Goslar Tourist Attractions
This old imperial city on the northern fringes of the Harz owed its origin in the 10th C. to the discovery of a rich vein of silver on the Rammelsberg, and as a free imperial city it reached its peak of power and prosperity in the early 16th century. It still preserves most of the old town walls built at that time, with their massive gates and towers, its medieval churches, the Kaiserpfalz (imperial palace) and many handsome half-timbered buildings - an attractive townscape which survived the Second World War unscathed.
In the old-world Markt is the Marktbecken, a fountain with two bronze basins and a gilded imperial eagle added in the 13th century as a symbol of Goslar's status as a free imperial city.
On the west side of the Markt in Goslar stands the Town Hall (Rathaus), the main part of which dates from the 15th century. On the upper floor is the magnificent 16th century Huldigungssaal (Hall of Homage), with Late Gothic wall and ceiling paintings and carved woodwork (Gospel book of 1320, silver ewer of 1477).
On the south side of the Markt in Goslar is the Kaiserworth (1494), the old guild-house of the tailors' guild, with eight 17th C. statues of emperors. At the left-hand corner is the figure of the "Dukatenmännchen" ("Ducat Man").
Goslar's Worthstrasse leads to the Goslar Museum, with exhibits on the history of the town, geology and fauna of the Harz, mining, and works of art from the old cathedral.The ancient silver mine is classifed a UNESCO heritage site.
Address: Bergtal 19, D-38640 Goslar, Germany
Opening hours: Jan 1 to Dec 31: 9am-6pm
Useful tips: Three tours of the museum are offered of the gallery and the ore processing plant. Tours are indiviually priced.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Typical Visit: 4 hours
To the west of the Town Hall in Goslar stands the Late Romanesque Marktkirche. Opposite it is the west front of the Brusttuch, a burgher's house of 1526 with rich carved decoration.Near here is the Bäckergildenhaus (Bakers' Guild-House; 1501-57). Farther west is the Siemenshaus (1693), ancestral home of the Siemens family of industrialists.
Tin Figure Museum
In Münzstrasse, which runs north from the Marktkirche in Goslar, can be found the Tin Figure Museum (dioramas, etc.).Historical events from the past 1,000 years are portrayed including over 10,000 hand painted tin figures.
Towards the south of Goslar's old town, in the large square called Kaiserbleek, is the Kaiserpfalz, the oldest surviving Romanesque palace in Germany, built in the reign of Emperor Henry III (1017-56). The 47 m/154ft long Reichssaal (Imperial Hall) has wall paintings (1879-97) by Hermann Wislicenus. In St Ulrich's Chapel is Henry's tomb, with his heart in a casket in the base.
To the east of the Kaiserpfalz in Goslar is the Domkapelle (c. 1150), originally the porch of Goslar Cathedral, which was demolished in 1820-22. It contains the imperial throne with its surrounding stone screens (11th C.).
Grosses Heiliges Kreuz
A little way north of Goslar's Domkapelle, on the Hoher Weg, are the Doll and Musical Instrument Museum (Puppen- und Musikinstrumente-Museum) and the Grosses Heiliges Kreuz, an old religious house (founded as the Hospital of St John in 1254), with an exhibition of arts and crafts.
St James's Church
To the north of the Markt in Goslar is the Jakobikirche (11th-16th C.; R.C.), with a fine Pietà (c. 1525).
Museum of Modern Art
The Mönchehaus (Monks' House) in Goslar, a half-timbered building of 1528, is now occupied by the Museum of Modern Art, and the Neuwerkkirche, a monastic church founded in 1186 (fine wall paintings in choir). Opposite this is the Achtermannsturm, all that remains of one of the old town gates, the Rosentor.Other relics of the past on the line of the old fortifications are the Breites Tor (1505) on the east side of the town. The Zwinger, a round tower built in 1517 (medieval armory and torture chamber), to the southeast is also part of the old fortifications, and the Romanesque Frankenberg Church (12th C.; wall paintings) to the west.
3km/2mi northwest of Goslar is Riechenberg Monastery, a former house of Augustinian canons, with the ruins of the monastic church of St Mary (12th C.; crypt with ornamented columns and capitals).
In Grauhof, 4km/2.5mi north of Goslar, is an 18th C. Baroque church with a richly decorated interior.
6km/4mi southeast of Goslar lies the Okertal, a wild and romantic valley with magnificent rock scenery and the Romkerhall Falls.
Seesen turns back the clocks to the Renaissance times during the first weekend every September. Events include historical markets, pageants, jousting matches and musical concerts. The local residents participate by dressing in period costumes and displaying traditional food and crafts.