Goslar is a small city in Lower Saxony (Germany), about 580 kilometers from Brussels. It is located in the Harz mountains and therefore is the perfect starting point for hikes. The historical town of Goslar, together with the mines of Rammelsberg, is listed as UNESCO world heritage. In the old town, you can spot more than 1000 half-timbered houses, decorated with wooden ornaments and wise sayings. Yes, it’s in the details!
The old town: some highlights
The mining industry in and around Goslar has brought the city a great deal of prosperity, which is still clearly visible on the market square. Watch the colorful facade of Hotel Kaiserworth, with its imperial statues watching out over the market square. The hotel is a former guild house. This term dates back to the Middle Ages. A guild house was the meeting place for craftsmen of a certain profession. In this case, it were tailors who gathered together in Goslar. In the middle of the market square is a fountain with a golden eagle. The eagle is the coat of arms of Goslar.
Right in front of the town hall, you can watch the Carillon Bells and Figures at certain times a day (9 am , 12 pm , 3 pm , 6 pm). Those tiny figures tell the history of mining, while the bells are ringing. You should see (and hear) it at least once.
Near the market square is the Market Church, the main Protestant church in the city. The church is characterized by its two unequal towers. They used to be identic, but after the northern tower burned down in 1589, it was rebuilt in a different way (with an open dome). The northern tower is open to visitors daily (between 11 am and 5 pm). After climbing 218 steps, a wonderful city view awaits you. The entrance fee is only a few euros.
The Imperial Palace is located on the outskirt of the city center. In the Middle Ages, it served as a residence for kings and imperors. Today, it is open to everyone who is interested in the royal history of Goslar.
My favorite place in Goslar, however, is Frankenberger Plan, a lovely square hidden in the old city. It has a retro fountain surrounded by the most beautiful half-timbered houses. Be sure to also take a walk to the city gate of Goslar, ‘Das Breite Tor’ (literally translated wide gate).
The mines of Rammelsberg
Deep in the Rammelsberg mountain, there is a large network of mines. This mining site was active for over thousand years. It was closed down in 1988. It’s a museum now. The basic ticket price for the museum is 9 euros. You can also opt to take one or more guided tours, which increases the ticket price. I’ve took a ride with the ‘Grubenbahn’, the former mine train. The train used to take the miners to their underground working place, through the cold and dark mine tunnels. Nowadays, the rattling ‘Grubenbahn’ provides visitors with an unforgettable experience. One more advice: don’t forget to shout out the miner’s greeting when entering the mine: “Glück auf!”. Nothing can go wrong then. Check out the website of Rammelsberg for the current prices and opening hours.
Where to eat in Goslar
The Maltermeister Tower was once built to guard the mines from above. Later, it functioned as a bell tower, giving a signal each time a new work shift started. Now, it is part of a restaurant with panoramic terrace. A must do by clear weather circumstances! You can easily reach the restaurant by car.
If you prefer to stay in the city center for dinner, then you definitely should go to the ‘Brauhaus’ (brewing house). As the name suggests, it is a brewery attached to a restaurant. You can choose from various German dishes, such as an oven potato with quark.
Where to stay in Goslar
My partner and I stayed two nights in Hotel Alte Münze, a 4-star hotel close to the market square. The hotel is housed behind one of the most beautiful facades of the Marktstraße. The name ‘Alte Münze’ refers to the production of coins in the Middle Ages. Goslar had the right to make coins, which was a privilege at that period of time. The mural in the Münzestraße (at the side of the hotel) also refers to this. The oldest part of the hotel was built in 1509, can you imagine!? The interior is incredibly warm and authentic.