Gaze up at the stately town hall and a skyline of medieval towers and church spires in this beautifully preserved riverside town.
Bautzen is a quaint medieval town perched atop a hill in the picturesque region of Saxony. Overlooking the Spree River, Bautzen is among the largest towns in the Upper Lusatia area and is distinctive for its rows of churches and towers. Amble through the well-preserved medieval center for a glimpse of the town’s charms.
Stroll along the riverside promenade for picturesque views of the trees and meadows surrounding the water. A little to the east of the river is the historic quarter, which contains the Bautzen Rathaus. Admire the Baroque yellow façade and clock tower from the spacious plaza of Hauptmarkt.
Visit the Cathedral of St. Peter in the central part of the old town. The cathedral dates back to the 15th century and its architecture is an elegant mix of Baroque and Gothic styles. See an exhibition at the technical museum housed within the Old Water Tower, which supplied the town between the 16th and 20th centuries.
Enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants and pubs in the town center. Try typical Upper Lusatia cooking and enjoy a local pilsner in a beer garden. Learn about the culture and history of the region at the Sorbian Museum. The Sorbs arrived here in the 6th century and a speak Slavic dialect more similar to Polish or Czech than German.
Find out about the town’s dark past and its two historic prisons. The former Stasi prison known as Bautzen II was converted into the Bautzen Memorial, which pays tribute to victims of both prisons.
The town’s domestic airport, Flugplatz Bautzen, can be reached from several locations across Germany. You can also fly to Dresden Airport and drive east for less than 1 hour to get here. Alternatively, take the railway around the many villages in Saxony. Expect snowfall in winter and warm summer months that are fairly wet.
Bautzen’s medieval walls contain a fascinating past and a rich blend of cultural traditions.