Altstadt Goslar

Popular travel destination in the Harz Mountains: Goslar – travel tips for the world heritage city with “Dukatenscheißer”


The city with around 50,500 inhabitants is about 40 kilometers from Braunschweig and 25 kilometers from Wernigerode. You don’t even need an hour by train from Braunschweig, which makes Goslar an interesting destination for weekend trips too. Trains run from Hanover, 70 kilometers away, to Goslar in just over an hour and a half.

Half-timbered houses with ornament

You should take your time for a stroll through the city – and above all, be careful because many of the half-timbered houses are lavishly decorated. Sometimes even original. The “ducat shit”, for example, who adorns the corner of the garment tailor’s guild house (Kaiserworth) and really deserves his name. Or the figures of Adam and Eve on the same building, which at first glance both look a bit like women.

One of the most popular photo motifs in Goslar: the “ducat man” on the Kaiserworth buildingPhoto: dpa Picture Alliance

Famous Kaiserpfalz in Goslar

If you forget the modern shops, you almost feel in Goslar like in a different, earlier time. And the city is actually very old. Ore was mined in the area as early as Roman times, and from 1040, under Henry III. in Goslar a very important imperial palace (from the Latin palatium = palace, i.e. a residence for traveling kings) of the Holy Roman Empire. The wall paintings by Hermann Wislicenus are impressive.

Imperial Palace in Goslar

The imperial palace was between the years 1040 and 1050 under Heinrich III. built Photo: dpa Picture Alliance

In the Palatine Chapel of St. Ulrich you can see a grave slab under which the emperor’s heart lies (his heart, it is said, was always in Goslar during his lifetime). The body itself was buried in Speyer. In the Kaiserpfalz, which is really worth a visit, visitors learn a lot about the traveling imperialism and the many imperial assemblies that took place in the Palatinate (address: Kaiserbleek 6).

The Harz has it all: The Bodetal – hiking through the spectacular gorge in the Harz

Tip: visit the homage hall

The central point of the city is the market square with the fountain on which a golden eagle, Goslar’s symbol, is enthroned. One of the most conspicuous buildings on the square is the Gothic town hall, inside of which a masterpiece is hidden: the tribute hall, one of the council halls, is completely covered with paintings. The artists are nameless, but are referred to as masters of the Goslar Sibyls. The paintings were created between 1501 and 1515 and show emperors, saints and sibyls (prophets). The hall is open to the public. The hall can also be seen as part of the city tour “A thousand steps through the old town”, which starts daily at 10 am (information in the tourist information).

Goslar market square

Market square in GoslarPhoto: dpa Picture Alliance

Figure play in the combing building

Also on the market, on the east side, is the combing building, on whose gable a play of figures draws the eye. The doors open every day at 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm and the figures “tell” about mining history.

“Dukatenscheißer” on the house facade

The merchants’ guild house, called Kaiserworth, was built in 1494 near the town hall. You should take a closer look at the magnificent facade and look out for the aforementioned figures of Adam and Eve and the “ducat shit”. Smiles allowed! However, you are only allowed to enter the house as a hotel guest: the Hotel Kaiserworth has resided there for 200 years.

Kaiserworth Goslar

The lavishly decorated Kaiserworth (cloth merchants’ guild house) is now a hotelPhoto: dpa Picture Alliance

View of the breast cloth of the world heritage city

There is so much more to see. The historic Schuhhof (the oldest square in the city with the shoemaker’s guild house) and the breast cloth, for example. The house, built in 1521, has an almost triangular floor plan, which is what gave it its name, and the half-timbered upper floor with figures and animals is well worth seeing (address: Hoher Weg 1, the house is now a hotel). Also of interest are the ramparts, the historic Lohmühle from the 16th century, the Siemenshaus from 1693 on Schreiberstraße, the arable citizen’s house built around 1500 and the Röver Kemenate in Frankenberger Straße 11.

Siemenshaus Goslar

Siemenshaus in GoslarPhoto: dpa Picture Alliance

Impressive visitor mine Rammelsberg

Anyone visiting Goslar should also make a detour to the Rammelsberg museum and visitor mine. Like the old town, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers exciting insights into 1000 years of mining history. You can take the mine train and the so-called inclined elevator, visit some tunnels and much more. The packaging artist Christo was so impressed that he covered the last tram.

Rammelsberg mine

Rails of the mine railway in the Rammelsberg mine

Also part of the world cultural heritage is the Upper Harz water management, the largest pre-industrial energy supply system in the world, consisting of ponds, ditches and watercourses.

Map with sights in Goslar

Hiking and biking in the Harz Mountains

Goslar is also a good starting point for hikes (the Liebesbankweg, on which you can pass 25 individually designed benches, is very popular) and tours by mountain bike. You can take the Bocksberg cable car to the top and then choose between seven routes. The cable car is in the Hahnenklee-Bockswiese district and takes visitors up the 726 meter high mountain. Anyone who has ever been to Hahnenklee should definitely make a detour to Gustav Adolf Stave Church, which was built entirely of wood in 1907 in the style of Norwegian stave churches.

Liebesbankweg in the Harz Mountains

Liebesbankweg in the Harz MountainsPhoto: dpa Picture Alliance

Arrival to Goslar

A 7 to the Rhüden exit, B82 via Langelsheim to Goslar. Rail connections from Magdeburg, Hanover and Braunschweig, for example