Herrnhut is a small town in the Upper Lusatia (Oberlausitz) region of Saxony (Sachsen), in Germany. In the 18th century, Herrnhut gave birth to the Moravian spiritual renewal and missions movement under Count Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf (1700-1760). It remains a haven for Christian pilgrims, and is the world headquarters of the Moravian Church (Evangelische Brüdergemeine).
Herrnhut was born as a result of people fleeing religious intolerance: Protestant refugees fled Catholic persecution in Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, and were given permission by the devoutly Christian German nobleman Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf to settle on his lands. Zinzendorf's estate included what became the town site of Herrnhut. The name 'Herrnhut' translates as 'the Lord's watchful care' and was chosen by the Moravians because they saw themselves as being under God's protection. The count soon took on a direct leadership role with the refugees, helping to mould them into a strong community.
From this tiny village hamlet, a vibrant missionary movement began. Herrnhut sent out 100 missionaries to the far-flung corners of the world in the 25 years after 1727, more than all Protestant efforts at missions in the previous 200 years, since the birth of Protestantism in the wake of the Reformation. (Another 1900 have left in the years since and to put that in context, the town's current population is just a shade under 5,000.)
There is an egalitarian spirit that runs through the veins of the town today. While it may be socially conservative, even too much so for some people’s tastes, the genuine community values of the town’s founders and their descendants, which have seen them prize freedom and gentle persuasion over coercion, makes Herrnhut a very welcoming place for everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.
The local economy has fared well despite being in the 'poor former East Germany', running, as it does, on a mix of church administration, light manufacturing and services, and tourism largely driven by the area's Moravian heritage. In addition to the town site, the municipality of Herrnhut oversees local government services for the villages of Euldorf, Friedensthal, Großhennersdorf, Heuscheune, Neundorf auf dem Eigen, Ninive, Ruppersdorf, Schwan, Schönbrunn and Strahwalde.
Most locals under 50 speak some English. As with the rest of Germany, the younger the person, generally speaking, the better the English. As many English-speaking tourists come here to soak up the town's religious history, those involved in the local tourism industry usually have excellent English skills. Also, those aged over 50 may have some ability in Russian, which was a compulsory second language in East German schools.
Herrnhut is approximately 90 km east of Dresden, the capital of Saxony.
International airports nearest to Herrnhut are Dresden, Berlin and Leipzig (in Germany) and Prague (in the Czech Republic). For inexpensive flights with discount carriers from within Europe, Prague and Berlin-Schönefeld are the best airports. For flights from the USA, the best airport is Dresden, which is also the closest airport to Herrnhut, followed by Prague and Berlin-Tegel.
The nearest train station to Herrnhut is in Löbau (Sachsen). On online train timetables, it is referred to as "Lobau (Sachs)", i.e. do not search for Lobau (Sachsen), as that will call up a different train station.
To travel from Dresden to Löbau: head to the airport's S-Bahn (streetcar/tram) stop which is found on the lower level of the airport. Buy a ticket at the automat directly by the S-Bahn. Enter Löbau as your destination; the ticket should cost €13.70 total. You can check out train/bus schedules or buy your ticket ahead of time here. The English version of this site may be selected in the upper right-hand corner. Enter “Dresden Airport” as your origin and “Löbau (Sachs)” as your destination. Take the S-Bahn #2 (in the direction of Pirna) for 5 minutes and exit at the Dresden-Klotzsche stop. Alternatively, you can take Bus #80 or Bus #77 + #72 (transfer at Klotzsche Rathuas) to the train station at Dresden-Klotzsche. The bus platforms are directly out the front door of the airport. From Dresden-Klotzsche you will take a regional train in the direction of Görlitz to the Löbau stop. This takes about 1 hour.
To travel from Berlin to Löbau: Berlin has two main airports, Tegel and Schönefeld. Berlin-Schönefeld is a center for discount flights from other European cities. Berlin-Tegel is the larger airport and has many direct international flights, including from the United States.
The train station lost all passenger train service in 1998 and the tracks have since been ripped out.
There is no operational train station in Herrnhut. It is possible reach Herrnhut via Löbau using bus No. 27 that runs between the larger towns of Zittau and Löbau (known on train timetables as "Löbau (Sachs)" to distinguish it from other locations in Germany of the same name). On this bus route, get off at the bus stop named Zinzendorfplatz.
Here are links to the bus company website and the bus timetables from Löbau to Herrnhut.
If you take the option of flying into Prague (see above), to travel from Prague to Herrnhut: Travelling from the Czech capital to Herrnhut is very cheap but takes at least 3 hours and involves several connections. You will also need to have cash in Czech koruna (Kč) to pay for some of your fares throughout this journey. There are two Czech cities near Herrnhut which can be reached from the airport or the centre of Prague: Varnsdorf and Liberec.
From Prague to Varnsdorf: The closest Czech city to Herrnhut is Varnsdorf, directly on the Czech/German border. At the kiosk in the Prague airport arrival hall, buy a 75-minute public transport (26 Kč each, plus an extra half-ticket for each large piece of luggage.) These are valid for 1 hr 15 min on buses, trams and metros within Prague. From the airport, take Bus #119 to Dejvicka. At Dejvicka, take the Metro A (green, direction of Depo Hostivar) to Muzeum. Take the Metro C (red, direction of Ladvi) to Nadrazi Holesovice. Go outside to the bus station to find the bus to Varnsdorf (platform 2, 3 or 7). Tickets cost about 100 Kč, plus about 10 Kč for each piece of luggage. Bus schedule is here. Varnsdorf is approximately 25 minutes by car from Herrnhut. Taxis are usually available for this portion of the journey.
From Prague to Liberec: Liberec is located approximately 30 km south of Herrnhut. At the kiosk in the Prague airport arrival hall, buy a 75-minute public transport (see above). From the airport, take Bus #100 to Zlicin. Take the Metro B (yellow) to Cerny Most. Take the Student Agency bus (platform 3 or 7) to Liberec. The buses are usually full at least an hour ahead of time, so it is best to book in advance. You can do this with a credit card. Tickets cost 90 Kč for adults. Booking can be done here. Choose Praha-Cerny Most as your point of departure and Liberec AN as your point of arrival. The bus may stop at two different places in Liberec. Exit the bus at the terminal station, which is the main bus depot. Liberec is approximately 45 minutes by car from Herrnhut. Alternatively, take a train across the border to the city of Zittau and from there take the bus 27 to Herrnhut.
From Dresden, take the A4 in the direction of Görlitz to the Bautzen-Ost exit. Turn left on the B156 in the direction of Bautzen. In Bautzen, turn left on the B6 in the direction of Löbau at the second traffic light. After approximately 20 km you will approach the town of Löbau. Turn left on the B178 in the direction of Zittau. From here there are signs to Herrnhut. The drive from Dresden to Herrnhut takes about 1.5 hours.
The best way of getting around is on foot. The town is small and one can easily walk between the museums and landmarks in a short space of time.
address: Schulstraße 27The church may be of interest to religious pilgrims as it is the location where the Moravians gathered for a communion service in 1727 and experienced an intense spiritual awakening. Out of this episode emerged a religious revival that featured a 24/7 prayer meeting which lasted over 100 years - or 120 years according to some accounts - and was also the impetus for the first Protestant missionary movement, launched with an effort to the West Indies in 1732.
Count Zinzendorf's Graveaddress: GottesackeralleeIn the cemetery, towards the higher end up the slope, there is a row of eight large stone graves in the middle of the pathway in which Count Zinzendorf and close family members are interred. Count Zinzendorf's grave is the fourth one from the left, going up the slope. The grave of Zinzendorf's wife, Erdmuth Dorothea (1700-1756), is next to his as the fifth from the left. Reflecting Moravian asceticism and strong belief in equality, the graves of the Count and his family are simple plain slab stones they were ground level like all the other graves and were only lifted on pedestals later on. The graveyard also features the lookout tower (Altan) on the hill's summit. The lookout tower is often open but if the door to the stairwell that leads to the lookout area is locked one can gain access by enquiring at the tourist bureau. If you appreciate spectacular views of rolling green hills and country vistas, it is definitely worth heading to the loookout area armed with a camera.
address: Schulstraße 27Built as a plain framework building, it was rebuilt in the late 18th century in a new architectural style eventually dubbed Moravian Baroque (Herrnhuter Barocks), which is characterised by clarity and simplicity. The Nazi government forced the Moravians to sell the property to the state on unfavourable terms just prior to the Second World War but it was returned to the church by the Soviet army soon after the conflict. However, it was again appropriated within a few years, this time by the new communist regime, and left to languish for decades, during which time it fell into a state of disrepair. The property was acquired by a non-profit heritage group after reunification, which launched a reconstruction effort that began the property's restoration. The project is ongoing.
phone: +49 35873-48731address: Zittauer Straße 24The Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine operates the archives for the worldwide Moravian movement. Housed in the oldest archive house in Saxony, founded in 1764, it features a library of all publications of the Moravian Church and of Moravian authors, including letters, mission reports, memoirs, and congregation diaries. The archive also features a music collection, paintings and family archives of the Zinzendorf family. Archive collections are available for research.
address: Comeniusstraße 3The original building was constructed in 1756. In May 1945, the first church was burnt down by Red Army soldiers in a wave of looting and destruction that destroyed much of the old Herrnhut, but the community was able to rally together and build the current church in the 1950s (the walls survived the war carnage with the rest of the structure needing to be replaced/reconstructed). The building's architecture is typical for Herrnhuter prayer halls all around the world: The ground plan is a transverse rectangle and the building itself is plain - there is no steeple but, instead, a small bell tower in the middle of the roof. The interior is even plainer, all painted in white. There is neither pulpit nor altar, only a seat and a table for the preacher. There is a small museum on the second floor featuring various items connected to Count Zinzendorf (e.g. his prayer book, correspondence with the famous English revivalist John Wesley, etc.), although the text for the displays is in German only. The back entrance to the church is supposed to be open in the daytime. In case it is not and you are there during office hours, ask nicely at the office of the chairman (Vorsteher), which is in the yellow house on the other side of the street, and you will be admitted. Outside the church is a small garden featuring a bust of Count Zinzendorf and a wall with a bell atop it. The original church featured three bells which were confiscated by Nazi authorities in the war when metal was scarce. Two of the bells were melted down but the third survived and was returned to the Moravians. As such, it is the only surviving element of the original church building (along with the church walls).
address: Oderwitzer Straße 8The Moravian (Advent) Star (Herrnhuter Adventsstern), was created at a school in Niesky, Saxony, in the 1830s, probably as a project for a geometry lesson. Eventually, it was adopted by the Moravians as a symbol of Advent. In the late 19th century, Peter Verbeek, an alumnus of the school in Niesky, began selling the stars through his bookstore - his son Harry went on to found the Moravian Star Company in Herrnhut and ultimately it became part of the Moravian-run Abraham Dürninger company. Visit the factory showroom and see how the stars are made. You can purchase stars at the company store (see below). The showroom also contains a café so you can quench your thirst or satisfy your appetite after checking out the workers plying their trade.
phone: +49 35873-2403address: Goethestraße 1Perhaps the most interesting museum, although the one that has the least to do with the actual town’s local history, it features a variety of artifacts brought back to the town by Moravian missionaries over the past 200 years from such diverse locations as Australia, Africa and Canada.
address: Comeniusstraße 6Located in a large baroque house that once belonged to a local wealthy family. The museum features rooms containing original antique furnishings (e.g. Biedermeier furniture, handmade tapestries, handcrafts) that show the lifestyle of a well-off Saxon family in the 18th-19th centuries. Other items and displays, such as antique toys and musical instruments, relate further aspects of the town's rich history. There is also a nice baroque garden at the rear of the museum.
Water Castleaddress: Untere Dorfstraße 56Large country manor that, like Medieval castles of old, was once surrounded by a moat – hence the manor’s name. The current building was built over the ruins of an earlier one that burnt down in 1687. It was owned by a noble family before being sold to the state in 1930. After the war, it was used by the German Red Cross as a children’s home. In 2005, it was purchased by Youth With a Mission (Jugend mit Einer Mission), a missions organisation, and is now their community/training base. Part of the reason the group chose to locate in the area was specifically to continue in the tradition established by the Moravians. Visitors are welcome and tours of the building can be arranged.
address: Am Sportplatz 3Regional alternative culture centre featuring arthouse cinema as well as concerts by non-mainstream musicians and bands, cabaret, art exhibitions, and public readings. Also has an alternative-style pub (see below).
Forest Swimming Pooladdress: Zittauer StraßeGood for a dip on hot summer days. Nestled between tall shady trees, this is the oldest brick pool in Upper Lusatia, dating to 1907. The Zinzendorf Oak Trees (Zinzendorfeichen) are located near the pool bathroom - Count Zinzendorf is said to have planted an oak tree upon the birth of each of his 12 children. Today, only 5 such trees survive.
Historic TourStaff at the Tourist Information office on Comeniusstraße can organise tours of the town taking in all the historic landmarks as well as day trips in the region and beyond.
Moravian ForestHerrnhut sits on higher ground than the surrounding countryside and this comprises two hills, the Hengtsberg and Heinrichsberg, as well as a forest which is owned by the Moravian church. Walkers will find several things of interest in the forest. The Sculpture Trail (see below) runs through part of the forest, as does the 3 km long Zinzendorf Nature Trail (Zinzendorf-Lehrpfad). Travellers will also find an example of a bandengrubens on the Hengtsberg, a stone circle that was used by Bible study/discipleship groups of the early Moravian church for their meetings. Several of these bandengrubens were made although only one has been excavated. The Gedenkstein memorial is also located on the Hengtsberg, near the main road . This is the spot where the first tree was felled back in 1722 to establish the town. A ceremony is held every year to commemorate this (see below). And, there is an old well located in the wood on the Heinrichsberg. Finally, there is an old stone viaduct bridge on the western outskirts of the town near the village of Schwan. The viaduct dates to 1848 and initially lasted until 1945, when two sections of it were blown up in a bid to slow down the Red Army's advance. It was repaired by the following year and the two sections that were rebuilt can still be seen.
Sculpture TrailA walking trail running between Herrnhut and nearby Großhennersdorf. It is 5 km long and was developed by a group of artists from Löbau in 2000 (the 300th anniversary of Count Zinzendorf's birth). The trail features several sculptures, or stations as the creators call them, which depict events in biblical and church history, with particular reference to the Moravian Church. Locals recommend only walking half the trail - after 2 km, travellers will come to the Petersbach stream. Cross this and then turn right instead of left. Walk to the main road, cross it and enjoy some refreshments at the Eulkretscham Hotel restaurant (see below). Afterwards, walk behind the hotel and head down to the forest. Adventurers can use a rope to climb across the river. Continue along this path, which heads back to Herrnhut. On the way, you will come to an Estonian Swing, which can accommodate up to ten people simultaneously and is a lot of fun.
Slow DeathFor those looking for some impromptu aerobic exercise, walk down Löbauer Straße, in the direction of Zittau and turn right at the entrance that leads to the town kindergarten. Walk past the kindergarten and down the path (which, if followed through the woods at the base of the hill, leads to the neighbouring village of Rupperdorf). Then, turn around and enjoy what Ruppersdorf villagers in past times experienced: a walk up Slow Death, albeit minus the horses laden with agricultural wares destined for sale in the old Herrnhut market. You can also arrive at the base of Slow Death if you take the return path to the town that runs from behind the Eulkretscham Hotel (see above).
Zinzendorf GardenTake a spazieren gehen - leisurely stroll - through the beautiful baroque garden behind Zinzendorfhaus, a building which houses the Moravian-run Herrnhuter Diakonie that oversees healthcare to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Contemplate life, the universe and everything on a bench, interrupted only by the sound of mooing cows in a paddock next to the garden.
Gedenkstein CeremonyOn June 17th each year, a procession begins in the garden of the Moravian Church around 17:00 and makes its way to the Gedenkstein memorial (see above). There follows a ceremony to commemorate the founding of Herrnhut on this day in 1722.
Moravian Anniversary ServiceOn August 13th each year a special anniversary service is held in the Berthelsdorf Church (see above) to commemorate the spiritual awakening that gave birth to the Moravian movement proper in 1727.
Moravian Christmas MarketEvery year on the Saturday before Advent (the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day). As with the nearly 1700 other Christmas markets around Germany, visitors can sample various regional foods and drink including beers and the de rigueur Glühwein (hot wine). Being the home of the Moravian Star (see below), this traditional iconic item is also widely available at stalls along with other handcrafts. At dusk, a ceremony takes place in which the large Advent wreath is lit.
Moravian Sunrise ServiceThe first Easter Sunrise Service was held in Herrnhut by the Moravian Single Brethren, the unmarried men of the community, on Easter 1732. The service is now observed in Moravian congregations around the world and has been adopted by many other churches as well. The service in Herrnhut begins before sunrise on Easter Day in the Moravian Church and moves in procession to the Graveyard on the Hutberg as the church's Brass Choir plays antiphonal hymns.
Weekly Marketaddress: ZinzendorfplatzTown flea market with food, clothes, knick knacks - bargains to be had.
address: August-Bebel-Straße 11Folk art gallery/store run by the local Künstlergilde (artists' guild) which features the work of artists and craftspeople from the region - painting, ceramics, glassware, textiles, etc.
address: August-Bebel-Straße 12Charity wares store run by Christliches Zentrum (see below). Selling a selection of handcrafts and woollen goods brought back to Germany through the church's Mongolian missions aid/development efforts. Thursday afternoons, visitors can also enjoy complimentary refreshments/coffee as they browse and fellowship with the local church community.
address: Löbauer Straße 21Easily recognisable by the large red and white star hanging above the shop entrance (note: Moravian Star pictured is located elsewhere in the town). Herrnhut is renowned for being the place where the Moravian Star was popularised. Here you can buy Herrnhut Stars/Star kits (of various sizes/prices).
address: August-Bebel-Straße 16Family-run traditional café specialising in regional gourmet cakes and homemade ice creams that come in 35 flavours. It is a common summer sight to see families seated on the café's front steps, all enjoying ice cream bought at the café's ice cream cart, which is permanently stationed in front of the establishment.
address: Löbauer Straße 17Restaurant and beer garden featuring local brews and traditional items such as Saxon Pork served with stewed apple slices and the Moravian hut feast, good for vegetarians. Their cherry sauce dessert is 'sehr lecker', as the Germans say, as well. Locals consider this the best place in town for eating out, along with the restaurant at the Eulkretscham Hotel (see below).
address: Löbauer Straße 4Bakery founded in 1735, 13 years after the town began, and run by the Paul family since 1841, featuring unique local specialities like Moravian Sister Kisses (Herrnhuter Schmätzchen) and Zinzendorf Slices (Zinzendorfschnitte). Locals usually pop in for a coffee/snack for breakfast on their way to work.
Restaurant at the Big Treeaddress: Niedere Dorfstraße 1Restaurant located, as it says in the name, near an iconic large tree.
Umut Kebab Houseaddress: FleischergasseFor the budget-conscious, sample a doner kebab or durum. Kebabs start from €3.50 while the more expensive items are large pizzas and pasta in the €5.50-6.50 range. The establishment also features a bar area with pool table and TV tuned to either football (soccer) or else Turkish TV programs.
address: Dürningerstraße 3Housed in a building that used to be a post office where products manufactured by the Moravian-owned Abraham Dürninger company (see below) were stored in the cellar awaiting shipment overseas, this rustic-style restaurant specialises in regional dishes. The venue is also used for small, intimate concerts.
If you're staying in town a few days or longer and want to get some groceries head to the local Penny Markt or Netto, both on Löbauer Straße and both open M-Sa 07:00-20:00. Dürninger's, on Dürninger Straße, is a little pricier than the supermarkets but they stock many items you can't get elsewhere. Now and then you find imported goodies like Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce, which are not the easiest items to locate in Germany. It is part of the Abraham Dürninger company, founded by Herr Dürninger in 1747 and at one time one of the largest trading companies in Europe. Phone: +49 35873-2466. Opening Hours: M-F 07:00-18:00, Sa 07:00-11:00.
Also, Ramona Wendland Fruit & Vegetables (Ramona Wendland Obst & Gemuse), also on Dürninger Straße, is a local 'gourmet' food store which stocks fresh organic produce from the region - sun-dried tomatoes, etc. Phone: +49 35873-2552. Open: M-W F 08:00-18:00, Th 08:00-19:00, Sat 08:00-12:00.
Sample the regional beers of choice: Eibauer, a dark beer popular in GDR times and revived after reunification (see below), and Landskron, a Pilsner type beer similar to lager but stronger and with a more distinctive taste of hops.
Herrnhut Liquor Storeaddress: August-Bebel-Straße 14
Old Bakery Culture Caféaddress: Am Sportplatz 3A former bakery converted into an alternative-style pub featuring a mix of retro- and antique decor with surreal ceramic sculptures as well as eclectic music - one moment 1960s American soul, the next highly experimental 21st century electronic ambient and noise soundscapes. Part of the Arthouse Cinema culture centre (see above).
address: Am Stausee 4Hotel in an idyllic country setting. Has a restaurant and a conference hall. The management organise tours of regional towns (traditional package tours, and more adventurous ones like motorbike rides), as well as activities such as horse-riding. The daughter of the owners speaks English.
address: Friednesthaler Straße 7Traditional Upper Lusatian inn specialising in regional cuisine/home cooking.
Hotel Niniveaddress: Oderwitzer Straße-Ninive 7
address: August-Bebel-Straße 13Run by a local evangelical church (Christliches Zentrum) in the town's old hospital, most of the present structure dates to 1767, when it was constructed as Abraham Dürninger's (1706-1773) trading company HQ. Offers great facilities for religious pilgrims - many come for spiritual retreats and/or to join in the church community life of prayer and worship. The grounds contain a large garden that is in the process of being restored to its pre-GDR baroque glory. Internet access for guests.
address: Comenius Street 8 +10Comprises two large houses - the Meeting House (Tagungshaus), with 50 beds, dining room that seats 116 and conference hall that seats 150, and the Family Inn (Familienferienstätte) with 37 beds.
address: Comeniusstraße 4Bed & breakfast in one of the oldest surviving houses in town, built in 1743, major reconstruction in 1991/2. Locals consider this the best place to stay in town.
address: VolksbadstraßeOpened in 1925, this campsite is open year-round and offers various sports facilities including beach volleyball, badminton and table tennis. Use the site as a base to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside either by bicycle or else hiking/walking. Also features campfire barbecues with charcoal steak and sausages cooked fresh, and a beer garden (open M-W F 16:00-late, Sa Su 10:00-late) so you can wash your food down with local varieties of the amber fluid.
- If you fall ill and need medication then head over to the Hutberg Pharmacy (Apotheke zum Hutberg) located opposite the Moravian Church on Zinzendorfplatz. Phone +49 35873-2341. Open: M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-12:00.
- If you need medical attention there is a doctors' surgery on Fleischergasse (enter the door to the right of the Döner and head up one flight of stairs). The physician, Dr Kay Herbrig, speaks good English. Phone +49 35873-369858. Open: M Tu 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00, W 09:00-12:00, Th 08:00-12:00 and 15:00-18:00, F 08:00-11:00.
On the doorstep
- Eibau - Home of regional favourite Eibauer dark beer (Schwarzbier - see above). Also notable for the Kottmar Tower (Kottmarturm), a 130-year-old lookout tower situated on Kottmar Mountain, standing 16m tall and offering a great panoramic view over the Upper Lusatian hills to the Zittau Mountains and the Bohemian Mountains. The Path of Legends (Sagenpfad) is also on Kottmar Mountain, a 4.5 km trail with explanatory panels regarding several legends which have grown up around the mountain. Eibau is also the location of the source of the Spree River, which flows all the way to Berlin. 9 km from Herrnhut.
- Löbau - Features the King-Friedrich-August Tower (König-Friedrich-August-Turm), , the biggest cast-iron tower in Europe and which offers incredible views of the Upper Lusatian Mountains. 11 km from Herrnhut.
- Obercunnersdorf - Notable for its UNESCO-listed 260 timber-framed houses ("Umgebindehäuser"), , each lovingly-maintained by their owners and featuring striking decorations, patterns and shapes. Also visit the town's large square windmill which has a bakery with wood oven to tempt hungry visitors, and the Barber Museum (Friseurmuseum), , which takes you on a journey through the hairdressing of yesteryear. 6.5 km from Herrnhut.
- Oderwitz - Features a model train museum consisting of two railway circuits - a 105-m² indoor track running dozens of trains and a larger 800-m² outdoor track in the museum garden, , as well as the studio of renowned regional artist Max Langer (1897-1985), an innovator of glass paintings, which were popular in GDR times. 7km from Herrnhut.
- Zittau - Border town close to the tripoint of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. To reach the tripoint, drive across the border into Poland and continue for about 1 km where you will cross into the Czech Republic, stop at the petrol station on your right and then walk along the footpath into the forest for about 100 m until you reach the river. It's great for photos with one foot in one nation and another foot in another nation, if you can straddle the stream that runs off the river. Zittau is also the home station for the Zittau Mountains Railroad, a steam train that travels into the mountains at a leisurely 16 km/h, allowing passengers to soak in the countryside, . 15 km from Herrnhut.
- Bautzen - Cultural centre for the Slavic Sorb minority and historical capital of Upper Lusatia, Bautzen remains the unofficial regional capital. It has a well-preserved medieval old town district featuring such notable landmarks as the Reichenturm, one of the steepest leaning and still passable towers north of the Alps, and the Alte Wasserkunst, one of the oldest preserved waterworks in central Europe. Also renowned for Bautz'ner senf, its iconic mustard. 31km from Herrnhut.
- Görlitz - The easternmost town of Germany and containing a rich architectural heritage (Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Historicist, Art Nouveau) that has largely been preserved (in contrast to the rest of the country). Restoration of the town to its pre-GDR glory is arguably more advanced than other towns in the region thanks to a mysterious benefactor who lavishes a rumoured €500,000 on redevelopment/restoration projects every year. Take a stroll across the Neisse River into Poland using the pedestrian footbridge and get a different perspective of the old town from a distance. 32 km from Herrnhut.
- Grabstejn Castle (Hrad Grabštejn) - Just over the border in the Czech Republic (between Zittau and Liberec). The first castle was built in the 13th century, and it was rebuilt many times over the centuries. This Czech fortress is one of the oldest in northern Bohemia. It was opened to the public in 1993. Visitors can view the Gothic cellars and the rooms in two storeys of the chateau that are furnished mostly with original pieces of furniture, decorated with paints and other items. The real jewel is the Renaissance Chapel of St. Barbara with rich frescoes and original arches from the 16th century. The tower offers views of distant surroundings. 26 km from Herrnhut.
- Kleinwelka - A subdivision of Bautzen, it is also a Moravian foundation. The edge of town features a trio of adventure parks: a dinosaur park, , a miniature village, and a giant maze garden, . 37km from Herrnhut.
- Liberec - The third-largest city in Bohemia and fifth-largest in the Czech Republic, Liberec is dominated by Ještěd Mountain, atop of which sits a tower, built in the 1960s, that has an unusual hyperboloid shape. The tower serves as a hotel and TV transmitter and offers great views of the surrounding region. Liberec also has a zoo (the first ever opened in the country - in 1919) and a large botanical garden with nine plantation glasshouses and a large exterior terrain. 45km from Herrnhut.
- Ostritz - Notable for St. Marienthal Abbey, a Cistercian nunnery that has existed uninterrupted since 1234. The nuns prize hospitality and guests are welcome to come and stay at the abbey for a time of silence and reflection, as well as to work and pray with the sisters. Also, one curious fact about Ostritz is that, due to geography, its train station lies in Poland in the village of Krzewina. 17 km from Herrnhut.
- Oybin - German spa town (i.e. filled with health resorts) nestled in the Zittau Mountains (see below) on the Czech border, with the unusual beehive-shaped Oybin mountain looming large over the district and the almost 'mystical' ruins of a Celestine monastery (Burg und Kloster) at its summit, complete with castle museum, . 24 km from Herrnhut.
- Zittau Mountains (Zittauer Gebirge) - The Zittau Mountains, , are the smallest, but some say most beautiful, mountain range in Germany. About 20 km from Herrnhut.