The district was established in August 2008 by merging three smaller districts: the district of Löbau-Zittau, Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis (Lower Silesian Upper Lusatia district) and the urban district of Görlitz.
The district comprises the south-eastern part of Lusatia and west part of Silesia, including part of the Lausitzer Bergland. The Lusatian Neisse forms its eastern border, the Spree flows through the western part of the district.
The coat of arms of Görlitz district contains references to the various territories the district has been part of in the past. The black eagle with the crescent over its chest refers to Silesia. The crowned lion with two tails refers to Bohemia. The wall refers to the city of Bautzen and Upper Lusatia, and the lime leaves refer to the Sorbian community.
Media related to Landkreis Görlitz at Wikimedia Commons