At the mouth of the Mandau into the Lusatian Neisse, where the borders of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet, rise the towers of Zittau, which was first documented in 1238 and became a city in 1255. Whoever enters Zittau from the north experiences the special flair that the people here enjoy. The city is embedded in the Zittau basin, surrounded by the Zittau mountains, the foothills of the Jeschken and Iser mountains and the Lusatian highlands. On the southwestern outskirts of the city is the Olbersdorf Lake. Zittau lies in the southeast of Saxony and is a large district town in the district of Görlitz.
Because of its location Zittau sees itself today as a link in a Europe of open borders, as a 'city in the border triangle'. Zittau is the administrative, educational, cultural and shopping center in the south of the district of Görlitz as well as a city with an attractive tourist environment. The resident University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz as well as the International University Institute Zittau are of particular importance for the city.
The Zittau Culture Trail connects numerous sights, of which the market square with the impressive town hall as well as the seven-story salt house, numerous baroque fountains, the town museum in the former Franciscan monastery and the butcher's bastion with flower clock on the Green Ring are particularly noteworthy. A highlight is also the view from the Johannisturm. The greatest treasures of the city, however, are the 'Great Zittau Lenten Cloth' from 1472 and the 'Little Zittau Lenten Cloth' from 1573, which is the only Lenten cloth of the Arma-Christi type that has been preserved in Germany.
Local specialties are for example 'Teichelmaucke' - a potato-carrot dish with peel ribs or the 'Kleckskuchen' - a cake with curd and poppy seeds.
More about the town twinning:
The partnership was officially established in 1990. The need to support the East German municipalities in the development of local self-government and certainly also the lack of language barriers have led to intensive contacts in all areas of public and private life. Especially the town halls of both cities were in constant contact especially at the beginning of the partnership. Especially through the support of the development of an efficient local government, many meetings and working visits (e.g. green spaces and civil engineering) took place here.
The Freundeskreis Zittau e.V. represents another important link between the two cities. The Freundeskreis has made it its business to establish contacts between the people from Villingen-Schwenningen and Zittau. Numerous citizen journeys were accomplished under the leadership of the FK Zittau.
There are further association and school contacts, e.g. by the Zittauer Christian way High School with the High School at the Hoptbühl in Villingen Schwenningen, the DLRG Schwenningen, the fire-brigades, by the Villinger railroad club and the swimming club Villingen.
In the year 2010 the 20-year partnership anniversary took place in the context of the national horticultural show in Villingen-Schwenningen.
In 2020 the celebrations for the 30-year anniversary had to be postponed due to the Corona pandemic.