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Das Zittauer Gebirge/Oberlausitz: von den Anfängen des Fremden- und Besucherverkehrs bis heute

The Zittau Mountains/Upper Lausitz: from the birth of tourism up to the present
[journal article]

Schmidt, Werner

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Abstract The Zittau Mountains -situated in the extreme south-eastern corner of the Federal Republic of Germany- is a countryside dominated by forests, whose geological foundations mainly consist of sandstone. Its weathering forms, such as towers, needles, massifs and crevices lend the mountains in many places an often bizarre nature. The beauties of the countryside and the ruins of the Monastery Church and Leipa Castle -both of which are located on Mount Oybin- were the decisive aspects in contributing to the fact that, since the 18th century, guests have been visiting the Zittau Mountains. These visitors first came from Zittau, but soon also from other regions of the Upper Lausitz and Dresden. The extension of the infrastructure, initiated during the first third of the 19th century, the construction of railway tracks between Löbau and Zittau in 1848 and finally the completion of the narrow-gauge railway connection between Zittau and Oybin, i.e. Jonsdorf in 1890 also played an essential role in helping tourism gain impetus. The higher numbers of visitors lead to an increase in capacity for guests in the local inns and guest houses. Owners of older half-timbered houses also started offering rental services for guests wishing to spend the night. The almost continual increase in bed-capacity reached its first pinnacle before the Second World War. An expression of this fact can be seen on the basis of the example that the villages of Oybin and Jonsdorf were named spa resorts and Lükkendorf was named a climatic health resort. A rich curriculum of cultural events and destinations for hiking or mountain climbing during the Summer season served to make the Zittau Mountains exceedingly attractive. An increased number of Winter guests also started making their way here. After having overcome the consequences of the Second World War, tourism soon established itself again. However, now it was the task of the State Holiday Services of the Free German Union Association, the State Travel Agents as well as State-Owned Companies, Organisations and Parties to arrange hotel rooms (so-called "quarters") and hotels (so-called "catering offices"). The number of guests' rooms reached its pinnacle during this period. The tourist industry was faced with completely new problems after 1989/90, which lead to drastic changes. The company-owned holiday homes were closed down. Only a handful of these institutions found new owners, i.e. tenants, who were capable of carrying out the necessary modernisation work on the buildings. At the same time, the rental of holiday apartments and houses, as well as of single rooms increased continually. Guests from Saxony and Brandenburg, but also from the Western States of the Federal Republic and the Western and Northern European States now dominate the tourists spending their vacations in the Zittau Mountains.
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; Saxony; tourism; tourism sector; regional development; nature; economic history; settlement; historical development; environmental damage; forest
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Leisure Research
Free Keywords Oberlausitz
Document language German
Publication Year 1995
Page/Pages p. 32-41
Journal Europa Regional, 3.1995 (1995) 3
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications