|Ortsteil of Schirgiswalde-Kirschau|
|• Total||8.48 km2 (3.27 sq mi)|
|Elevation||342 m (1,122 ft)|
|• Density||340/km2 (880/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Schirgiswalde (in Sorbian Šěrachów) is a town and a former municipality in the district of Bautzen in Saxony in Germany. Since 1 January 2011, it is part of the town Schirgiswalde-Kirschau. It is located on the river Spree, 15 km south of Bautzen. The small town is an official place of relaxation (staatlich anerkannter Erholungsort). Together with the villages of Crostau and Kirschau it is representing the administrative community of Schirgiswalde. some smaller parts of the town are "Neuschirgiswalde" upon a hill and "Petersbach".
The village of Schirgiswalde first has been mentioned in a document from the year 1346. In the thirty years war most of the settlement was destroyed and most of its population died. To enforce the rebuilding and the economic reconstruction of the community the owner of Schirgiswalde made it a town in 1665. Later the small town became part of the land owned by the Domstift in Bautzen - it means it belonged to the church. Until the midst of the 19th century it stayed under the regime and the right of the domstift.
In 1635 the upper Lusatia became part of Saxony, but Schirgiswalde still belonged to Bohemia as a kind of an exclave. Therefore it became again catholic like whole Bohamia after the thirty years war. The situation as a kind of a bohemian island in Saxony rested until 1809 - the next 35 years the official status of the towns stayed unclear. Long diplomatic arguments between Saxony and Austria stayed without any success on either side. In 1810 the Saxon army took control of Schirgiswalde. Since then Austria has had no more political power in the city but it still regards itself as the rightful owner. An official handing over to the kingdom of Saxony also became impossible because of the restating war in 1813. It lasted until 1845 - in that year the town became officially a part of the Kingdom of Saxony. The time of no political power in the town has been widely used by robbers, thieves and political refugees.
Museums and sights
The municipal museum can be found near the main street and near the park of the town. It offers an overview over all typical handicrafts and some archaeological findings and documents concerning the history of the town. It is also possible to take a look at the old tapestry-room belonging to the old manor of the Domstift. In the big baroque catholic church upon a hill in the inner city some old figures and the Eule-orgue can be found. Like in other villages and towns of the southern upper Lusatia the typical Umgebindehäuser are some of the most important sights in Schirgiswalde too.
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