Schleifer Tracht

The administrative district of Görlitz is home to a national minority: the Sorbs. They are descendants of Slavic tribes who settled in the regions between the Oder and the Elbe/Saale and between the Baltic Sea and the Central German Uplands during the migration period in 600 AD. During the 10th Century, they were subjected to Germans and since that time they have lived within German statehood. Unlike other national minorities, the Sorbs do not have a mother folk in neighbouring countries. Although they only represent a small proportion of the population, they have retained their national peculiarities, language and traditions until this day. The colours of the Sorbian flag are blue (módre) – red (cerwjene) – white (bele) and it was modelled on the French tricolour.

Today, the Sorbs live mainly in Schleife, a parish of the administrative district of Görlitz. Due to their special architecture, hometown rooms and churches, these places give a deep insight into life in the past. Bilingualism is visible for all to see on place name signs, road names, names of institutes, municipal facilities, shops and firms and audible when listening to conversations between Sorbian inhabitants.

Four ethnic regions have evolved in the administrative district. The Muskauer Heide [heathland] was one of the largest woodland areas in the past. Different versions of traditional costumes were created due to the separation of the settlements by forests. They mostly received their names according to the large church sites in the region. This, for example, applies to Muskau (today Bad Muskau), Nochten, Klitten and Schleife. But not only the traditional costumes were different, also different dialects were spoken. As the traditional costumes of the regions of Bad Muskau, Klitten and Nochten are not worn anymore on weekdays, these are described as chest costumes, implying that they are frequently stored away in chests.

The Sorbian language, culture and customs as well as the maintenance of tradition are still deeply rooted in the villages of the Schleifer parish. Vogelhochzeit [wedding of the birds], Zampern [a traditional carnival custom], decoration of Easter eggs, Osterwasserholen [sending for Easter water], Waleien [a game with eggs], Hexenbrennen [burning witches], maypole dancing, ring riding, the Christ Child and Neujährchen [New Year] belong to the most important customs throughout the course of the year.

Schleifer Dudelsackspieler

In order to act in the interest of the Sorbian population living in the administrative district, the district council has appointed an advisory committee for Sorbian questions (the chairman is Lothar Bienst, members are Helmut Krautz, Wolfgang Kotissek, Siegfried Hoche) as well as a commissioner for Sorbian questions.

More detailed information:  

Görlitz Administrative District Office/ Landratsamt Görlitz
Bahnhofstraße 24
02826 Görlitz
Postal address
Görlitz Administrative District Office/ Landratsamt Görlitz
(name of the office)
PF 30 01 52
02806 Görlitz

Office hours

Overview of the locations and offices for district administration