of Zgorzelec.
Source: Bensing et alii 1984, pp.158-159
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Sep 2022

Görlitz Banner

It is a white-red vertical bicolour. The lesser coat of arms is shifted towards the top.
Source: this online catalogue
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Sep 2022

Görlitz Flag

[Görlitz city flag] 3:5 image by Stefan Schwoon, 9 Mar 2001

It is a white-red horizontal bicolour with centred lesser coat of arms(i.e. just the shield without other attributes). Görlitz was a countyfree city (kreisfreie Stadt) until August 2008, when it became part of the new county of Görlitz (Landkreis Görlitz).
Sources: Falko Schmidt from Die Wappen der kreisfreien Städte und Landkreise im Freistaat Sachsen: Veröffentlichung der Sächsischen Archivverwaltung, Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle/Saale, ISBN 3-89812-069-4 and this online catalogue
Stefan Schwoon, 9 Mar 2001

Görlitz Coat of Arms

Shield parted per pale, at dexter Or a double headed eagle Sable, at sinister Gules with base Argent a lion rampant double queued Argent crowned Or, both supporting an imperial crown Or on central chief.
The eagle and the crown are alluding to the Holy Roman Empire, the lion is that one of the Kings of Bohemia. The charges are stressing the high importance of the city in the 15th century. In 1536 another coat of arms had been granted by Emperor Karl V, displaying both quarters of the current shield twice in a quartered shield, the eagle in quarters 1 and 4, the lion in quarters 2 and 3. The heart point was superimposed by an Austrian inescutcheon, i.e. Gules a bar Argent, but charged with an imperial crown Or. Those arms were in use from the 17th until the 19th century.
Source: Bensing et alii 1984, pp.158-159
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Jan 2019

The banner is traditional. The current arms were granted in 1433 by Emperor Sigismund I, who had been also King of Böhmen.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 1 Jan 2019

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