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.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (March 2009) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 8,946 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Niederlausitz]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Niederlausitz)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Lower Lusatia
Niederlausitz, Łużyce Dolne, Dolna Łužyca, Delnja Łužica, Dolní Lužice
Old Market Square in Cottbus (Chóśebuz)
Old tenements at the Market Square in Luckau (Łuków)
Holy Heart of Jesus Church in Żary
Breite Straße with the 18th-century Polish-Saxon post milestone in Lübben (Lubin)
  • From top, left to right: Old Market Square in Cottbus
  • Market Square in Luckau
  • Holy Heart of Jesus Church in Żary
  • Street view in Lübben
Flag of Lower Lusatia
Coat of arms of Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia within the Holy Roman Empire (1618)
Lower Lusatia within the Holy Roman Empire (1618)
Countries Germany
Largest cityCottbus (Chóśebuz)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)

Lower Lusatia (German: Niederlausitz; Lower Sorbian: Dolna Łužyca [ˈdɔlna ˈwuʒɨtsa]; Upper Sorbian: Delnja Łužica [ˈdɛlnʲa ˈwuʒitsa]; Polish: Łużyce Dolne; Czech: Dolní Lužice) is a historical region in Central Europe, stretching from the southeast of the German state of Brandenburg to the southwest of Lubusz Voivodeship in Poland. Like adjacent Upper Lusatia in the south, Lower Lusatia is a settlement area of the West Slavic Sorbs whose endangered Lower Sorbian language is related to Upper Sorbian and Polish.


Meadows near Hohenleipisch

This sparsely inhabited area within the North European Plain (Northern Lowland) is characterised by extended pine forests, heathlands and meadows. In the north it is confined by the middle Spree River with Lake Schwielochsee and its eastern continuation across the Oder at Fürstenberg to Chlebowo. In the glacial valley between Lübben and Cottbus, the Spree River branches out into the Spreewald ("Spree Woods") riparian forest. Other rivers include the Berste and Oelse tributaries as well as the Schlaube and the Oder–Spree Canal opened in 1891.

In the east, the Bóbr River from Łagoda via Krzystkowice down to the historic town of Żary forms the border with the lands of Lower Silesia. In the west the course of the upper Dahme River down to Golßen separates it from the former Electoral Saxon lands of Saxe-Wittenberg. Between Lower and Upper Lusatia is a hill region called the Grenzwall (literally "border dike", although it is in fact a morainic ridge), the eastern continuation of the Fläming Heath. In the Middle Ages this area had dense forests, so it represented a major obstacle to civilian and military traffic. Today it is roughly congruent of the border between Brandenburg and the state of Saxony.

Recultivation and flooding of a former lignite mine north of Klinge, near Cottbus

In the course of much of the 19th and the entire 20th century, Lower Lusatia was shaped by the lignite (brown coal) industry and extensive open-pit mining, by which more than 100 of the region's villages—many of them within the Sorbian settlement area—were damaged or destroyed, especially by order of East German authorities. While this process is still going on, most notably around Jänschwalde Power Station, run by EPH, some now exhausted open-pit mines are being converted into artificial lakes, in the hope of attracting tourism, and the area is now referred to as the Lusatian Lake District (Lausitzer Seenland).

Lower Lusatian House of the Estates Assembly in Lübben

Today the area comprises the Brandenburg districts of Oberspreewald-Lausitz and Spree-Neiße with the unitary authority of Cottbus, as well as parts of Elbe-Elster, Dahme-Spreewald, and Oder-Spree. Important towns beside Cottbus and the historic capitals Lübben and Luckau include Calau, Doberlug-Kirchhain, Finsterwalde, Forst, Guben/Gubin, Lauchhammer, Lübbenau, Senftenberg, Spremberg, Vetschau, and Żary.

Since 1945, when a small part of Lusatia east of the Oder–Neisse line was incorporated into Poland, Żary has been touted as the capital of Polish Lusatia.[1]


Reconstructed Lusatian stronghold of Raduš near Vetschau (Wětošow)

The area of Lower Lusatia roughly corresponds with the eastern March of Lusatia or Saxon Eastern March between the Saale and Bóbr rivers, which about 965 was severed from the vast Marca Geronis, conquered by the Saxon count Gero in the course of his campaigns against the Polabian Slavs from 939 onwards. Odo I became the first margrave; his successor Gero II from 1002 onwards had to face several attacks by Polish duke Bolesław I Chrobry, which did not end until the 1018 Treaty of Bautzen, which ceded large parts of eastern Lusatia to Poland. Emperor Conrad II reconquered the territories in 1031.

In 1136 Conrad the Great of the House of Wettin, margrave of Meissen, also received the March of Lusatia. In the early 13th century, Lower Lusatia was either entirely or partly, reintegrated with Poland under Henry the Bearded. Later on, it was once again lost to the Wettin dynasty, who ruled it until in 1303 it was acquired by the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg. For centuries, from as early as the Middle Ages, trade flourished, and several important trade routes ran through Lower Lusatia, connecting German states in the west, Poland in the east and Bohemia in the south.[2]

In 1319, the southern portion of Lower Lusatia with the towns of Żary and Komorów Zły (now German: Senftenberg, Lower Sorbian: Zły Komorow) became part of the Duchy of Jawor, the southwesternmost duchy of fragmented Piast-ruled Poland.[3][4] In the northern part, in 1319, Gubin was unsuccessfully besieged by King John of Bohemia,[4] and eventually fell to the Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg.[5] In 1324, the northern part passed to the House of Wittelsbach.[6] From 1364, entire Lower Lusatia was ruled by the Duchy of Jawor-Świdnica, and after the death of Duke Bolko II the Small it passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia (Czechia).[7]

Lower (green) and Upper Lusatia (yellow), Johann Homann, early 18th century map.

In 1367 Elector Otto V sold it to Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg who incorporated Lower Lusatia into the Bohemian Crown. Charles' father King John of Bohemia had already acquired the adjacent territory to the south around Bautzen and Görlitz, which became known as Upper Lusatia. The former Lordship of Cottbus was acquired by Brandenburg in 1455 and remained an exclave within the Bohemian kingdom.

Both Lusatias formed separate Bohemian crown lands under the rule of the Luxembourg, Jagiellon and—from 1526—Habsburg dynasties. In the course of the Reformation the vast majority of the population turned Protestant. The Bohemian era came to an end when Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg ceded the Lusatias to Elector John George I of Saxony under the 1635 Peace of Prague in return for his support in the Thirty Years' War; thus the lands returned to the House of Wettin.

One of the two main routes connecting Warsaw and Dresden ran through the region in the 18th century and Kings Augustus II the Strong and Augustus III of Poland often traveled the route.[8] Numerous Polish dignitaries also traveled through Lower Lusatia on several occasions, and some Polish nobles owned estates in Lusatia.[9] A distinct remnant of the region's ties to Poland are the 18th-century mileposts decorated with the coat of arms of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth located in various towns in the region. Polish-Sorbian contacts increased in that period. With the Age of Enlightenment, the Sorbian national revival began and resistance to Germanization emerged.[10]

As the Kingdom of Saxony had sided with Napoleon it had to cede Lower Lusatia to Prussia in the 1815 Congress of Vienna, whereafter the territory became part of the Province of Brandenburg and the Province of Saxony. One of the main escape routes for insurgents of the unsuccessful Polish November Uprising from partitioned Poland to the Great Emigration led through Lübben and Luckau.[11]

In the interbellum, the Poles and Sorbs in Germany closely cooperated as part of the Association of National Minorities in Germany, established at the initiative of the Union of Poles in Germany in 1924. There were still notable Polish communities in Lower Lusatia, such as Klettwitz (Upper Sorbian: Klěśišća, Polish: Kletwice).[12]

Monument to the veterans of the fights for Poland's freedom and independence in Gubin, Poland

During World War II, the Germans established and operated the Stalag III-B, Oflag III-C and Oflag 8 and prisoner-of-war camps for Polish, French, Belgian, Serbian, British, Australian, New Zealander, Soviet, American, Dutch and Italian POWs with several forced labour subcamps in the region,[13] several Nazi prisons with multiple forced labour subcamps, including in Luckau and a prison solely for women in Cottbus,[14][15] and several subcamps of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, the prisoners of which included Jewish women and Polish, French, Soviet, Croatian and Czech men.[16]

During the war, the Poles postulated that after the defeat of Germany, the Sorbs should be allowed free national development either within the borders of Poland or Czechoslovakia, or as an independent Sorbian state in alliance with Poland.[17]

With the implementation of the Oder–Neisse line by the 1945 Potsdam Conference, the lands east of the Neisse river became again part of Poland, and the remaining German population was expelled by the Soviet-installed Communist authorities in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, whereas the western part became part of also Communist East Germany.

Coat of arms

The Lower Lusatian bull is first documented in 1363. In 1378, upon the death of Emperor Charles IV, it appeared in gules on a field argent (red on silver), similar to the coat of arms of Luckau, in which the bull has gold horns and hooves, and turns his head to look at the viewer. After over 600 years it is still used today as Lower Lusatia's coat of arms.


Serbski muzej Chóśebuz (Sorbian Museum in Cottbus)

Main museums dedicated to the history of the region include the Sorbian museum in Cottbus (Serbski muzej Chóśebuz) and the Muzeum Pogranicza Śląsko-Łużyckiego ("Museum of Silesian-Lusatian Borderland") in Żary.


Żary is the origin place of kiełbasa żarska, a local type of kiełbasa, whereas the Gubin area is the place of cultivation of the gubinka plum, both traditional foods officially protected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland.[18][19]

Nature reserves and parks

See also


  2. ^ Pieradzka, Krystyna (1949). "Związki handlowe Łużyc ze Śląskiem w dawnych wiekach". Sobótka (in Polish). Wrocław. IV (4): 89–91.
  3. ^ Paulitz, Johann Gottlob. Chronik der Stadt Senftenberg und der zum ehemaligen Amte Senftenberg gehörigen Ortschaften (in German). Dresden. p. 67.
  4. ^ a b Bogusławski, Wilhelm (1861). Rys dziejów serbo-łużyckich (in Polish). Petersburg. p. 142.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ Rymar, Edward (1979). "Rywalizacja o ziemię lubuską i kasztelanię międzyrzecką w latach 1319–1326, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem stosunków pomorsko-śląskch". Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka (in Polish). Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk. XXXIV (4): 479.
  6. ^ Rymar, p. 394
  7. ^ Pieradzka, Krystyna (1948). "Historyczny rozwój zachodniej granicy Dolnego Śląska do początku czasów nowożytnych". Przegląd Zachodni (in Polish). No. 7–8. pp. 67–68.
  8. ^ "Informacja historyczna". Dresden-Warszawa (in Polish). Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  9. ^ Matyniak, Alojzy S. (1968). "Kontakty kulturalne polsko-serbołużyckie w XVIII w.". Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka (in Polish). Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich. XXIII (2): 243.
  10. ^ Matyniak, p. 241
  11. ^ Umiński, Janusz (1998). "Losy internowanych na Pomorzu żołnierzy powstania listopadowego". Jantarowe Szlaki (in Polish). No. 4 (250). p. 16.
  12. ^ Leksykon Polactwa w Niemczech (in Polish). Opole: Związek Polaków w Niemczech. 1939. p. 364.
  13. ^ Megargee, Geoffrey P.; Overmans, Rüdiger; Vogt, Wolfgang (2022). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos 1933–1945. Volume IV. Indiana University Press, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 211–212, 235, 405–406. ISBN 978-0-253-06089-1.
  14. ^ "Zuchthaus Luckau". (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Frauenzuchthaus Cottbus". (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  16. ^ "Subcamps of KL Gross- Rosen". Gross-Rosen Museum in Rogoźnica. Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  17. ^ Orzechowski, Marian (1976). "Kwestia serbołużycka w polskiej myśli politycznej w latach 1939–1947". Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka (in Polish). Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk. XXXI (2): 380–381.
  18. ^ "Kiełbasa żarska". Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi - Portal (in Polish). Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  19. ^ "Śliwka gubinka". Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi - Portal (in Polish). Retrieved 25 October 2023.

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