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Quentin Tarantino on the Market Square

The Untermarkt square in Görlitz during the shooting of “Grand Budapest Hotel”.
The Untermarkt square in Görlitz during the shooting of “Grand Budapest Hotel”. | Photo (detail): © picture alliance / ZB / Jens Trenkler

Görlitz. Never heard of the place? Well, it’s true that it isn’t exactly the first town recommended to people visiting Germany. And yet it has something to offer that no other town in Germany can match – not even Berlin, which is said to have it all.
 

By Jan Zipperer

The thing is, the Saxon town of Görlitz is not only the birthplace of former football star Michael Ballack; it also boasts a stunningly beautiful and lovingly restored historic centre. It may even be the best-preserved old town in Central Europe, with more than 4,000 listed buildings: towers, churches, fountains and houses. It also features spacious squares and glittering facades. Sooner or later, anyone strolling across the cobblestones in Germany’s easternmost town is almost bound to imagine themselves transported onto a film set.

It’s not hard to understand why: ever since the 1950s, the historic centre of Görlitz has been used time and again as the backdrop for film and television productions. It is not only German directors who love the historic buildings, as international movie companies can often be spotted here too. Yes, even Hollywood is a regular visitor to Görlitz. So often in fact that the town on the River Neisse has come to be nicknamed Görliwood.

Quentin Tarantino for example picked Untermarkt square in Görlitz as a backdrop for his Oscar-winning movie Inglourious Basterds. Wes Anderson hoovered up no fewer than four Oscars for his film Grand Budapest Hotel. It starred – alongside Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum – Görlitz’s former Karstadt department store with its magnificent chandeliers and distinctive facade. In the film adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson transformed the old Görlitz Landskron brewery into part of New York’s harbour. And David Hasselhoff has of course also been here – to shoot the series Ze Network.

Given how gorgeous it is, it is hard to believe that the historic Upper Lusatian Library has so far featured only in a German production of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. But Hollywood is bound to remedy the situation soon. And the breathtakingly beautiful railway station is also crying out to be used in more film and TV productions.

 

DETOURS

What does Görliwood mean, why can you find a piece of the Caribbean in Bavaria and where can you dance in front of bucket wheel diggers? In our series we take you on a trip each month to somewhere in Germany that you may not yet know but should definitely be introduced to. We reveal places that are not to be found on the usual tourist trails. Are you ready for a bit of a detour?

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