Once upon a time in Goslar

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Goslar Marktplatz
Goslar Marktplatz

[ source: Flickr]

The history of Goslar reaches far back into the Middle Ages. Goslar’s tale is a simple one, involving a knight, a horse and a hill. More than a millennium ago, a knight named Ramm tied his horse to a tree while he was hunting along a hillside. While he was gone, the horse impatiently dug at the dirt and exposed a large vein of silver. The hill was subsequently named after the knight and the town that sprung up next to it after his wife.

Thankfully, many of those sights remain and are in excellent condition, having been spared from the bombs of war and the wrecking balls of progress. That's why the old town is now a UNESCO listed heritage site. Every gilded house and shuttered window, every shadowy nook and dusty cranny are links to 1,000 years of history. Hans Christian Andersen once stood in the main market square and said he felt “as if I were standing on charmed city earth, of which I had heard so much as a child in many fairytales.”

Those pleasant few days take on an easy rhythm: venturing into the park during the day, lunching at a village inn or picnicking on a bench, and then enjoying the quaint, jewel box old town in the evening. While Goslar (Goslar vacation rentals | Goslar travel guide) does get a lot of tourists, namely the 'senior set,' for the most part they are day-trippers, unloaded from buses for a quick tour of the Kaiserpfalz and a piece of cake at a cafe on the market square. That means Goslar at night is reserved for the locals, once described by a chronicler of a 12th century Pope as “quarrelsome, obstinate and restless fellows.”

But this couldn't be farther from the truth, as proven by the recent history of Goslar. The town has hit on hard times in recent years, especially since the closing of the Rammelsberg Mine in 1988 (it is now a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage site), but the residents remain friendly and accommodating. They like to sit shoulder to shoulder, quaffing regional brews at the Brauhaus Goslar and the Worthmühle, and are welcoming of strangers who come in pink-cheeked from spending the day in the park.

One part of the old town that lends itself to a fairytale setting is a path that follows the Gose River, from where it enters the old town at the base of the Rammelsberg to where it leaves near the Breites Tor. Along the river, the houses are crooked and bent, curving with the narrow road. They seem to lean against each other for support, still jostling for position after sharing the space for over 500 years. The century old cobblestones have been made smooth by time, and the museum's old water wheel creaks and groans as the river trickles north.

In one of those gilded houses, Goslar's most famous son, chemist Albert Niemann, discovered cocaine. Another house on Bergstrasse belonged to ancestors of the Siemens family and is one of the most splendid in town. A few steps further is the Brusttuch, a half-timbered wonder with a slanted slate roof like a massive witch's hat. Inside, carved into the supporting woodwork, is the Butterhanne, depicting a girl churning butter with one hand and lifting her skirt with the other to moon the devil.

Read the full article about the history of Goslar at thelocal.de

Find and book quality Germany Vacation Rentals and Holiday Apartments ...

By Vacation Theme: Alpine Villages, Beach Vacations, Farm Vacations, German Castles, Historic Old Towns, Lake Vacations, Metropolitan Cities, Small Villages, Spa Towns, Themeparks, [ + ] more ...

By State: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Baden-Wurttemberg, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bavaria, Berlin (region), Bern (Canton), Brandenburg, Bremen (region), Burgenland (Austria), Canton of Jura, Canton of Uri, Carinthia (Austria), Fribourg (Canton), Geneva (Canton), Glarus, Graubünden, Hamburg (region), Hesse, Lower Austria, Lower Saxony, Lucerne (Canton), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Obwalden, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Salzburger Land (Austria), Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schaffhausen (Canton), Schleswig-Holstein, Schwyz (Canton), Solothurn, St. Gallen (Canton), Styria (Austria), Thurgau, Thuringia, Ticino, Tyrol (Austria), Upper Austria, Valais, Vaud, Vienna (Austria), Voralberg (Austria), Zug (Canton), Zürich (Canton), [ + ] more ...

Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Breite Straße 53, 38640 Goslar, Germany

[ view larger map ]

Nearby Destinations Where You Can Find Nice Germany Vacation Rentals



Wolfsburg is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located on the River Aller northeast of Braunschweig (Brunswick) and is mainly notable as the headquarters of Volkswagen. Wolfsburg is bordered by the districts of Gifhorn and Helmstedt.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Wolfsburg Vacation Rentals



With a population of over 500,000 (2007), Hannover is a major center in northern Germany. It is known for hosting popular annual commercial expositions, such as the Hanover Fair and the CeBIT. Every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Hannover Vacation Rentals



Göttingen is a college town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Göttingen Vacation Rentals



Quedlinburg is a town located north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994 the medieval old town was set on the UNESCO world heritage list. Until 2007 it was the capital of the district of Quedlinburg.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Quedlinburg Vacation Rentals



Hildesheim is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located in the district of Hildesheim, about 30 km southeast of Hannover on the banks of the Innerste river, which is a small tributary of the Leine river.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Hildesheim Vacation Rentals

Feedback, comments, questions?

Bettina Kraft

If you have visited here please share your experiences with our readers on Facebook. Or, if you have other cool trip suggestions and would like to contribute a travel guide here, please drop me an email. We also are encouraging free-lancers, travel guide writers or publishers who have great Germany related content to send us an email and get in touch with us.

Subscribe to the latest Germany travel guide articles in a reader (RSS)

Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!

We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details

Add the "Best of Live Like a German" to your web site or blog!

Best of Live Like a German Badge

Get the Best of Live Like a German badge, which shows the latest Germany travel tips, popular vacation packages, special trip plans, and a selection of travel guides. It can be integrated easily into your web site or blog.
[ + ] More Details