90km (56 miles) SE of Hannover, 43km (27 miles) S of Braunschweig, 60km (37 miles) SE of Hildesheim
In spite of Goslar's growth, the old portion of the town looks just as it did hundreds of years ago. This ancient Hanseatic and imperial town at the foot of the Harz Mountains owed its early prosperity to the Harz silver mines, which were worked as early as 968. The 600-year-old streets are still in use today, as are the carved, half-timbered houses.
For hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, Goslar is a good starting point for day trips and excursions into the Harz Mountains, where some of the area's best ski resorts and several spas are found. Bus tours into the Harz Mountains can be booked at the tourist office.
The legends and folklore associated with the Harz Mountains are perhaps more intriguing than the mountains themselves. Walpurgis Eve (the famous Witches' Sabbath) is still celebrated each year on the night of April 30. The mountain on which the witches supposedly danced in olden times was the Brocken, whose granite top has been flattened by erosion. The area around the Brocken is now a national park.