If you like to soak up some culture during your holidays, the Harz region sure has something in store for you; enjoy the beautiful historican cities and some museums that inform you about the region and its interesting/rich history. On this page of our website you will find some interesting "cultural" ideas to plan during your stay...
Goslar (ca 49 kms)
This imperial city on the outskirts of the Harz region has a history of over a thousand years and is very inviting for a dynamic timetravel that leads you from the Middle Ages to the current era. The city was founded in the 10th century close to a silvermine and in the Middle Ages it held a key-position as an imperial settlement, a Hanseatic City and a Reichsstadt. Goslar has a very well preserved historical citycentre (UNESCO worldheritage) that has a medieval cityscape.
The main highlights of Goslar definitley are the roman, restored imperial palace and the marketsquare where you will find the Town-Hall, the Marktbrunnen (fountain) and the Market-Church. The cityscape is dominated by beautiful houses and other buildings with the typically timber-style facades. There are also some museums you may pay a visit for example the Bergbaumuseum Rammelsberg (mining) that allows you to have a closer look at the history and tradition of mining in this region.
Quedlinburg (ca 48 kms)
Let this city invite you with its over 700 years of history in timber-style built houses. Immerse yourself in this piece of German history that will take you back for more than 1000 years and experience the magic of a unique medieval cityscape. Since the year 1994 Quedlinburg owns the status of UNESCO world-heritage. This status was granted for several aspects like the crypt in the roman Sticht-Church on top the Schloßberg where the first German royal-couple has been buried and the imperssive numbere of over 1300 timber-style houses you will find in an area of about 90 acres.
Wernigerode (ca 35 kms)
On the northern side of the Harz (in the land/province of Sachsen-Anhalt) there is the beautiful city of Wernigerode. This city also has the name "Colourful Harz City" and was founded in the 12th century. The city has a rich and interesting history and the city-centre reflects this history by a lot of timber-style buildings. The Town-Hall on the Market-square definitely is one of the most beautiful in Europe and dates back to the 13th century. Enjoy a walk through the historical centre and discover the Oberpfarrkirchhof, the gothic house and the smallest house of the city in the Kochstraße. But... you can also enjoy a stroll in the main-street where you will find a wide variety of shops as well as numerous terraces where you can enjoy a drink or ice-cream. A visit to the Wernigerode-Castle should be part of your visit to this city. The Harzer Schmallspurbahn (railway) will take you by steam-train from the city of Wernigerode all the way up to the Brocken.
Thale (ca 35 kms)
The city of Thale is located on the northern side of the Harz, exactly where the river Bode created a deep gap between the Hexentanzplatz ("witch meeting point") and the Roßtrappe. The romantic Bodetal (valley) offers an amazing history of myths and legends, magical forests, impressive rocks and stunning views. You can go up to the Hexentanzplatz at 454 meters by cable-car and visit the Witch-Circle, have a ride downhill in the Harzbob (bobsleigh) or visit the little zoo. Of course there are also some restaurants. On the other side of the valley you can take the chair-lift to reach the 403 meters high Roßtrappe that has been named after the horse-shoe-print you will find on top. But the city of Thale has more to offer for a day-visit? How about a DDR-museum (former Eastern-Germany) or a climbing-forest?
Heimatmuseum “Alte Pfarre” (Hohegeiß)
This museum illustrates many things of the history of the village itself as well as of the time it was still located near the ancient border to "former Eastern Germany". The „Alte Pfarre“ (which means: old parish), a timber style building that dates back to the year 1644, also shows this eventful history. Inside this oldest building of the in 1444 founded village the historical development is being explained. Being located in the middle of the Harz-region, mining always has taken a special place. The exposition does not only show a lot about the professions linked to mining, but also about the tourism that started to develop in the 19th century. A separate part of the museum is dedicated to the former division between Eastern and Western Germany where for example scale-models and artefacts of border-posts are exposed. More information is available at the Tourist-Info.
Grenzlandmuseum - Bordermuseum (Sorge)
In Sorge a part of the former border between Eastern and Western Germany is well maintained. This site has been transformed into an open-air-museum that can be integrated in several walking-tours like „Grünen Band“ and „Ring der Erinnerung“. Autumn 2009 this open-air-museum has been expanded by adding a small museum (the former railway station) where some "Cold War" artefacts are being exposed. The exposition gives you the possibility to get to know a bit of the way of life in this border-region in a time that Germany still was divided. On the site (outside) the ring-road with its 10 large information-signs connects to the museum, to the „Ring der Erinnerung” and to the open-air-museum. In 2019/ 2020 the observation tower has been restored. Information regarding opening hours and guided tours you will find on www.grenzmuseum-sorge.de.
Schloß Wernigerode (Wernigerode Castle)
Wernigerode Castle originally was a medieval fortress to facilitate a safe haven for the German Emperor during his hunting-trips. In the 16th century the fortress first was rebuilt for being a renaissance-fort and later in the 17th century it finally had been renovated and changed into a romantic castle in which actually has been lived in.
Wernigerode Castle makes history come alive and the building itself exposes a completely different view on the outside by each 45° degree angle you look. The more than 40 rooms that expose numerous artefacts and furniture will give you a good insight in the daily life of the 19th century "jetset” and will make you feel part of it. Information regarding opening-hours and prices you will find on www.schloss-wernigerode.de.
In the Aviation-Museum Wernigerode the entire family can get as close to the dream of flying normally only pilots would get. More than 50 airplanes and helicopters with a great history will be waiting for being explored and admired. The museum will make you discover and revive the history of aviation without keeping distance to the machines at all... Besides a number of hangars with different themes (History, Hollywood, Helicopter and Jet Hangar) the museum also has some flight-simulators that enable you to experience the thrill of flying. More information is available on www.luftfahrtmuseum-wernigerode.de.
KZ Mittelbau-DORA (Nordhausen)
Mittelbau-Dora is a symbol of the history of forced labour at a concentration camp and of the production and storage of weapons during the Second World War. In the summer of 1943 "Dora" was set up as an external (in the caves safely located) storage for the rockets produced in Peenemünde and was part of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Nowadays Dora is a European educational and memorial site. On this vast site you will find a continuous exhibition that will give you some insight in the prisoners' arrival, their housing and the forced labour they were suffering. Not only on the terrain outside, but also in the caves you will see some impressive locations that witness the cruelties that took place. More information on this subject is available on www.buchenwald.de.
Glass Manufactory "Harzkristall" (Derenburg)
This factory is one of the few still active glassworks in Germany. Only a few kilometers from Wernigerode this factory combines experience, adventure, entertainment and fun. Discover every detail of the subject of "glass" and experience the ancient tradition of the glass-blowing profession. Feel the heath of the oven and blow your own personal glass-ball. More information on www.harzkristall.de.
HSB (Harzer Schmalspurbahn) – Railway
The Brockenbahn (railway to the Brocken) has a history that dates back more than 100 yhears. In 1898 the first brick of the railway-station was placed, at the altitude of 1125 meters Germany's highest located railway-station. Only a few months later, in March 1899, the track was officially opened and not much later the first tourists found their way to the top. Unfortunately, both World Wars slowed down this prosperity. The major setback took place on August 13 1961; as a result of the construction of the wall the connection by train had been stopped completely for the period of 30 years. Not untill the end of the existance of Eastern-Germany the first train went back all the way up on May 4 1991. Four months later the track was made fully-operational again and since July 1992 trains ride according their regular time-table. Enjoy the beautiful Harz by riding a part of the track or just experience the entire track all the way to the top of the Brocken. The current time-table and prices ara available on www.hsb-wr.de. Tickets are available at the Tourist-Info or online.
Get to know the strict and fascinating world of the life in a Cistercian monastery. This authentical village, that has been restored accurately according to monumental guidelines, does not only offer an interesting tour on the site of the monastery, but also a museum and a special programme for children. Make a walk by candle-light or enjoy a concert to feel enchanted by this magical village. More information about the monastery you will find on www.kloster-walkenried.de. Every year in September the "monastery market" takes place.