Saxony is also home to historical and cultural landscapes such as Upper Lusatia ("Six Cities' Union") and the Vogtland region.
Upper Lusatia is a region in the east of the Free State of Saxony, bordering Poland and the Czech Republic and stretching into the Upper Spree Forest-Lusatia district of the State of Brandenburg. www.oberlausitz.de 14.05.2004
It stretches from
- Bischofswerda, the gateway to Upper Lusatia, in the west
- to Görlitz, Germany's easternmost city and
- from Zittau in the south (on the edge of the smallest low mountain range in Germany, the Zittau Mountains)
- to Weisswasser in the north.
The roots of the territorial region of Upper Lusatia lie in the Six Cities' Union of 1346. With this union, the cities of Bautzen, Görlitz, Kamenz, Löbau, Zittau and Lauban (today in Poland) agreed to join together in protecting their flow of trade from ambush by robbers and ensuring peace in the region.
The common name of "Upper Lusatia" has been used since the 15th century. Despite changing sovereignty, Upper Lusatia always belonged denominationally to the diocese of Meissen.
The landscape of Upper Lusatia is very diverse. In the southern part of the region as far as the border with the Czech Republic, it is permeated by mountainous areas. In the southeast (where it meets the Czech Republic and Poland) lie the Zittau Mountains (Link). In the west, the Zittau Mountains meet the Lusatian highlands, which consist mainly of a granite massif.
To the north, the stretch of mountains is abutted by the Upper Lusatian hill country regions (East Lusatian and Northwest Lusatian hill country) and the Lausitzer Gefilde region. In the north of Upper Lusatia, there are heath- and lakelands.
Upper Lusatia falls into eight natural landscapes:
- The Zittau Mountains (southeastern tip of Upper Lusatia)
- The East Lusatian Hill Country and River Neisse region (on the River Neisse from Görlitz to Zittau north of the Zittau Mountains)
- The Lusatian Highlands (southern Upper Lusatia to the Czech Republic)
- The Northwest Lusatian Highlands (northwest from Bischofswerda to Kamenz)
- The Lausitzer Gefilde region (an area around Bautzen and Löbau north of the Highlands)
- The Upper Lusatian Heath-and Lakelands (east of Kamenz to Niesky)
- The Ruhland-Königsbrücker Heaths in the northwest (northwest of Kamenz, west of Hoyerswerda)
- The Muskau Heath in the northeast (area around Bad Muskau spa resort and Weisswasser, Poland in the east)