Goslar Travel Guide

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The walkway leading up to the Imperial Palace

The walkway leading up to the Imperial Palace

Ali Jafri

The history of the imperial town of Goslar goes back more than a thousand years - is was founded in 922 by Heinrich (Henry) I. Goslar gained its wealth mainly by mining silver ore: the discovery of the forst silver veins probably moved the Saxon and Salian emperors to build their biggest and safest palace complex on this site. It became the preferred seat of government in the northern part of Germany and remained so for centuries. At the same time a centre of the Christian faith arose here.

The oval-shaped heart of the old part of the town was built in a very confined area covering one square kilometre. Drive once to the Kaiserpfalz (imperial palace), where you can enjoy the fascinating view of the mighty palace built in the Romanesque style. With its numerous spires and towers, 47 churches and chapels characterize the town's unique silhouette. Even today, the view of the town with the spires of five big parish churches is impressive.

A wonderful natural background is provided by the Rammelsberg, more than 600 metres high, towering up directly behind the palace. The former ore mine there was only closed in 1988. This and the medieval old part of the town have been on the "UNESCO List of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Mankind" since 1992.

All ways are short in the old part of the town. Going down "Hoher Weg" the visitor first passes the Grosses Heiliges Kreuz, a hospice dating from the Middle Ages. Shortly after that he is already in the centre and sees an impressive market square with the Gothic town hall and the splended guild house "Kaiserworth". Something of an adventure are the many narrow and still cobbled lanes and alleys in the old part of the town, where every house tells its own story. Secluded corners are waiting to be discovered.

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