Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lusatia (German Lausitz, Upper Sorbian Łužica, Lower Sorbian Łužyca, Polish Łużyce, Czech and Serbian Lužice), sometimes called Sorbia comprises a region in the southern parts of Brandenburg, eastern parts of Saxony, Germany and south-western Poland. The name derives from a Sorbian word meaning "swamps/water-hole".
The Sorbss Slavic minority continues to live in the region. Many still speak their language (though numbers are dwindling and Lower Sorbian especially is considered endangered), and road signs are usually bilingual.
The region is divided into two parts.
Upper Lusatia (Oberlausitz) belongs to Saxony; it consists of hilly countryside rising to the Lausitzer Bergland (Lusatian hills) near the Czech border, which rises even higher to form the Lusatian Mountains (Lužické hory/Lausitzer Gebirge) in the Czech Republic.
Most of the portion belonging to Brandenburg is called Lower Lusatia (Niederlausitz), and is characterised by forests and meadows. In the course of much of the 19th and the entire 20th century, it was shaped by lignite industry and extensive open-cast mining. Important towns include Cottbus, Lübben , Lübbenau , Spremberg , Finsterwalde , Senftenberg .
Lusatia is not an administrative unit, though the city of Cottbus (Chośebuz, Chociebuż) may be regarded as the capital to the region. (Historically, Luckau (Łuków) was Lower Lusatia's capital. Bautzen (Budyšin) is often regarded as the capital of Upper Lusatia.) Part of Poland in 11th century, Lusatia was ever since under German rule. The country suffered intensive Germanization, particularly under German Nazi regime. There have been endeavours by the Sorbs to create a Lusatian Free State in the past - particularly after World War II, when the Sorbian National Committee demanded that Lusatia be attached to Czechoslovakia. Another attempt to regain limited autonomy after German reunification in 1990 was rejected by Helmut Kohl goverment. Currently, a Görlitz-based initiative demands a Lusatian Free State.
Demographics according to 1900 census
Share of Polabian Slavs:
- Cottbus (Provinz Brandenburg) 55,8 %
- Hoyerswerda (Provinz Schlesien) 37,8 %
- Bautzen (Königreich Sachsen) 17,7 %
- Rothenburg i. d. Oberlausitz (Provinz Schlesien) 17,2 %
- Kamenz (Königreich Sachsen) 7,1 %
Total number: 93,032
- Sorbian-Lusatian languages
- Upper Sorbian language
- Lower Sorbian language
- League of Six Towns
- Herrnhut (Moravian Church) and Zinzendorff
- Sorbian Cultural Information
- Sorbian umbrella organization "Domowina"
- Sorbian internet portal
- Hoyerswerda, an important Sorbian town
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