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I feel like my relationship with gingerbread houses is quite similar to one of my favorite childhood books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you give Jordan a gingerbread house, she’ll ask for a fairy tale German town. And if you give Jordan a fairy tale German town, she’ll ask for blue skies. And if you give Jordan blue skies, she’ll want a snowy backdrop. And if you give Jordan a snowy backdrop, she’ll ask for mountains in the distance. There’s probably also a beer and a coffee and some chocolate thrown in there somewhere ;)
I know I’m a broken record but if you want the quintessential fairy tale German town, look no further than Goslar (ok, Heidelberg will always be first but Goslar is a close second!). The old town of the city (which are most of the photos in this post!) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Goslar is a town rich in over 1,000 years of history. The town was founded in the 10th century after silver deposits were found. In less than 100 years, Goslar’s wealth from the silver mining industry elevated it to the status of an Imperial City. The Imperial Palace, or Kaiserpfalz Goslar, dates back to the 11th century and was the summer residence of the Holy Roman Emperors for several hundred years.
Can someone please buy me that orange building? It is a gorgeous hotel in the center of Goslar’s old town. Clearly, I stayed in the wrong hotel while there ;)
Even though Goslar played an important role in Germany’s early history, the city also has significance for modern German history. After being relatively untouched during WWII, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU…aka Angela Merkel’s political party) was founded in Goslar in 1950. The elected leader, Konrad Adenauer, would go on to be the first post-war Chancellor of (West) Germany and was instrumental in Germany’s economic recovery.
I should probably note that while I keep calling these houses “Gingerbread houses,” they are officially known as “Half-timbered houses.” And seriously, you can buy me whichever house you prefer…although I’m partial to anything red and blue ;)
For the best views of Goslar, climb the steeple of the Market Church St. Cosmas and Damian. It is open every day from 11 am – 5 pm and gives great views of the city and adjacent mountains!
HINTS & TIPS FOR VISITING GOSLAR
+ Plan to spend half a day to a day in the town. You don’t need any more time than that!
+ If you plan on staying in Goslar for the weekend, head to the Harz Mountains one day for a side trip :)
+ Eat dinner at Brauhaus Goslar. The beer is delicious and the atmosphere can’t be beat! It gets busy on weekends and in the summer so make sure you make a reservation ahead of time!
+ Climb up the steeple of the Market Church St. Cosmas and Damian. The views are the best!
+ Stay at Hotel Der Achtermann (where I stayed) or Hotel Kaiserhof (the orange hotel in the photos above!)