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Germany> Lower Saxony> Goslar

Germany - Lower Saxony


A Karen Brown Recommendation
The road winds down through vast forests to Goslar where a full day’s sightseeing awaits you in this lovely city full of historic buildings. Try to park at the Kaiserplatz (signposted). Here you find the majestic 11th-century Kaiserpfalz (Imperial Palace), one of the largest non-church buildings in the country, now displaying military paintings in its vast hall. (10 am–3 pm, daily.) Amble down the pedestrian-only cobbled streets, past timbered houses to the Marktplatz. Occupying a corner of the square, the old town merchants’ guildhall is now the Hotel Kaiserworth (see Hotel Descriptions) where statues of German emperors guard the portals. Here you are only steps away from the Rathaus (town hall) with its Hudigungssaal (chamber of allegiance) displaying German emperors on the wall and the life of Christ on the ceiling. (10 am–4 pm, daily.) The different scenes on the clock on the market square represent the 1,000-year-old mining history of the region (the clock performs at 9 am, noon, 3 pm, and 6 pm). The tourist office is also located on the square. Follow the cobbled street beside the Kaiserworth to the Goslar Museum with its exhibition of life in old Goslar—a geological overview of the Harz—and displays of minerals. One room contains art treasures from the cathedral and the Goslar gospel. (10 am–4 pm, closed Mondays.) Follow the tumbling River Gose past the Lohmühle (tanning-mill) with its ancient waterwheel to the Puppen Museum (Puppet Museum) in the basement of an antique shop on Hoher Weg. The Barock Café next door serves scrumptious cakes. At Münzstrasse 11, the Tin Figure Museum is situated in the coach house of an inn built in 1644 and used as a stopping place for the mail coach. Here you see displays of over 1,000 little tin figures depicting historic scenes. (10 am–4 pm, closed Mondays.) Just round the corner on Jakobistrasse you find the Mönchehaus Museum of Modern Art in an imposing farmer’s townhouse which dates back to 1528. It has exhibitions of modern art and works by the prize-winners of the Kaiserring, an art award given by the town of Goslar. Its garden is full of sculptures. (10 am–1 pm and 3–5 pm, closed Mondays.) Leaving the town center, retrace your steps towards Clausthal-Zellerfeld for a very short distance and turn left for the brief drive to the *Rammelsberger Bergbaumuseum. The Rammelsberg Mine on the edge of Goslar closed in 1988, the only mine in the world to have been in continuous operation for over 1,000 years (968 to 1989). Everything is the way it was on the mine’s last day of operation. Don your hard hat and miner’s garb and follow your tour guide (tours are given in German but several of the guides speak English and give bilingual tours) past the 10th-century waste heaps, down long, low (well-lit) tunnels to the 12th-century Rathstiefster gallery, visiting ingenious wooden water wheels used for removing water from deep underground. You emerge in a more modern tunnel to see the little yellow train that carried the miners deep underground. The tour concludes with a film (in German) showing activities at the mine. Plans are afoot to offer a tour where you not only don mining garb, but take your hammer and lamp underground to the face to mine your own rock sample. (9:30 am–4:30 pm, daily.)
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