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  • Along an important medieval trade route, the Via Regia,

  • numerous trading centres developed, such as Leipzig, Wrocław and Kraków,

  • as well asrlitz on the banks of the Neisse river.

  • Today, this historical city consists of the cities ofrlitz in Germany and Zgorzelec in Poland.

  • Taking the current layout of the European twin city ofrlitz/Zgorzelec as a starting point,

  • one can trace back the development of this urban area step by step using historical maps.

  • Around 1150, as the St. Nicholas Church was being built, a trading centre arose near the crossing of the Lusatian Neisse

  • before the city was founded around 1220.

  • The economic prosperity of the city in the 16th century becomes evident in the impressive Renaissance constructions

  • that still mark the character of the city today.

  • The Via Regia ran throughrlitz from the Barbican in the west to the Neisse Gates in the east.

  • Protected by a double ring of walls with magnificent towers,

  • the trading areas of the leading merchants arose along the main axis of the city from the Lower to the Upper Market.

  • Following economic stagnation in the 17th century,

  • the incipient industrialisation of the 19th century paved the way for a long-term economic boom.

  • A key aspect of this upswing was the connection to the railway network in 1847 through the famous Neisse Viaduct.

  • With the help of new development plans, the immense growth of the city in the 19th century

  • led to the relocation of the functional city centre from the Old City to the train station.

  • The economic conditions enabled mechanical and rail engineering as well as the textile industry to emerge, preferably along the Neisse river.

  • The rich ornamentation decorating the frames of new maps

  • proudly symbolizes the modern development of the city at the end of the 19th century.

  • In addition to other representative buildings, such as the Upper Lusatian Memorial Hall,

  • a modern concert hall arose, seating 2,500 people.

  • The City Theatre was built on Demiani Square, right next to the old Barbican.

  • On the northern outscirts of the city, the memorial-like crematory towers above the nearby buildings.

  • A development plan from 1917 served as the basis for the city’s architectural evolvement during the interwar period.

  • Cooperative residential buildings and garden-city-like colonies east of the Neisse river played an important role in the development.

  • The division of the city in 1945 had severe consequences for the structure of the inner city.

  • The two cities began to grow apart;

  • however, following the political turn of 1990,

  • the European twin city ofrlitz/Zgorzelec is facing a joint future in a united Europe.

Along an important medieval trade route, the Via Regia,

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