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Discover Germany

Bautzen - Sorbs, Spices and Secret Police

Bautzen is over a thousand years old. Some 60,000 visitors visit the picturesque old town with its 17 towers each year. Bautzen is the cultural center of the Sorbs, a Slavic minority with its own language and customs.

Watch video 04:51

"Witajće k nam - Herzlich Willkommen”: Welcome to Bautzen where most street signs are in two languages: German and Sorb. There are many Sorb organizations there, too. The town is also famous for its mustard. "Bautz’ner" was the most popular mustard in communist times. And today it's still produced close by. That was reason enough for the townspeople to dedicate a museum to it.

Prison Bautzen II

Prison "Bautzen II"

Bautzen was also home to a particularly notorious prison. The Nazis imprisoned political prisoners here and the East German secret police, the Stasi, locked away dissidents. "Bautzen II", as it was known, was the most-feared prison in East Germany, with a reputation for torture, sleep deprivation and other abuses. Nowadays, it's a memorial site.