Due to the deliberate investment during the Cold War period the townships
and villages in the west Harz tend to be plusher than in the east Harz, although the east is rapidly catching up now. Half timbered houses still remain amongst more modern building. Most places have been holiday bases for walkers since the 19th century and have health, sport and winter sport facilities. However in recent years the west Harz towns and villages have lost out in visitor numbers as people have a greater choice post 1989.

Braunlage. A Kurort (health resort) and popular tourist base for many
years, especially for western Germans during the Cold War period. Its
centre was only a short distance from the border with East Germany.

The upper picture to the right is of a small stone near the former border,
commemorating the re-unification of Germany.
It has been erected by
local people near the Bremke beck on the B27 road. Braunlage has its
own "mountain" Wurmberg, 972m (3188ft), with a cable car route to
summit. The higher stretches are used by downhill skiers in snowy
winters. A NATO tower was situated there until early in the 1990's.
lower photo' is a view over the town towards Wurmberg.
We have
regularly stayed in Braunlage although our English speaking hosts have
now retired from years of owning a Pension. They still have well
equipped holiday apartments to let.

Goslar is a UNESCO listed town. Here was the residence of the early emperors and it later became an important cultural and economic centre from the 9 th to the 15 th Century. A beautiful medieval town with a massive wall surrounding the Altstadt
(the Old Town), Goslar has an imposing Rathaus (Town Hall) dating
from the 15 th /16 th Century. Summer visitors are seen here watching
the midday Glockenspiel (chimes) in action at the Rathaus.
Marktkirche is also worth visiting. A major tourist target is the
Kaiserpfalz (Emperor’s Residence) of the 11 th Century. A major mining
museum is situated at the nearby Rammelsberg, where silver was found and mined for centuries.

Sankt Andreasberg. It is well worth visiting this pretty
and pleasant hill town with its steep streets and old
buildings. This early March 2004 panoramic photo of Sankt
Andreasberg was kindly supplied by Peter Spei of
harzfuchs.de - see below.
There is plenty of evidence of its long mining history, and one former silver mine, the Grube Samson or Samson pit, arranges guided tours during most of the year. The entrance area to this mine is pictured right .
The mine was worked from 1521 to 1910 and became a museum
in 1951.
An excellent Sankt Andeasberg personal website is kept up to date by
a local enthusiast, Peter Spei and team. In German
but the photographs,
changing 6 times per day, and the archive speak many words.


This former mining community consists of 2 merged
towns. Mining took place on the nearby Clausthaler high plateau from 1200
to 1350 so it is a natural base for a Mining Museum. The town has many
half-timbered and slate faced houses and Germany's largest wooden church,
the Marktkirche, seating 2,200! It is remarkable that the church has never
had a destructive fire.

A Dutch enthusiast has collected 11 pages of West and East Harz
pictures, as part of his personal album.




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Bodefall near Braunlage.
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