The Reichenbach Tower in Görlitz is one of the five towers that can be visited regularly in the city. It stands opposite the Kaisertrutz and is part of the Museum of Cultural History, where you can also get tickets.
From the end of the 13th century, the city of Görlitz was protected by a ring of walls with numerous watchtowers, guard houses and gate towers. The Reichenbach Tower is one of these watch and defence towers, which stands directly at the Reichenbach Gate. With its 51 metres, it is the highest of the three defence towers still preserved in the city (Dicker Turm, Nikolaiturm, Reichenbacher Turm). It belongs to the western part of the city’s fortifications.
A little tower history
The first documentary mention of the tower dates back to 1376. The largest part of the lower square section of the tower also dates back to this time. Originally, the Reichenbach tower was a low gate tower.
On top of the square section rises an octagonal section with a monopitch roof. This tower section is then followed by a cylindrical tower section. This ends with a round battlement, added in 1485, with a frieze and a copper-covered Baroque bonnet. This has replaced the original Gothic spire since the end of the 18th century. The weather vane that stands on the roof today weighs 80 kg.
From 1521, the tower was connected with two high shield walls to the Kaisertrutz built in 1490 (until 1848). In the northern shield wall was the Reichenbach Gate.
The city fortifications of Görlitz were removed in this area around 1862 and a little later the pointed arched pedestrian tunnel through the tower was built, which still exists today.
The ravages of time also gnawed away at the Reichenbach tower and so renovation measures had to be taken from 1935. 8 steel anchors were inserted into the lower section of the tower. A great idea, I think, was to “hide” the ends of these anchors. They simply placed 12 coloured coats of arms designed by the artist Arno Henschel above them. In the top row hang six coats of arms of the countries to which Görlitz belonged throughout history: the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Bohemia, Brandenburg, Prussia, Silesia and Saxony. The lower row is formed by the coats of arms of the Upper Lusatian Six Towns League: Bautzen, Görlitz, Kamenz, Lauban, Löbau and Zittau.
Until 1904, a watchman was still on duty in the Reichenbach tower. He lived in the turret room in the tower and was also responsible for striking the tower clock. This is now operated electronically.
The guardroom has been reconstructed as a small exhibition area. The stove of the last watchman is located here. It is interesting to see how the Türmer lived and worked.
Reichenberg Tower – a visit
After the Second World War, the tower opened its doors to visitors and can now be visited from April to October.
We enter the Reichenbach Tower through a small door and immediately climb the first steep steps. A total of 165 steps await us up to the top of the tower. But don’t worry, there are a total of seven floors in the tower. Each of these floors invites you to take a breather and you can view a small exhibition there. Whether historical weapons, weather vanes or tower clocks, there is much to discover and lots of information about Görlitz.
Once you have finally reached the top platform, you have a beautiful view over Görlitz. In good weather, you can see quite far into the region, supposedly as far as the Giant Mountains. During our visit, we could make out the crown of the country. The view into the city was really beautiful and the climb was worth it.
Platz des 17.Juni 4
April – October
Tuesday to Thursday 10 -17 h
Friday to Sunday 10 -18 h
Discounts are offered.
Disclosure: The visit to the tower was part of a research trip to Görlitz. The report was written independently of the visit.