World War II is a difficult chapter in German history. Still, there has been suffering on the German side, too, which must not be forgotten either. This is not about glossing over or justifying anything but about learning from the past for a better future.
A memorial site next to the imperial palace is dedicated to the German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. It was set up in the 1950s while a lot of German soldiers still were imprisoned in Siberia. Since my grandfather was one of them I have heard quite a bit about the horrors in these camps. The last of them were only released in 1957, twelve years after the end of the war, due to diplomatic efforts by West Germany's chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
The sculpture "Grasp into freedom" (photo 2), 1955 by Fritz Theilmann, became the symbol of the former prisoners of war.
The inscription on the piedestal of the statue says, "Peoples, abjure hatred - reconcile - serve peace - build bridges to each other."
Location: in the park in front of Kaiserpfalz
Goslar's most glorious past dates back to the 11th and 12th century. So when during the 19th century interest in the middle ages grew and historistic architecture adopted medieval styles, it's not astonishing to see that in Goslar the neo-Romanesque style was preferred. The biggest project was the alteration and 'completion' of the imperial palace as a national monument of the new German Empire. New buildings were also erected in neo-Romanesque style, for example several schools. By adopting the 'local' style they refer to the town's history and tradition. You'll find quite a number of such 19th century buildings in town.
The Frankenberger church has always had a close connection with the miners. The Rammelsberg mines are close. Its bells used to toll the miners' work shifts. The church belonged to a convent of nuns.
Its imposing location on a steep hill on the edge of the old town is best viewed from the southern side, from the street Am Beek (photo 1). The majestic western front (photo 2) was part of the town's fortification. The formerly two steeples were torn down in the late 18th century and substituted by the bell-shaped top.
The church is closed during the winter months, so I could not get in. Access is through the convent gate (photo 3) from Frankenberger Plan, the pretty triangular square below (photos 4 and 5).
The small Romanesque chapel was originally part of the town gate the miners used on their way to work and back. Here they prayed and held their services. From the 16th century it was part of the miners' hospital. Today, it is used by the Frankenberg parish.
The chapel can only be visited by appointment.
Location: Bergstraße / southwestern edge of the old town
Rammelsberg, the mountain above Goslar, contains silver and copper ore which made the town wealthy and independent. The mines in Rammelsberg were operating for more than 1000 years and were only closed down in 1988. They are now a museum and part of the World Heritage.
To recall the ten centuries of Goslar's mining tradition, ten blocks of ore in metal frames have been put up in different locations of the old town. This series is a work of the artist Christoph Wilmann-Wiegmann in 1994. You will come across them when exploring the old town. One is, for example, placed in market square in front of the house with the carillon (photo 1), another at Klauskapelle (photo 2).
Worried about your model figure, diets etcetera? Why?
The two sculptures by Fernando Botero, the well rounded "Man with cane" (1977) and "Woman with umbrella" (1980), enjoy their walk in the city without worrying about their weight...
Location: Rosentorstraße near Neuwerk church and registry office.
Henry Moore's sculpture has been donated to the city of Goslar by an anonymous sponsor. It dates from 1975, the same year when the sculptor received the Goslarer Kaiserring, the town's cultural award.
"The Goslar Warrior" has been put up in the small park behind the Kaiserpfalz. Walk round the chapel to the backside of the Pfalz to see it.
Most visitors to Goslar run the crowded 'race track' from market square to the Kaiserpfalz and miss the pretty side streets, which are alomst tourist free (except a few groups with local tour guides who know the secrets of their town). If you want to see old cobblestone lanes with rows and rows of half-timbered houses and the most picturesque photo options, follow the beaten path from market square but instead of continuing to Kaiserpfalz turn right at the bridge across the stream, where the mill with the big wheel is, and follow the signs pointing to Frankenberger Kirche. The map in photo 5 shows where it is.
You will run across this canal, a bit reminiscent of Brugge. The "real" canals are however, the underground ones from the mines. There is a famous water wheel called Lohmuehle. Dating from the 12th century, it is one of the oldest Germany.
Be sure to wander the small side streets that radiate from the center -- you will find charming scenes such as this one on street after street. We would have enjoyed it more more if we hadn't been so cold:(
Middle of Hahnenklee with hotels round central lake. If you view closely, the cablecar is through the forest to the left of the fountain. There is a wooden viewing tower at the top which, I think, may be the highest place in the Harz.
When I was in Potsdam , I told the landlady that I intended to go to Goslar. "Ah, wandern in Die Harz" she replied. No, I said, that would be too much like hard work. But that's just what I ended up doing. I took the bus up to Hahnenklee, a small village and ski resort up in the mountains (as mountains go, the Harz are admittedly not exactly the Alps). It's a winding vertiginous trip, most notable on the way back down. The village is quite charming, though marred by the brutalist concrete ski accomodation. I took the cablecar up and wandered through the forest back down to the village. It would be relatively easy to walk right back to Goslar if you wished. It was a fine late September day and the air was almost supernaturally clean and fresh. It was an incredible contrast to the mayhem of T'wiesen (Oktoberfest) where I had just been, and Berlin where I was previously. If you wish to stay in the village, there is a fair range of accomodation, and even a bus direct to Berlin.
You all know SIEMENS - the company worlwide operating in electronigs!
The family Siemens come from Goslar - not many know - you can visit the house that was built in 1692.