Großschönau is a small and picturesque town on the border of Czechia in Saxony, Germany. The Upper Lusatian town is about an hour drive away from Görlitz (47 km) and is also easily reachable by public transportation through connections in Zittau.
I decided I wanted to see Größschönau after seeing a documentary on MDR about the town (Teure Tücher – Meterware aus der Oberlausitz). It’s famous for it’s damask fabric production. While in the town you should visit the Museum of Damask and Terry where you can learn about the history of production in the area, see a collection of historic cloth pieces (the oldest dating from the first half of the 17th century) and weaving looms from various time periods.
In 1666 two brothers, Friedrich and Christoph Lange were sent to Holland to learn the art of damask weaving. They brought it back to Großschönau, where the town became famous for its production. The linen damask table cloths from Großschönau were preferred among Europe’s elite class.
Nearby you can also visit the Damino factory, where damask and linens have been produced since 1906. They sell bedding and table linens in their outlet store.
I had read up about the town’s history with textiles, but what I didn’t realize was how gorgeous Großschönau would be. As I rode the bus from Zittau we crossed rolling fields and little villages with timber-framed houses.
Großschönau is named for its location in a big, beautiful meadow (Aue in German). The river Mandau runs through the historic section of the town, with little pedestrian and auto bridges crossing in several places. The Czech town of Varnsdorf is just moments away by foot.
As I wandered around the small area I felt as though I had gone back in time. There are so many beautiful old houses and they all have an interesting kind of slate shingles on the sides in different shapes, patterns and colors that resemble fish scales to me!
I mostly spent time idly wandering through the twisting, narrow streets, admiring the beautiful houses as well as the church in the center of the town with its graveyard. While wandering, one should also take the opportunity to follow a path up the Hutberg mountain (371 m) for a view of the town from above and the Lusatian mountains in the distance. The weather was very inconsistent on the afternoon I chose to spend wandering around the small town, and I had everything from sunshine to dramatic storm clouds.
Those who choose to visit the lovely little town of Großschönau have a pleasant surprise in store. The peaceful little streets and idyllic atmosphere will make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. Take the opportunity to get lost in its narrow streets and you will be rewarded with a unique experience that you won’t find in a big city.
If you’re looking to travel to around the area using public transportation for the day, I recommend the Euro-Neiße ticket. It becomes cheaper if you are travelling with a group!
You might be interested in these other day trip locations in Germany that are easily reachable from Görlitz!