Görlitz Tower Guides: “The Lion’s Roar Reaches Manhattan”

by | Mar 9, 2024 | German Daily Digest | 0 comments

Görlitz Türmer: The Löwen’s Roar Resonates Across Manhattan

Görlitz, a picturesque city in Germany, is known for its iconic towers and the passionate individuals who guide visitors to their heights. Ronny Förster, Renate Junge, and Heiko Christoph have been leading tourists and locals on tower tours for almost 20 years. Now, they are looking to expand their team with new recruits.

Türmer in Görlitz

Renate Junge (67), Heiko Christoph (49), and Ronny Förster (51), members of the Förderverein Kulturstadt Görlitz, have the unique task of leading tourists and locals to explore the city’s oldest towers – the Rathausturm, Nikolaiturm, Dicken Turm, and Reichenbacher Turm. Renate Junge emphasizes the need for a certain level of fitness, recalling a former colleague who had to be taken away by an ambulance after struggling with the summer heat and strenuous stairs. Junge herself enjoys hiking and being outdoors, following her previous office job at the Hagenwerder power plant, stating, “I wanted to be among people, preferably outside and in motion.”

The Heart Behind the Tower Tours

The tower tours offer more than just a magnificent view. They aim to entertain, educate, and bring laughter to the guests while showcasing the city’s history. As Heiko Christoph explains, “The tour must come from the heart.” Each group of guests is different, and the Türmer must adapt to their preferences. Ronny Förster points out that Western German visitors often inquire about the city’s appearance during the GDR era, while Eastern Germans, on the other hand, are already well versed in this aspect. Children, on the other hand, are more interested in hearing the lion’s roar than historical dates. Not to worry, Förster assures, “I speak English quite well!”

Memorable Moments and Representing the City

The tower tours often create unique and memorable situations. Förster recalls a wedding party at the Rathausturm, where the wind took away the bride’s veil. With the help of the groom and an old broom handle, he retrieved it from the pigeon wires on the tower’s exterior. On another occasion, a young boy found a penny from 1847 in a gap of the old wooden beams. Of course, he was allowed to keep it. Förster also cherishes the memory of climbing the highest tower on New Year’s morning in 2019 to witness the sunrise. As Förster rightly states, “We represent the city.” Though Förster’s professional background lies in gardening, his fascination with historic buildings led him to explore abandoned houses with his camera after the reunification. His enthusiasm for these architectural wonders remains unwavering, as his eyes still light up when he speaks about the craftsmanship of the Rathausturmes’ roof and the faded inscriptions on old wooden beams, even after more than 4,000 tours.

Expanding the Türmer Team

Despite their enthusiasm and physical fitness, the three Türmer find it challenging to meet the high demand during the summer season. Renate Junge admits, “We try not to cancel any tours,” but they could easily employ four additional team members. Luckily, they have already found one promising candidate who is currently being trained. For those interested in history, architecture, and without knee troubles, the Förderverein Kulturstadt Görlitz welcomes inquiries via phone at 03581 6849010 or by email at [email protected]

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