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Harz Goslar Old Town

Goslar – World cultural heritage with a long history


Immerse yourself in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, wander through winding alleys, explore the northwestern foothills of the Harz mountains – in and around Goslar, nature and historical architecture combine to form an incomparable ensemble.

Emperor and World Heritage City

It is located almost outside the Harz Mountains at the foot of the historical Rammelsberg, the former imperial city of Goslar and today’s district town of Lower Saxony. The Rammelsberg was already used since the Roman times of the 3rd century for the ore mining, which was stopped only in 1988. The resulting settlement, which was first mentioned in a document in 979, developed into an important centre of early and high medieval rule.

In the Ottonian and salic-staufian imperial palace, built in Romanesque style and renewed in Neo-Romanesque style, the kings and emperors of the nascent Holy Roman Empire regularly held court since the time of Henry II around 1009. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Goslar was one of the most important and most central places of domination of the empire and the preferred residence of the regent travelling around the country, as the Palatinate’s hall building still bears impressive witness to today. Its imperial house, to be climbed over a small hill and flanked by lion statues, is the largest, oldest and best preserved secular building of the 11th century in Germany and invites you to immerse yourself in the long history of Goslar, which since 1992 has also been awarded the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Touring the Old Town of Goslar

Goslar’s cobbled streets are lined with slate covered half-timbered houses of citizens and guilds and mostly date from the 15th to 19th century. After the emperors’ stays in the Palatinate had declined, the city became increasingly independent and finally free from the empire. Merchants and ministers established the city council in 1219. Goslar also joined the Städtebund der Hanse.

Harz Goslar Kaiserpfalz
Goslar Kaiserpfalz

While hiking through the picturesque old town, which separates the small river Gose – by the way the eponym of the Goslar beer – from the Palatinate district, you can admire the magnificent and representative town houses from this golden age of city history. The sightseeing route runs between the highly romantic Kirche Neuwerk, which has a quiet Klostergarten, in the north and the historic Kaiserpfalz in the south through the lower and upper town and provides with numerous signposts for good orientation, a city map is almost unnecessary here. The tour focuses on the Market in the upper town, surrounded by the Late Gothic Town Hall on the west side, the former guild house of the cloth merchants Kaiserworth in the south and the Kaiserringhaus with a bell and figure game on the east side. The most interesting cottages of the old town are located on the banks of the Gose and the Abzucht – crouched and preserving the atmosphere of past centuries.

Hiking destinations around Goslar

If you feel like exploring the untouched nature after an impressive city tour, you should visit the nearby excursion destinations in the green of the Harz nature park. Here, for example, the Maltermeisterturm with its restaurant and panoramic terrace, a hiking trail around the natural Granestausee, the largest dam in the western Harz mountains, and above all the Okertal with its dreamlike wild landscape, attract visitors to Rammelsberg.

Originating from the Gose in the Goslar city area and uniting with the Abzucht, there are numerous and varied hiking possibilities along the river Oker for every level of fitness and every interest. The Okertal is a scenically very attractive mountain valley from which you can hike on well fortified and excellently signposted paths through spruce forests, including the Kästeklippen. On the ascent you can marvel at imposing rock formations from the earth’s history and, once you have arrived at the top of the hill, you can fortify yourself with a snack for the further hike in the forest inn. From the cliffs you have a unique view into the valley of the rushing Oker and the mountains of the Harz and Harz foreland.

Goslar has something to suit every taste – nature lovers and those interested in history will get their money’s worth here and will certainly gather many new impressions when visiting the town and its surroundings.

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