Excursion to Lusatia (Lausitz) Region

The name Lusatia comes from the Lusizers, a Sorbian Slavic tribe. This region, located at the border triangle between Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany, is divided into two parts : Lower Lusatia in the north and Upper Lusatia in the south. For hundreds of years the people of this region have lived from the lignite (brown coal) industry which has significantly shaped the region like nothing else.

The conveyor bridge for open-pit mining F60 in Lichterfeld is surely the most impressive attestation of mining engineering. It is 502 meters long (that’s 182 meters longer than the Eiffel Tower is high), 80 meters high, and 240 meters wide. It is the largest moveable industrial machine in the world.

The Energiefabrik Knappenrode encompasses the area of the disused Knappenrode briquet factory southeast of the Saxon city of Hoyerswerde. From 1918 up until its closure in 1993, the factory produced briquets (“fuel bricks”) made of raw lignite. Today, the 25 hectare factory grounds have been transformed into a museum complex devoted to the different facets of the mining history of eastern Saxony.

Lusatia is also known for the development of the “Lusatian lakelands.” By flooding disused open-cast brown coal mines, the region is to become Europe’s largest man-made water landscape and Germany’s fourth largest lake region by 2018.