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Lusatia

Lusatia (German Lausitz, Sorbian Łužica) comprises a region in the southern parts of Brandenburg and eastern parts of Saxony, Germany. Part of the region has been ceded to Poland in 1945 (Polish name: Łuźice) The name derives from a Sorbian word meaning "swamps".

The Sorb minority continues to lives in the region. They still speak their language, 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 near the Czech border, which rises even higher to form the Lusatian Mountains (Lausitzer Gebirge/Lužicke hory) 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[?].

Upper Lusatia is characterised by fertile soils and soft hills, as well as historic towns and cities such aus Bautzen[?], Kamenz[?], Görlitz[?], Lubań[?], Löbau[?], Bischofswerda[?], Zittau[?].

Lusatia is not an administrative unit, though the city of Cottbus (Chośebuz) may be regarded as the capital to the region. (Historically, Luckau[?] (Łukow) was Lower Lusatia's capital. Bautzen[?] (Budyšin) is often regarded as the capital of Upper Lusatia.) 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. Currently, a Görlitz[?]-based initiative demands a Lusatian Free State.



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