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Witajće k nam do Łužicy! Entdecken Sie die sorbische Kultur in der Oberlausitz!

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Welcome to Upper Lusatia! Discover the Sorbian culture in Upper Lusatia!

Welcome to Upper Lusatia!

Discover the Sorbian culture in Upper Lusatia!

International Folklore Festival header © Joerg Stephan

Rich in tradition - legendary - uniquely Sorbian

Rich in tradition

Hardly any other people preserve their traditions as passionately as the Sorbs. Whether bird wedding, Zampern, Easter riding, cock plucking or the Schleifer Christkind, the Sorbs maintain numerous endearing customs throughout the year. Easter in particular has become an annual event of national interest. Easter riders roam the streets and traditional Easter eggs, whether decorated with wax batik, wax bossier, scratching or etching techniques, can be found in many places.

Find out more about Easter in Upper Lusatia


Midday woman, Aquarius, will-o'-the-wisps and Lutki - numerous legendary figures shape the Sorbian culture. Inexplicable events were once attributed to fairytale beings. Stories were developed that are still loved to be told today. Probably the most famous figure in Sorbian legends is Krabat. He is associated with numerous inexplicable occurrences in the triangle of the cities of Bautzen - Kamenz - Hoyerswerda. The old magician is said to have used his energies for good - for example to make the farmland of the farmers fertile or to provide long-awaited rain. He is also said to have played one or two antics to wealthy cattle dealers.

Uniquely Sorbian

Lively customs, openness and the preservation of one's own identity are characteristic of the Sorbs in Upper Lusatia. The traditional costumes of the smallest Slavic people are still worn today on some occasions, such as the international folklore festival, weddings or special church services and events. Although traditional costume fashion is hardly widespread in everyday life, the Sorbs live their culture to the full. Even today, the Sorbian settlement area of Upper Lusatia is characterized by omnipresent bilingualism, which can even be seen on the entrance signs.

Whoever visits Bautzen and the surrounding area of the 1000-year-old city during Easter will come into contact with numerous customs and traditions that do not exist in any other region. Easter riders move from place to place in a solemn procession. Church songs echo through the villages they pass through on their way. The Easter eggs decorated using wax batik, wax bossier, scratching and etching techniques are like real pieces of jewelry. In addition to the unique Easter customs, there are many other special festivals and traditions. The bird wedding is celebrated annually on January 25th. On this day, the birds thank the children for feeding them during the winter months. They present the little ones with cute dough birds, cream nests and other delicacies. In the kindergartens and primary schools, the bird wedding is traditionally modeled musically and theatrically. Throwing the maypole and camping are also customs that have been preserved in Upper Lusatia to this day. These beautiful traditions are due to a special part of the population - the smallest Slavic ethnic group.

We are talking about the Sorbs. They have been settling in Lusatia for around 1,400 years. It is estimated that around 50,000 of them still live in the entire settlement area - two thirds of them in Upper Lusatia. From the bilingual place, street and building signs, guests can see that the German population shares their homeland here with a group that uses a different language on a daily basis. The right to cultivate their language and culture is ascribed to the Sorbian people in the state constitution. Numerous associations are also committed to preserving the customs and language of the Sorbs.

In Upper Lusatia there are even schools and kindergartens that spread the Sorbian language, teach it and use it in everyday life. The Sorbian National Ensemble is the only professional Sorbian musical theater. It works in Bautzen and performs numerous pieces in the Sorbian language. The German-Sorbian Volkstheater Bautzen is also unique in its form. It is the only theater in Germany that serves two categories and three languages. Numerous well-known theater plays are performed in German, Upper and Lower Sorbian, classics are reinterpreted and their own ideas are theatrically staged. The annual theater summer is a special highlight.

Numerous legends of the Sorbian culture serve as models for the theaters. For centuries, fairytale-like stories were invented for inexplicable events. They talked about giants and dwarfs, about will-o'-the-wisps and the Lutki, about Aquarius and midday woman. Probably the best-known legendary figure is the magician Krabat, who performed many good deeds with his strength. The Krabatmühle in Schwarzkollm is one of the places where the stories seem to come to life. You can still experience Krabat and the black miller here today.

One aspect of Sorbian culture that is barely visible in everyday life is traditional costume. The traditional costumes are only worn on special festivities and occasions. Sorbian weddings are still quite common in the region and are held in the traditional fashion.

Discover the traditional, legendary and unique world of Sorbian culture!

Experience Easter in and around Bautzen! Be enchanted by the colorful, traditionally decorated Easter eggs and marvel at the Easter rider processions on your way through the Sorbian settlement area.

Sorbian experience in Upper Lusatia

Helena Jatzwauk and Benno Scholze talk about their homeland and the Sorbian specialties in this short report. Join us on a journey to bilingual Upper Lusatia and get to know Sorbian culture, traditions, typical dishes and the language. Are you curious? Then a stay in Upper Lusatia is worthwhile.

Travel offers - Discover the Sorbian culture

On the trail of Sorbian cultural heritage

Get to know the culture and traditions of the Sorbian inhabitants of Upper Lusatia up close! Get to know the Sorbian "capital" Bautzen (Budyšin) and other Sorbian-influenced places! Discover special Sorbian delicacies and other specialties of Lusatia!

Extract from the included services:

  • Visit to the "Krabatmühle"/krabatowy młyn adventure farm in Schwarzkollm/Čorny Chołmc
  • Admission and visit to the Sorbian Cultural Center Schleife /Slepo
  • Admission and visit to the Sorbian Museum at Ortenburg Castle in Budyšin/Bautzen
  • Admission and visit to the Schrotholzscheune/kładźita bróžeń swójby Pattokec Elsterheide/gmejna Halštrowska Hola

further information and booking

Group offer - In the footsteps of the Sorbs

Get up close and personal with the culture and traditions of the Sorbian inhabitants of Lusatia! Discover special Sorbian delicacies and other specialties of Lusatia! Visit the Sorbian specialty restaurant "Wjelbik" in Bautzen (Budyšin) and enjoy a delicious buttermilk pancake in the Krabat Mill (krabatowy młyn)!

Extract of the included services:

  • 1 dinner at the Sorbian specialty restaurant "Wjelbik"/hosćenc m ze specialitami "Wjelbik" in Bautzen/Budišin
  • Visit to the "Krabatmühle"/krabatowy młyn adventure farm in Schwarzkollm/Čorny Chołmc incl. 1 buttermilk pancake
  • Admission and program at the bee farm/pčólnica "Regina" in Ralbitz-Rosenthal/Ralbicy-Róžant
  • Visit to the open-air museum/muzej pod hółnym njebjom Stary Lud in Dissen/Dešno-Striesow

Further information and booking

Learn more!

Would you like to find out more about the culture and life of the Sorbs in Upper Lusatia? Click here and let yourself be inspired by the diversity of Sorbian culture.

Further information

Experience the Sorbian culture!

The German-Sorbian People's Theater and the Sorbian National Ensemble know how to bring Sorbian stories to the stage. The diverse theater plays will enchant you!

Experience Sorbian theater

Cycling in the footsteps of the Sorbs

Would you like to spend an exciting active holiday in Upper Lusatia and still learn more about the Sorbian culture? You have the chance to do so on the “Sorbian Impressions” cycle path!

Experience the Sorbs actively

Cycling tour recommendation: Sorbian impressions

questions and answers

Where are the Sorbs at home?

The settlement area of the Sorbs extends over the south of Brandenburg and the east of Saxony. This region is known as Lausitz and is divided into the Brandenburg Lower Lusatia and the Saxon Upper Lusatia. The Sorbian culture of these settlement areas differs, the language, which is divided into Lower and Upper Sorbian, is particularly formative. Sorbian centers are rooted in Cottbus and Bautzen. In Upper Lusatia, the district of Bautzen is particularly influenced by the Sorbian culture.

Which sights in and around Bautzen are connected to the Sorbian culture?

Numerous sights in and around Bautzen give you the opportunity to discover the Sorbian culture. The Sorbian Museum and the Loop Culture Center give you a detailed insight into the history, tradition and customs of the Sorbian people. The performances of the Sorbian National Ensemble and the German-Sorbian People's Theater invite you to let yourself be captivated by bilingual stories. A special highlight is the Krabatmühle Schwarzkollm. Here you can follow in the footsteps of the old magician and experience one of the most famous sagas of the Sorbs. There are numerous other sights to discover in Upper Lusatia that will bring you closer to the culture of the smallest Slavic people.

Where can I find more information about Sorbian culture?

You can find more information about the Sorbs and Sorbian culture in our print products. These can be found in our webshop. For more detailed information, please contact the Sorbian Cultural Information Office in Bautzen or the Sorbian Cultural Tourism Association.

Here you can get a feel for the Sorbian language

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Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH

With partnership support from the districts of Bautzen and Görlitz
and regional savings banks.