With an imperial past, a palatial prize of European Romanesque architecture and an Altstadt of medieval timber-framed beauties, GOSLAR is one of Germany’s treasures. A small town of just 48,000 people in the Harz foothills, perhaps, but a rich one figuratively and at one time literally. The area around the Markt is the town’s showpiece and from it a main street, Hoher Weg, drives south to the Kaiserpfalz. Also south of town is the Rammelsberg mine, which produced ores until relatively recently and now offers tours. But the set pieces are only part of Goslar’s attraction: simply rambling around its huddled Altstadt streets and seeking out its many small but diverting museums is a pleasure in itself.

Brief history

In the tenth century the discovery of silver transformed this hamlet into one of northern Europe’s leading medieval towns, whose deep coffers were loved by emperors and coveted by popes. By the mid-eleventh century, less than a hundred years after the first miners shouldered their picks, an imperial Diet (conference) of the Holy Roman Empire was held in the Kaiserpfalz, Goslar’s new Romanesque palace. For over three hundred years the “treasury of German Emperors” ruled Germany’s loose confederation of states as the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor and the city spent its wealth on the finery it deserved as a free imperial city (from 1342). Even a collective belt-tightening after the duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel snatched the mine in 1532 had its virtues: as funds dried up, so too did new building schemes, preserving the Altstadt. As a POW camp Goslar was also spared World War II bombing.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: is Leipzig the new Berlin?

Video: is Leipzig the new Berlin?

There's been a lot of hype about Leipzig lately, with many dubbing Saxony's capital "the new Berlin". But can little Leipzig honestly compete with Germany's la…

11 Jul 2018 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Leipzig reborn: discovering the city by Trabant

Leipzig reborn: discovering the city by Trabant

Leipzig, more markedly than most cities in eastern Germany, has experienced an upswing in recent years. It's now a dynamic university city with a colourful, wel…

05 Jul 2018 • Stuart Forster local_activity Special feature
The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

European beach holidays haven’t always been just about the Mediterranean. A century ago, the resorts along the Baltic Sea were just as likely to attract the E…

16 Mar 2018 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs