Infobox Settlement
name = Zgorzelec

image_caption = Footbridge over the Neisse between Görlitz and Zgorzelec

image_shield = POL Zgorzelec COA.svg

pushpin_label_position = bottom
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = POL
subdivision_type1 = Voivodeship
subdivision_name1 = Lower Silesian
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Zgorzelec County
subdivision_type3 = Gmina
subdivision_name3 = Zgorzelec (urban gmina)
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Rafał Gronicz
area_total_km2 = 15.88
population_as_of = 2006
population_total = 36730
population_density_km2 = auto
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 51 | latm = 9 | lats = 1 | latNS = N | longd = 15 | longm = 0 | longs = 31 | longEW = E
postal_code_type = Postal code
postal_code = 59-900 to 59-903
blank_name = Car plates
blank_info = DZG
website = http://www.zgorzelec.eu

Zgorzelec [IPA-pl|z|g|o|'|ż|e|l|e|c] is a town in south-western Poland with 33,278 inhabitants (2004). It lies in Lower Silesian Voivodeship (from 1975–1998 it was in the former Jelenia Góra Voivodeship). It is the seat of Zgorzelec County, and also of the smaller district of Gmina Zgorzelec (although it is not part of the territory of the latter, as the town is an urban gmina in its own right). Zgorzelec is located on the Lusatian Neisse river, on the Polish-German border adjoining the German town of Görlitz, of which it constituted the eastern part up to 1945.


Since before 1945 the modern-day towns of Zgorzelec and Görlitz were a single entity, their history up to that point is shared.

The date of the town's foundation is unknown. It was first mentioned in 1071. At that time Görlitz was a small village named "Gorelic" in the region of Lusatia, which soon after became a part of Bohemia. In the 13th century the village gradually turned into a town. It became rich due to its location on the Via Regia, an ancient and medieval trade road.

In the following centuries it was a wealthy member of the Six-City League of Upper Lusatia, consisting of the six Lusatian cities Bautzen, Görlitz, Kamenz, Lauban, Löbau and Zittau.

The town of Gorlice in southern Poland was founded during the reign of Casimir the Great in 1354 by colonists from Görlitz.

After suffering for years in the Thirty Years' War, the region of Upper Lusatia (including Görlitz) passed to Saxony (1635). In 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna awarded Görlitz to Prussia. Thus the city was a part of the Prussian province of Silesia from 1815 until 1945.

Following World War II, with the establishment of the Oder-Neisse line as the Polish-East German border, Görlitz (lying on the Neisse) was divided between the two countries. The German part retained the name Görlitz, while the Polish part became Zgorzelec. The German population was expelled from Zgorzelec and replaced by Poles.

In the 1950s a large number of Greek immigrants, mainly communist partisans defeated in the Greek Civil War, were settled there. The Greek community of Zgorzelec was instrumental in the building of Ss. Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church in 2002. The Treaty of Zgorzelec was signed in the city between Poland and East Germany in 1950.

Since the fall of communism in 1989, Zgorzelec and Görlitz have developed a close political relationship. Two of the numerous bridges over the Neisse river that had been blown up by retreating German forces in World War II have been rebuilt, reconnecting the two towns with one bus line. There is also common urban management and annual common sessions of both town councils. In 2006 the towns jointly applied to be the European Capital of Culture in 2010. It was hoped that the jury would be convinced by the concept of Polish-German cooperation, but the award fell to Essen, with Görlitz/Zgorzelec in second place.


* Turów Zgorzelec, men's basketball team in Dominet Bank Ekstraliga.

External links

* [http://www.zgorzelec.eu/ Official Municipal Site (in Polish)]
* [http://www.it.zgorzelec.pl/ Tourist Information (in Polish/English/German)]
* [http://www.zgorzelec.info/ Civic Portal (in Polish)]
* [http://www.zinfo.pl/ Urban Portal (in Polish)]
* [http://www.zgorzelec.bighost.pl/ Info about Zgorzelec (in Polish)]
* [http://www.goerlitz.de/ Görlitz Internet Portal (in German/English/Polish)]
* [http://moststaromiejski.com/ The Old Town Bridge (online camera)]

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