Whe comes here for the first time in the romantic valley of the Neisse in the border triangle Germany-Poland-Czech Republic, rubs his eyes in amazement. On the German side of the river, close to the border with Poland, there seems to be a fairytale castle. With domes, towers and decor in the Bohemian Baroque style.
And yet St. Marienthal is nothing less than that. Behind the magnificent facades, simplicity, obedience and renunciation prevail. Women who have dedicated their lives to God and their community live here.
Dhe person is a collector and the traveler perhaps a little more. Exotic stamps in the passport, however, will be difficult to collect in the foreseeable future.
But explorers can also go hunting in Germany – in the far north, south, west and east of the republic. Anyone who has visited the four corners of the country receives a curious award: the Zipfelpass.
It was in May 1998 when the four towns in the far corners of Germany united to form the Zipfelbund: List on Sylt in the north, Görlitz in the east, Oberstdorf in the south and Selfkant in the west.
In the following year, at the celebrations for the Day of German Unity, the partnership was notarized under the eyes of Prime Ministers Kurt Biedenkopf (Saxony) and Wolfgang Clement (North Rhine-Westphalia).
The Zipfelpass lures to the ends of Germany
Herbert Corsten, 70, was mayor of Selfkant for a long time. “For Selfkant, the Zipfelbund is more than just a tourist attraction,” he says. Because the place has only existed as an independent municipality since 1969 and has only been part of the Federal Republic of Germany since August 1963. Before that, the area had been under Dutch administration from 1949. “We form the communal framework of the republic”, says a Festschrift from the Zipfelbund.
Tourists should also travel to the corners of Germany, an incentive was needed. The solution was the Zipfelpass. The document measures 9 by 12.5 centimeters, has 22 pages and is similar in size to the former passport of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Holidaymakers receive and stamp their passport in town halls or tourist offices. However, you must provide evidence of at least one overnight stay in the respective Zipfelort. Otherwise everyone could come. No administrative act by stamp without consideration.
Pass holders must travel to the four locations within five years. So far it has been four years, but due to the corona pandemic, the period has been extended by one year. Anyone who can show all four stamps in the Zipfelpass will receive a small gift as a thank you. In Oberstdorf, for example, this is a summit book. Pardon me, of course it’s a corner book.
Corona increases the number of Zipflers
Several thousand travelers have made their way to the four corners in the past – by car, train and bus, on bike or motorcycle, on foot and on horseback. Around 100 Zipfelpasses are stamped in the town hall of Selfkant every year.
Exact numbers are not given there on request, as in the other tip locations. But the number of tip tourists is increasing from year to year, according to Selfkant. In the Corona year 2020 with the boom in domestic tourism, there was recently an even greater influx.
And this is how the four tip locations look like:
List on Sylt: look across the North Sea to Denmark
A small wooden sign on the edge of the dune marks the northernmost point of Germany. It is located in List on Sylt, on the beach in the Ellenbogen nature reserve. The car access from the road between Kampen and List branches off in Westerheide and becomes a toll private road.
The parking lot is waiting behind the List West lighthouse. From there it is only a few hundred meters to the destination: Germany’s top, with a view over the North Sea to Denmark.
The Zipfelpasses are stamped in the Lister spa administration. “There are guests who come over from the mainland by train and want to have the stamp in the Zipfelpass,” says Wolfgang Nicoley from the spa administration. But they categorically reject that in List – a night on site is a must.
Görlitz: easternmost city, but not the tip
There is a little cheating on the German-Polish border. The European city of Görlitz / Zgorzelec, with around 56,000 inhabitants, is Germany’s easternmost tip town – but the easternmost point of the country is around ten kilometers further north.
It is located in the community of Neißeaue, which has around 1700 residents, between the districts of Deschka and Zentendorf. A boulder there points to the point in the middle of the Neisse, which can be reached from Zentendorf via winding dirt roads.
Oberstdorf: tourist magnet in the Allgäu
In Oberstdorf there is the stamp in town, but anyone looking for the absolute southernmost point has to be fit and sure-footed. It is not a “Sunday walk”, says Miriam Frietsch from the tourist office, but “a day trip of eight to ten hours”.
The Zipfelstürmer come by bike – preferably an e-bike – and on foot from the Fellhornbahn car park via the hamlet of Einödsbach to the Speicherhütte. We then continue on foot. Hikers describe the path to the Trifthütte as exhausting and muddy.
Nothing is signposted at Haldenwanger Eck, the last few meters become a scramble. Finale on the rocky slope: The boundary stone 147 is at an altitude of 1931 meters. You can’t go any further south, there at the border triangle of Bavaria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. A lonely place.
Selfkant: Near the narrowest point in the Netherlands
With your feet still in Germany, with your back already in the Netherlands: This is how it works on the quiet bench that stands at the westernmost point of Germany in Selfkant-Isenbruch.
A footbridge on Rodebach leads visitors to the tip point, marked by a bright red stick in the middle of the water. Westzipfel adventure area, that’s what they call the pretty tourist destination on Kreisstraße 1.
With the help of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Selfkant invested half a million euros in 2015 in benches, footbridges and bars, toilets, parking spaces – and thus became a case for the taxpayers’ association. That was a waste of money, the guards ranted about the money pots. But calm has long returned.
Many visitors spend the night in one of the 75 Selfkanter guest beds. Some spend a few days in the Zipfelort. On a bike tour in the region you will discover the narrowest part of the Netherlands (“Het smalste stukje Nederland”), it is only 4.8 kilometers wide.
If you cycle straight west, you can even quickly reach a third EU country: the Belgian municipality of Dilsen-Stokkem on the Meuse.
In eastern Saxony, the number of corona infected people in intensive care units is exploding. Nurses are at their limit, some continue to work despite their own illness.
The nursing staff in Görlitz has reached the limit Photo: Robert Michael / dpa
LEIPZIGtaz | Last week came the call for help from Görlitz: The hospitals are at the limit, too many rescue workers are sick, the health care at the limit. The East Saxon district is on the verge of collapse in the corona crisis. District Administrator Bernd Lange (CDU) calls on the state police, the Ministry of Health and the Federal Armed Forces for help. In view of the massive increase in the number of infections, he speaks of a “crisis situation that has not existed in the region since the 1950s”.
At the same time, there has been a serious care emergency in the easternmost district of Germany, not just since the pandemic. With serious consequences: In Görlitz, corona-positive nurses are currently just continuing to work.
Görlitz, on Tuesday morning. In the district office, District Administrator Bernd Lange (CDU), the social affairs officer of the district Martina Weber and the head of the municipal office have come together. Those in charge act as leaders and want to show that they are in control of the situation. People talk about the general decree, about the fact that the police should control more. That, unlike before, fines would also have to be more stringent.
At this point in time, the 7-day incidence according to the Robert Koch Institute in the eastern Saxon district on the Polish border is 443.57. The week before it was 400.8. In addition to Bautzen, the Ore Mountains and the Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains, the district of Görlitz is one of the current Corona hotspots. In no other federal state is the virus currently spreading as rapidly as in Saxony.
Can the situation still be controlled?
Fifteen nursing homes are currently in quarantine in the district, 417 residents and employees are affected. Nevertheless, the new general decree does not provide for an explicit ban on visits – these decisions are incumbent on the facilities themselves. The hospitals discontinue their emergency services because they are overloaded. The Görlitz Clinic has got more beds, but the intensive care unit is still used at 96%. Some intensive care patients have been moved to hospitals in Dresden in the past few days – some places have become free due to deaths, the social affairs officer said at the press conference on Tuesday.
Despite this crisis situation, the politically responsible assure that there is no contact between infected nurses and non-infected patients. In July, the RKI issued a recommendation in which it said that “in absolute exceptional cases”, “care ONLY for Covid-19 patients” by SARS-CoV-2-positive staff is “conceivable”. This exception can be guaranteed, says Weber.
But can the situation be controlled at all? No, says Mirko Schultze from Görlitz. The member of the state parliament and spokesman for the left-wing parliamentary group for the fire brigade, rescue services, armed forces and disaster control is “firmly convinced” that personnel tested positive for corona come into contact with people who are not infected.
Although the infected nurses work in special protective suits, according to Schulze, given the workload and the emergency, it cannot be guaranteed that there will be no contact. “There has to be a nurse by the bed when someone is on a ventilator.” This risk has to be taken here in order to ensure the care of the corona patients.
If you try to speak to nurses from Görlitz, you will find yourself in a dead end. Many people are afraid to speak up. Others say they don’t want to talk about the topic anymore, but that something is finally changing. From the stations in the clinic it is said that you have to contact the press office. The spokeswoman for the Görlitz Clinic assures that no employees are deployed there who are infected with Corona.
A nurse from nearby Bautzen says, however, that in view of the care emergency it is not possible to guarantee the RKI recommendation. You have to keep working. Because: “As soon as one of us gets sick, the whole system collapses.”
A new general decree has been in force in Görlitz and Bautzen since Tuesday, which includes exit restrictions. On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Kretschmer said that a tightening of the applicable corona rules nationwide could also be considered if the numbers do not fall. Then day care centers, schools and many shops would have to close completely. But there are late measures, announcements and threats. The pandemic was underestimated.
PYou don’t have to like Professor Sperling. He’s sitting there a bit stubborn in his three-piece suit. Inhibited empathy. He knows no self-doubt. He’s a doctor, he heals, he saves lives. Point.
At the end of “God”, the fictional debate by Ferdinand von Schirach filmed by Lars Kraume before the German Ethics Council, in which Professor Sperling is involved as the highest representative of the medical caste, would not be about human dignity, the value of life for the community and Voted his right to self-determined death, but awarded a popular prize, Götz Schubert, who plays Sperling, would have lost after just three sentences.
MWith the best will in the world, an cannot say that the title of European Capital of Culture only adorns the most beautiful cities on the continent. As is well known, Essen, the largest German industrial city, which certainly houses some pearls of industrial culture such as the Zeche Zollverein, but was also a gray Cinderella among the cities for a long time, had the Saxon Görlitz years ago, according to many Germans the most beautiful city in the whole Land snatched away the crown.
And now it is Chemnitz that has been lifted into this league by a jury, the third largest city in Saxony, which was nicknamed “Saxon Manchester” in the 19th century, and now such venerable cultural cities as Hildesheim, Magdeburg and Nuremberg as well as the capital of Lower Saxony , Hanover, steals the show.
Michael Ballack, born in Görlitz, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of German football. As the director of the German Football Museum, Manuel Neukirchner, announced, Rudi Völler, Klaus Fischer, Andreas Möller and former national coach Berti Vogts have also been accepted into the hall of fame. “Our jury has once again accepted five outstanding personalities from German football into the Hall of Fame, who represent great German football moments,” said Neukirchner.
The annual classification is based on the claims experience in the past. As a result, premiums rise where the insurers had to pay particularly high amounts. The statisticians of the GDV in Görlitz recorded the lowest damage.
Even in comprehensive insurance, little changes: for over 90 percent of the insured, the regional classes of the previous year will remain, according to the information. Only in Central Saxony will there be a higher classification in fully comprehensive insurance in future, in Bautzen a lower class in partially comprehensive insurance.
Kathrin Jarosch from the GDV explains when cheaper contributions are actually possible: “That depends on various factors, such as the damage balance of the registration district, the damage balance of the type of car, how long you drive without an accident, how old you are, who belongs to the group of users of the car. Even more criteria are possible from insurer to insurer. If everything else remains the same for you, there is a good chance that the premium could decrease. ”
What is the regional class?
There are regional classes for motor vehicle liability insurance as well as for full and partially comprehensive insurance. They reflect the loss balance of the regions and are a tariff feature for calculating premiums in motor insurance.
In motor vehicle liability insurance, the regional class is influenced by the driving behavior of the car drivers in the registration area. The number of damage they cause is taken into account, based on the number of vehicles registered there and the average amount of damage.
In the comprehensive insurance, the theft frequency, storm and hail damage and the number of accidents with wildlife are also taken into account.
Görlitz – Where cinema hits such as “The Grand Budapest Hotel” or “The reader” were filmed, invites Hollywood Star Samuel L. Jackson (71) for a tour of the city – at least its German synchronous voice.
Four times daily the double-Decker Bus “Görliwood Explorer starts now” at the top of the market and from the speaker out of the cinema, familiar voice is heard.
“We wanted to make a city tour of a different kind,” explained the operator of Patrick Schultze (35). “The Name ‘Görliwood’ is now a term we wanted to bring him now to life.
Samuel L. JacksonPhoto: picture alliance / United archives
Therefore, you would have sat down, written a Text, the movie scenes, and Samuel L. Jackson’s German dubbing voice, Engelbert von Nordhausen, talking can. “He was there immediately, because he is the narrative voice in the Film ‘Inglourious Basterds’, which was partly filmed in Görlitz.”
Schultze continues: “I am a movie buff, have seen all of the strips and know that six Oscars were awarded to Görlitz turned movies.”
The passengers find the idea to his class. Silke Goldberg (53) and daughter, Anna-Emilia (12) from Plauen about it: “We love movies about everything – now we finally get to see the real rotary places. Fantastic!“
Helge Bergemann (65) and his wife Anette (54), from Berlin, react, is also enthusiastic: “We are for the first Time in Görlitz – and are very excited: We knew nothing about it, that Görlitz is one of the most charming film cities in the whole world.”
At this point Samuel L. Jackson was on to something.