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Goslar

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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 cites are Brunswick, Hanover, and Magdeburg. Actually Goslar is much older than the German capital Berlin and thus worth a visit. If you are a more spiritually minded traveller interested in history, outdoor pursuits - most notably rambling - tranquility and nature, then Goslar is just the right spot for you.

Town Information

Goslar was founded in 922 AD by the Saxon King Henry I. the Fowler, although it is widely assumed that there had been a settlement 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 has been burned at the stake in 1657 AD. In the medieval times the city had been a major producer of armouries and coins--the raw ores for their manufacture came from the Rammelsberg mine just outside the city's walls.

A Brief History of Goslar

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.

Emporers, Dukes, and the Townfolks Essentially Goslar was a Free Imperial City, which came under direct control of the Emporer 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 city's 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 plenty more Imperial Palaces throughout their 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. To their nuisance, 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 emporer, 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].

Tourist Office

Harz Tourism Agency, Markt St. 45, 38640 Goslar, Germany, T: 0049-5321-34040, F: 0049-5321-340466, E: info(at)harzinfo.de, [2].

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 [3] 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 (HAN) [4] (60 miles) or Frankfurt Intercontinental airport (FRA) [5] (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 network. Getting to other cities might require changes along the way, often in Hildesheim, Salzgitter or Kreiensen.

By road

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 highlands.

By bus

Bus services to and from Goslar are relatively frequent and efficient. The regional bus operator Brunswick Regional Transport RBB [6] runs a website [7], 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 Highlands (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 [8] with other regional public transport operators [9], 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

Architecture

Heritage

Churches

Modern

Museums

Events

Nature

Do

Learn

German as a Foreign Language

The Further Education Community College in Goslar VHS [24] offers German courses for non-German speaking applicants to German Universities and Polytechniques leading to a FSZ/UNICert certificate (The German language proficiency test). However, you might be best advised to sit your course at either the University of Hildesheim [25], Brunswick [26] or Hanover [27], since the courses at the VHS Goslar have the reputation of being a bit too tedious and staff seem to be a bit lackluster. VHS, Klubgarten St. 6, 38610 Goslar, T: 0049-5321-76431 or 76433, F:0049-5321-76425, E:kvhs(at)landkreis-goslar.de

Work

Most low pay job offers are available in the catering and care sector. There are several seasonal jobs on offer with several job agencies. The unemployment rate is with 13,6 % (April 2006, source: Bundesagentur für Arbeit) relatively high, so it might not be a very good idea to look for a job in Goslar, for there are hardly any.

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:

Culinary

Budget

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.

Sleep

Camping Sites

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 in Goslar or see the official website [46] for details.

Some listings:

Splurge

Stay safe

Goslar is generally a safe place, but adopt the same safety precautions at elsewhere in Europe. In general the Goslarians are quite open minded. If you get into difficulties, then the following addresses should provide you with assistance. As everywhere, do not exploit the generosity of the locals.

Cope

Goslar at the first sight might appear boring to you, with many geezers (most of them might actually be tourists on which Goslar's economy depends somehow) on the streets, be that you are one of them. However, the first impression aside you can find your own niche and then, getting acquainted to the locals, you might find the town quite enjoyable.

Get out

Related Information



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A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [56].

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