The best place to begin a walk through Görlitz would be the historic city centre or the Nikolaivorstadt, both of which are dominated by medieval architecture. The ensemble of historic buildings appear to have been copied straight from an old painting. Wherever you turn, you will find late Gothic arcades, lavishly decorated portals, facades painted with acanthus ornaments and splendid courtyards. A Mediterranean influence is unmistakable, and that is not surprising since the master builders from Bohemia learned their craft in Italy.
Around the Untermarkt, you will find several extraordinarily precious old houses and city residences. The Schönhof, for example, is the oldest civil Renaissance building in Germany. It was built in 1526 and today it houses the Silesian Museum.
The City Hall is without doubt one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Its oldest parts date from the mid-14th century, and its staircase was built in 1537-38 by Wendel Rosskopf, one of the most famous Görlitz architects. Also note the two surviving clock faces on the tower of the City Hall which date from 1524.
One feature typical of the city is the Hall Houses with their impressive cross vaults that stretch across the entire width of the entrance hall and provided enough room for a full horse-drawn cart. These halls were used by the merchants to stack bales of cloth. Thirty-five of these exceptional buildings with late Gothic and Renaissance elements have survived in the historic town centre. There is the Biblical House in Neißstraße, for example, its picturesque facade depicting scenes from the Old and the New Testaments. Next door, the building in Neißstraße 30 with the impressive Baroque portal, houses one of the oldest libraries in Saxony, the Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences.