Goslar

Goslar's Imperial Palace Kaiserpfalz

Goslar is a medieval town in Lower Saxony and serves as a regional hub to the wider Harz area. It lies at the foot of the Harz Mountains (highest elevation 3,744 feet). Goslar is situated some 150 Miles West of Berlin. The nearest cities are Brunswick, Hanover, and Magdeburg. Goslar is much older than Berlin and worth a visit. If you are interested in history, outdoor pursuits (especially hiking), tranquility and nature, then Goslar is the right spot for you.

Understand

Goslar was founded in 922 AD, although it is widely assumed that it has been settled since pre-Roman times. The town is famed for its magnificent gates and ramparts, the medieval Imperial Palace, Romanesque churches, its half timbered guild houses, the ancient Rammelsberg ore mine... and its witches, the last of which was burned at the stake in 1657 AD. In medieval times the city was a major producer of armouries and coins—the raw ores for their manufacture came from the Rammelsberg mine just outside the city's walls.

History

What, Ram + Goat = Goslar? Not quite...! According to legend, Ramm, a knight to Henry's son Otto the Great, tied his horse to a tree, half way up the Rammelsberg, to continue hunting in the undergrowth. In anticipation of the return of its owner, the horse scraped with its hoof in the ground laying open a ledge of silver so rich that it took over a millennium to mine. Hence the mountain and mine were called the Rammelsberg, after Otto's knight Ramm. As the wife of knight Ramm was called Gosa, they named the town Goslar in her honor.

Emperors, Dukes, and Townsfolk Essentially Goslar was a Free Imperial City, which was under direct control of the Emperor and there were no regional feudal overlords, who were in charge of the city until the end of the Thirty's Year War. Thus the citizens were largely left to their own devices, since the emperors had mostly better things to do than to sit in their Imperial Palace at Goslar. There were several other imperial palaces throughout the Holy Roman Empire, where the emperors held court. The only problem for the city's craftsmen was that their Free Imperial City ended right behind the city's walls. Unfortunately for them, the mine they depended upon, for the delivery of the ores, was immediately outside these very city walls. So they had to lease the rights to the mine from even such regional feudal overlords, the Dukes of Brunswick, who would have fancied it, if the city was theirs. This inevitably let to regular skirmishes between the Dukes and their men on the one side, and the burghers on the other side, which were not resolved until the end of the Thirty's Year War in 1642 AD with the Goslar Accord.

Goethe's Goslar Gothic Ghosts. With the onset of the Reformation in 1517 AD Goslar has escaped the interest of the emperor, and its riches declined so that Goethe, Germany's national polymath, writes in 1777 during his visit to Goslar: "Imperial City, which rots 'inside' and 'with' its privileges!"

UNESCO World Heritage Status

This might be a reason why the Rammelsberg Mine and Town have been so uniquely preserved that they hold UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Goslar is the Harz region's festival town, culminating in the annual award of the "Imperial Ring".

Get in

By plane

If you own a plane, a helicopter or even a flying saucer then you might wish to land at the club airport Salzgitter-Drütte in the immediate vicinity (24 miles) of Goslar or the Brunswick-Wolfsburg Airport. Maybe try the disused military airfield at Goslar itself, but don't get yourselves into troubles over this.

However, as a lesser mortal you need to take a plane into either

and make your way to Goslar by car or by train. Both airports are connected to the S-Bahn network of their respective cities from where you can take a train to Goslar. A further option is flying into Frankfurt Airport (IATA: FRA) and taking the train from there

By train

Goslar can best be accessed by regional trains from Hanover or Brunswick. In Hanover and Göttingen there is access to Germany's ICE (Inter City Express) network. Getting to other cities might require changes along the way, often in Hildesheim, Salzgitter or Kreiensen.

By car

From Paris/London/Brussels/Cologne take the Autobahn A44/E331 to Kassel and take the A7/E45 in the direction Hamburg at the Kassel intersection. For further directions see below.

From Madrid/Rome/Vienna/Zurich/Munich/Frankfurt take the A7/E45 and leave it at either the intersection Seesen. Take the Bundesstraße B248 and then the Bundesstraße B82 to Goslar. If you wish to take the route via the Harz mountains, exit the A7/E45 at Northeim and take the Bundesstraße B241 via Osterode, Clausthal-Zellerfeld to Goslar.

Coming from Moscow/Warsaw/Prague/Berlin, take the A2/E39 to the intersection Braunschweig and head via the A395 in the direction of Bad Harzburg. At Vienenburg you leave the A395 and take the Bundesstraße B241 to Goslar.

Arriving from Amsterdam/Düsseldorf/Ruhr Basin take the A2/E39 to Hannover and at the Intersection Hannover leave the A2/E39 and take the A7/E45. For further directions, see below.

Coming from Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo/Hamburg/Bremen/Hanover you take the A7/E45 in the direction Frankfurt. You exit the autobahn at Derneburg-Salzgitter (63) and take the Bundesstraße B6 (mostly two-lane) to Goslar or you exit at Rhüden (66) and take the Bundesstraße B82 to Goslar.

N.B. Goslar is a popular destination for bikers who enjoy riding their bikes through the Harz mountains.

By bus

Bus services to and from Goslar are relatively frequent and efficient. The regional bus operator Brunswick Regional Transport RBB runs a website, which assists you with finding the relevant connection. In Goslar, their hub is in front of the central railway station. Here you also find a small travel centre, where staff can provide you with further advise. Essentially, the most frequent routes are between Goslar, Seesen, Harzburg-Spa, Salzgitter and Clausthal-Zellerfeld, with less frequent services to other destinations in the Upper Harz (lines 440, 450, 462, 831, 838, 841, 842, 850, 861, 879). The RegioBus lines are the express ones—the others are slow. The handy thing is that the RBB forms a partnership with other regional public transport operators, so that you only have to buy a single transferable ticket. Thus, there is no need to purchase a new one every time you change your train or bus.

Get around

The town's centre is relatively small and can easily be navigated by foot. If you, however choose otherwise, then:

See

Castles/Buildings of Interest

Town Hall (Rathaus) with Hall of Homage
Gildehaus Kaiserworth at the market place

Houses of Worship

Collegiate Church Vestibule

Museums

Rammelsberg visitors' mine

Do

BocksBergBob (dry toboggan run)

Marktstraße 45 (distance: from Osterode approx. 20 km, via the Brocken approx. 17 km, to Thale approx. 44 km),  +49 5321 34040, fax: +49 5321 340466, e-mail: . In the middle of Germany, in the middle of the Harz Mountains. An approximately one hundred kilometre hiking trail across Germany’s northernmost Middle Mountain Range; from east to west or west to east, via the legendary Brocken peak, the highest mountain in the north: the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg (Steep Harz Witches Trail) makes it possible. The entire beauty of the Harz Mountains lies at the hiker's feet. Light-dappled mixed forests and dense coniferous forests, colourfully shimmering mountain meadows and steeply soaring cliffs, softly babbling brooks and majestic reservoirs.

Buy

Goslar is not only the perfect location for meetings but also provides various shopping facilities to let a convention day wind down with a pleasant shopping spree. Short distances and a centrally located pedestrian zone invite sauntering and shopping. A wide range of small exclusive stores provide the opportunity to find something unique. Combine your convention stay with a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Eat

Budget

Mid Range

Splurge

Drink

There is plenty of night-life in the town, equally divided between the traditional German Kneipe Pubs and theme bars. Some clubs take fun-photos of their visitors. So if you do not wish to be photographed, tell them.

Sleep

Campsites

Budget

Mid-range

There are more than 20 private pensions and room rentals as well as almost 100 holiday apartments catering to this price range in Goslar. It is best to contact the Tourist Information or see the official website for details.

Splurge

Connect

Go next

Bad Gandersheim The Market Place
Hildesheim market place with reconstructed buildings
This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.