Make sure to stop by Goslar, the heart of the Harz
The ancient imperial city of Goslar is a must-see when you visit the beautiful Harz region.
In this thousand-year-old city, you can experience a genuine but now empty silver mine that has ensured the city's great wealth over time – and special interest from the emperor. The city's long history is brought to life in the museums and in the old town, where colorful half-timbered houses are lined up in rows.
In other words, there is plenty to see in Goslar, which also hosts several attractions from UNESCO's World Heritage list. In this guide, we list the top 10 attractions in Goslar, so you'll be completely ready for your visit.
Explore the underground world
For over a thousand years, people have been extracting silver, lead, copper, and many other unique minerals in the Rammelsberg Mines. The large vein of silver made the town rich and famous and was the reason why several emperors took a special interest in the city.
Today, the mine is depleted, but the interest remains intact. In 1992, it was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list, and every year numerous guests venture down into the dark mine shafts. The fascination is easy to understand.
When you visit Rammelsberg, you can walk around on your own, book a guided tour, and enter the museum.
On the guided tours, you can visit the mine stations by train or follow the watercourse and see the impressive underground pumping system. If your school German is a bit rusty, you can book a guide who speaks English or Danish - but only if you book in advance.
The museum provides insight into the daily life of the miners and their families. If you have a little geologist in you, you can also study the many rare minerals that have been extracted over time.
A final tip is to remember a warm sweater and sensible shoes. It is 12 degrees Celsius in the mine all year round.
Buy tickets online.
Address: Bergtal 19, 38640 Goslar
Thanks to Rammelsberg Mines for the picture for this section. ©Rammelsberg Mines
Imperial Palace (Kaiserpfalz)
Visit the beautiful Imperial Place
The Imperial Palace, built in the Middle Ages, has been the home and power center for countless kings and emperors. Today, it is on UNESCO's World Heritage list and a popular destination for anyone who wants to feel the pomp, splendor, and power of the former emperors.
Kaiserpfalz is particularly famous for its grand Imperial Hall. Every surface of the seven-meter-high walls is covered with enormous murals depicting the history of the emperors, going back to Charlemagne. Reportedly, it took 20 years to paint these murals in the late 19th century.
After absorbing the artistry of the Imperial Hall, you can continue into the fine winter hall, adorned with beautiful vaulting in the ceiling. Here, you also see the famous throne, which is, of course, made of materials from the Rammelsberg Mines.
Address: Kaiserbleek 6, Goslar 38640
See the city's pretty fountain and carillon
There's plenty to see at the large market square in Goslar. In the center stands the iconic fountain with the golden eagle on top, which is also the symbol of the city.
The square is surrounded by beautiful, historical buildings like the red Kaiserworth house from the early 1500s and the magnificent, white town hall from the mid-1400s.
If you visit the square at 9, 12, 15, or 18 o'clock, you can see the fine carillon. Here, Knight Ramm emerges from his hiding place and performs the discovery of the Rammelsberg mine's silver vein. You can find the carillon opposite the town hall on the Kämmergebäude.
Address: Markt 6, 38640 Goslar
Half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets
Feel the city's historic atmosphere
Tie your shoes and take a walk along the cobblestone streets, admiring the many charming half-timbered houses. There are about 1,200 of them from various eras, showcasing the city's development.
Some of the most beautiful ones are located on Glockengiesserstrasse, Neue Strasse, and An der Gose, which run along the creek. Also, make a detour to Schreiberstrasse and see one of the city's best-preserved townhouses, the original home of the industrial family, Siemens.
Goslar's Pewter Figure Museum
Lose yourself in the tableaux
There can be great joy in small things, and Goslar's Pewter Figure Museum proves this in the finest way.
The museum exhibits 50 large tableaux with small pewter figures, divided into themes such as Goslar's old town, Rammelsberg Mines, the Thirty Years' War, and fairy tales.
Each tableau depicts a situation where the tiny pewter figures are frozen in time and place – allowing you to explore a variety of historical and everyday scenarios. Allocate plenty of time for your visit. Just when you think you have seen the entire tableau, your eyes will spot yet another whimsical detail.
Find the museum in the old town, housed in a romantic half-timbered building.
TIP: Adjacent to the museum is an old mill, which you can see in action on the first Saturday of each month.
Address: Klapperhagen 1, 38640 Goslar
Thanks to Goslar's Pewter Figure Museum for the picture for this section. ©Goslar's Pewter Figure Museum
Medieval Museum Zwinger
Visit the old defense tower
Anyone who has ever dreamed of being a knight should visit the Medieval Museum Zwinger. The museum is located in a 25-meter-tall defense tower from 1517 and displays a world of weapons and armors.
The museum exhibits various swords, bows, and crossbows used by soldiers in war and for hunting.
Also, see the impressive but heavy armors worn by the soldiers. You can even try on a real chainmail and feel the weight of the thousands of small metal rings on your shoulders.
Speaking of metal, those with nerves of steel can also visit the exhibition of torture instruments – if they dare.
The museum is open year-round.
Address: Thomasstraße 2, 38640 Goslar
Thanks to the Medieval Museum Zwinger for the picture for this section. ©Medieval Museum Zwinger
Quench your thirst and fill your belly at the local brewery
Goslar's brewery is located in a cozy yellow half-timbered house on the market square.
The brewery is local, meaning they prefer to use local, seasonal ingredients, and the beers are often named after the city's landmarks. Here, you can drink a Rammelsberg Pilsner or try one of the different Gose Beers. The latter has been brewed (and drunk) since the year 995.
Enjoy your beer with one of the many dishes from the brewery's menu, perfectly complementing the golden drops. Bon appétit and cheers!
Adresse: Marktkirchhof 2, 38640 Goslar
Market Church St. Cosmas & Damian
The church in honor of the physician and pharmacist
There is much to see in the Gothic church from 1151, dedicated to the two canonized martyrs, Cosmas and Damian. According to legend, they worked as a physician and a pharmacist, respectively, in the 2nd century in Asia Minor, treating people and animals for free to honor God.
Step into the church on a sunny day and see the colors play in the beautiful glass mosaics from 1250, depicting scenes from the lives of the two saints. Above the panes, it's written in Latin, "All health stems from God."
The church is also adorned with beautiful frescoes from 1480, showing the first seven of the Ten Commandments. The Devil himself is also included, and the fresco shows how he tempts people into breaking the commandments.
The North Tower is a visit in itself. The 67-meter-high tower has its own entrance, and if you make the journey all the way up, you can see the historical bells, the mechanism for the mechanical weule clock, and the bell ringer's room.
Address: Marktkirchhof 1, 38640 Goslar
Mönchehaus Museum Goslar
Experience modern art in the historical city
In a charming half-timbered house from the 16th century, you'll find the modern art museum, Mönchehaus Museum. Here, you experience sculptures, room installations, and paintings from German and international artists in the museum's permanent collection and special exhibitions.
The museum really makes the most of its historical house in its exhibitions, creating a special atmosphere. For instance, the German artist Anselm Kiefer has created four installations in the vaulted cellar, each exploring themes such as Greek mythology and Jewish Kabbalah. Outside, in the green garden, you can stroll through a beautiful sculpture park.
The museum annually awards the Goslar art prize "Kaiserring" and provides exhibition space for the winner.
Address: Mönchestraße 1, 38640 Goslar
Thanks to Mönchehaus Museum Goslar for the picture for this section. ©Mönchehaus Museum Goslar