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Goslar

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Goslar's Imperial Palace

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 the 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 the Townsfolk Essentially Goslar was a Free Imperial City, which came 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 regions's festival town, culminating in the annual award of the "Imperial Ring" [1].

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 [2] 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

  • Hanover International Airport (HAJ) [3] (65 miles)
  • Magdeburg-Cochstedt International Airport (CSO) [4] (60 miles)
  • Erfurt (until 23/12/2011, ERF) [5] (95 miles)
  • Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) [6] (103 miles)
  • Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) [7] (195 miles)

and make your way to Goslar by car or by train.

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 you 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 interesection Seesen. Take the landstrasse L248 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 landstrasse L241 via Osterode, Clausthal-Zellerfeld to Goslar.

Coming from Moscow/Warsaw/Prague/Berlin, take the A2/E39 to the intersection Brunswick and head via the A395 in the direction of Harzburg-Spa. At Vienenburg you leave the A395 and take the landstrasse L241 to Goslar.

Arriving from Amsterdam/Düsseldorf/Ruhr Basin take the A2/E39 to Hanover and at the Intersection Hanover 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 Holle-Salzgitter and take the bundesstrasse B6 (mostly two-lane) 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 [8] runs a website [9], 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 [10] with other regional public transport operators [11], 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.

  • Regionalbus Braunschweig GmbH [12] - Office Goslar, Hildesheimer St. 53, 38640 Goslar. T:0049-5321-34310, F:0049-5321-343160, E:rbb.goslar(at)rbb-bus.de.

Get around

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

  • The Goslar Tank Engine [13] is the leisurely way to get around the town. It offers guided sight-seeing tours (in German only) through the town.
  • Bicycle - the environmentally most friendly way to get around Goslar is by bike. Either you bring your own, or you hire one at: (1) Zweirad-Linkhorst, Bäcker St. 17,38640 Goslar. (2) Fahrradverleih in der Touristinformation Hahnenklee, Kurhaus Way 7, 38644 Goslar-Hahnenklee. (3) Sporttreffpunkt Hahnenklee, Rathaus St. 6-7, 38644 Goslar-Hahnenklee.
  • Bus [14] - The Goslar town council operates bus services within the municipal boundaries (Lines 801,802, 803,804,805,806) which run between the town centre and the borough of Oker, as well as Jürgenohl and Hahnenklee.

See

Architecture

Heritage

  • The Kaiserpfalz (Emperor's Palace)

Churches

  • Norwegian-style wooden church in Hahnenklee-Bockswiese erected in 1907/1908

Modern

Museums

  • Monchehaus Museum of Modern Art.
  • Goslarer Museum. town history
  • World Cultural Heritage Rammelsberg Museum and Visitors' Mine Works, Bergtal 19, [15]. 09:00-18:00 daily. Different prices for different tours above and underground. Few buildings (baths, workshops, warehouses) and underground corridors accessible. Attractions include a ride in old miners' underground train and mining tools showing. Guides speak a few languages.

Do

  • Skiing [16] - Hahnenklee-Bockswiese [17] (a part of Goslar) is located on a high meadow and has two ski lifts and a cable car. There are also other resorts, i.e. Torfhaus [18] and Wurmberg [19] in the Harz Highlands, which offer skiing facilites up to grade 4/5 in a scale of 10.
  • Waterskiing [20] - the artificial water ski lake at Salzgitter might be the right thing for you.
  • Hang-gliding
  • Rambling
  • Rock climbing
  • Mountain biking
  • Power walking
  • Sailing
  • Wind-Surfing
  • Wild-water-rafting [21] - on the river Oker, there are the right conditions for scary wild water float trips, after prior registration.
  • Canoeing/Kayaking [22] - alternatively, you can take your canoe and rapidly "paddle" down the river Oker.
  • Golfing
  • Cruising [23] - the ship AquaMarin of the shipping company Römermann takes you for a cruise across the Oker reservoir (south of Goslar-Oker up the river Oker, some 1,372 feet in the Harz highlands).
  • Diving - Contact: Tauchertreff-Harz, Halberstädter St. 26, Goslar, T:0049-5321-6018, F:0049-5321-64047, Cellular Phone: 0049-171-6471157.
  • Cross country motorbiking
  • Rallye Car Racing
  • Swimming
  • Cable car riding [24] - The Bocksberg cable car in Goslar Hahnenklee takes you usually up the Bocksberg (2,383 feet), but it only operates seasonally. So alternatively try the cable car in the neighbouring Harzburg-Spa [25] or Braunlage [26], if you are a keen cable car rider.
  • Collecting Mineral Specimen
  • Collecting Mushrooms
  • Visiting mines
  • Angling/Fishing

Buy

... the little kitsch "Hexen" witch dolls...not! Goslar serves as a mid-range regional shopping centre to the Harz region. There are boutiques and department stores, where you can find anything to your liking. Locals, however, would favour Goslar in particular for the:

  • Kunsthandwerk im Grossen Heiligen Kreuz, Hoher Weg 7, 38640, [27]. At the Hostice of the Great Holy Cross [28] you have artisans and goldsmiths where you can find yourselves the right gifts & sourvenirs to take home.
  • Odermark Factory Outlet, Odermarkplatz 1, T: 0049-5321-7080, F:0049-5321-708218, [29]. There is a factory outlet at the Odermark textile plant, where you might wish to purchase some formal men's wear off the shelf at half price.
  • Wilde Car Dealers, Auf der Dingstelle 14, 38644 Goslar-Jerstedt, T:0049-5321-68620, F:0049-5321-686284, [30]. If you happen to look for bargain cars then try Wilde in Jerstedt. Here you can find some reimported bargain cars.

Eat

Budget

  • Asia Bistro, Fischemäker St. 14, T: 0049-5321-3949300. Chinese Food, the full repertoire of chinese cuisine at budget prices.
  • Aigner , Erkelenzdamm 110, T: 0049-5321-6759, German dishes, Opening times Mo-Sa from 11.00 - 23.00,
  • Bistro Tomate, Stapelner St. 8, T: 0049-5321-683886. Salads, Currywurst (curried sausage), beer.
  • Döner-King, Höhlenweg 2, in Goslar Oker, T: 0049-5321-65003. 3 Miles to the east of the town's centre. The typical Turkish nextdoor kebab shop.
  • La Piazza, Schlesische St. 50, T: 0049-5321-1452, italian dishes, weekdays lunch time is half price Opening times Mo-So from 12.00 - 23.00,
  • Lil-Café. Chips, cappucino, salads. Markt St. 15, T: 0049-5321-42178.
  • Petit , Reinhardtstrasse 57, T: 0049-5321-9016, french cuisine, weekdays lunch time is half price Open Mo-Sa from 11.00 - 23.00,
  • Pubblico , Frankfurter St. 105, T: 0049-5321-26180, italian dishes, Opening times Mo-So from 12.00 - 24.00,
  • Shiva, Kant St. 96, T: 0049-5321-765, Indian restaurant, family friendly, children's meal for 4.95 Euro, Opening times Mo-So from 12.00 - 23.00,
  • Kasimir's Döner Ecke, Danziger St. 8. in Goslar Jürgenohl, 1 Mile North of the town's centre. Nice and clean Turkish kebab shop.

Mid Range

  • Altdeutsche Stuben/Teutonic Lodge Goslar's most traditional restaurant in the Old Watchtower of Achtermann Hotel. Local and international cuisine. Rosentor St. 20.Tel:0049-5321-70000-V. Opening Hours: noon - 3 PM and 6 PM - late.
  • Restaurant Aubergine, Markt St. 4, T:0049-5321-42136, [31]. Novel, Vegetarian, Mediterranean and Persian cuisine. Highly acclaimed (Michelin Guide) restaurant with a nice ambience for the gourmet. -V.
  • Restaurant Sahara,Markt St. 16, T:0049-5321-381955. Maghrebinian, Arab and Maroccan Dishes. Excellent barbecues. Try the delicious couscous.
  • Restaurant Worthmühle, Worth St. 4, 38640 Goslar. T:0049-5321-43402, [32]. Known for its excellent game dishes directly from the Harz Mountains. Located in a cosy old mill at the river Gose in the town centre.
  • Zum Lindenhof/Lindentree Court, Schützenallee 1, T:0049-5321-1777. Local and regional cuisine. Ideal venue for groups and parties. With 12 lane bowling alley and meeting rooms attached.


Splurge

  • Trattoria Da Enzo, Bäckerster. 18, T:0049-5321-23223, [33]. The finest Italian meals in town. Top tip for authentic Sicilian cuisine.
  • Restaurant Gosequell, An der Gose 23, T:0049-5321-34050, [34] in the chefs' guildhall. Enjoy the locally brewed beer. Organic dishes. Best trout in town. -V

Drink

There is plenty of night-life in the town, equally devided 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.

  • Tim’s 5 Tageszeiten, Breite St. 98, T:0049-5321-382999, F:0049-5321-398831, E: info(at)tims-5tageszeiten.de, [35]. Most enjoyable venue. Modern flair. Jolly visitors.
  • Tiffany's Club, Marktkirchhof 3, 38640 Goslar, T:0049-5321-22886, F:0049-5321-45232, E: info(at)tiffanys-club.de, [36]. Located in the town centre opposite themarket church. Young visitors. Do not expect the latest music and fashion.
  • Heckies Pub - Stapelner St. 8,38644 Goslar Bassgeige, T:0049-5321-683886. To meet up with the locals. 1 Mile South of the town centre.
  • La Bohéme [37] - Schilder St.6, T:0049-5321-394838, E:info(at)la-boheme-goslar.de. Large pub. Gigs of local bands. Rock music.
  • Quetsche - Marktkirchhof 4, T:0049-5321-24416. Trendy with the locals.
  • Heaven's Door - Irish Pub, Brüggemann St. 14, T:0049-5321-1214. Yet another Irish theme bar.
  • White Swan | Weißer Schwan - Münz St. 11, T:0049-5321-25737. Nice outdoor beer garden. Located in a nice old half-timbered house.
  • Maxi Mumm - Markt St. 3, T:0049-5321-22627. Not for fans of umpta-da-da-da umpta-da-da-da music.
  • King of Bavaria, König von Bayern - Markt 1, 38640 Goslar. T:0049-5321- 392090, F:0049-5321-392093, E:Goslar(at)Koenig-von-Bayern.de, [38]. Yet another Bavarian theme bar. In the dungeon of the town hall. The more grey your hairs get, the more you'll enjoy it.
  • Brauhaus Wolpertinger, Brewhouse Wolpertinger - Marstall St. 1, T:0049-5321-22155, E:info(at)wolpertinger-brauhaus.de, [39]. Yet another another Bavarian theme bar, for the average Joe blog.

Sleep

Campsites

  • Campingplatz Sennhütte, Clausthaler St. 28, 38644 Goslar, T:0049-5321-22498.Camping site in the vicinity of the town centre. Clean.
  • Campingplatz Am Kreuzeck, Kreuzeck 5, 38644 Goslar-Hahnenklee, T:0049-5325-2570, Fax:0049-5325-3392. E:kreuzeck(at)aol.com, [40]. Suited for caravans. ca. 250 places. High up in the Upper Harz in the village of Hahnenklee, ca. 5 miles to the South of Goslar. Quiet.

Budget

  • YHA Hostel Goslar, [41]. Jugendherberge Goslar, Rammelsberger St. 25, 38644 Goslar. T: 0049-5321-22240, F:0049-5321-41376, E: jh-goslar(at)djh-hannover.de. The YHA hostel can be found at the southwestern edge of Goslar on a hill overlooking the town. Its slate roof and half timbered facade make the building instantly recognisable. Membership of the International Youth Hostel Association is required. There are 163 beds, each room has 2 - 8 beds and a washing facility. The rooms in the annex have 12 beds and are suited for visitors with disablities.

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 in Goslar or see the official website [42] for details.

  • Burg im Zwinger - Burggraf, [43] - a real castle to sleep in!
  • Haus am Steinberg, Zeppelinstr. 1, 38640 Goslar
  • Gästehaus Möller, Schieferweg 6, 38640 Goslar
  • Haus Lieselotte, [44]. Family Guesthouse in Hahnenklee-Bockswiese

Splurge

  • Hotel Achtermann, Rosento St. 20, 38640 Goslar. T: 0049-5321-70000, F: 0049-5321-7000999, E:info(at)der-achtermann.de, [45]. Situated near the central railway station in the centre of town. Has a conference centre attached.
  • Hotel Kaiserworth, - 4 Star - Markt 3, 38640 Goslar. T: 0049-5321-7090, F: 0049-5321-709345, [46]. Located at the historical market place directly in the centre of town. Has also an excellent restaurant, the "Worth", and a confectionery with delicious cream cakes... yummy yummy!
  • Hotel Niedersächsischer Hof, - 4 Star - Klubgartenstr. 1-2, 38640 Goslar. T: 0049-5321-3160, F: 0049-5321-316444, E:niedersaechsischer-hof(at)t-online.de, [47]. Opposite of the central railway station in the centre of town, newly refurbished.

Contact

Tourist Office - Harz Tourism Agency, Markt St. 45, 38640 Goslar, Germany, T: 0049-5321-34040, F: 0049-5321-340466, E: info(at)harzinfo.de, [48].


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