A Brief History of Goslar
Goslar was established in 922 AD, with earlier settlements dating as far back as pre-Roman times. The town owes its fame and wealth to the rich mines (silver, lead, and copper) in the Rammelsberg just south of town. Although mining took place here in Roman times, it was the rediscovery of the ores in the 10th century that led to Goslar’s rapid development. Early in the 11th century, Emperor Heinrich II moved his primary Pfalz (Palace) here, giving the city political importance in addition to its economic might. Up to 1219, 23 Reichstage (Imperial Parliaments) met in Goslar.
In the 14th century, Goslar became a member of the Hanseatic League and its metal sources played an important role in this loose confederation. In the 15th century, Goslar took temporary control of the mines and the town benefited tremendously from its riches. However, it lost the mines again less than a century later and the town stagnated as a provincial backwater of little influence. This decline was only halted in the late 19th century by industrialization and the development of tourism. The Rammelsberg mines stayed in operation up to 1988.
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