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Wernigerode and The Harz - Where to base oneself?

Wernigerode and The Harz - Where to base oneself?

Old Dec 29th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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Wernigerode and The Harz - Where to base oneself?

I am thinking of 3 days in the Harz this spring and Wernigerode looks to me like the place to make a base. We will have a car.

First - any opinions on the choice of Wernigerode, and second, please recommend favourite hotels (we want to do upper end lodgings right in the middle of things on this trip), restaurants, other towns and sites to see (Quedlinburg and Goslar are "musts' and already planned) What about Wolfenbuttel? Hornburg? Stolberg? and specific sites. I see that there is a Romanik Road (Romanesque, not Romantic) in the area too - anyone familiar with the best sites on that?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Aramis is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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Are there no Harz experts out there?

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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 02:42 PM
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Hi, Aramis~

Sorry, I can't help you very much with Wernigerode, but we spent the weekend in Quedlinburg last winter (took the train there from Berlin) and LOVED it.

Architecturally magnificent -- tons of excellent timberframe buildings around every corner, most with their dates scribed into their ornate carved facades.

We spent our time wandering the streets, poking in and out of buildings, visiting their excellent Fachwerk museum, and drinking Kaffee und Bier.

No other tourists in sight and no one spoke English. We felt like we had the town to ourselves.

If you can spend the night, I heartily recommend the Gaestehaus Toepke. www.gaestehaus-toepke.de

The owners are lovely, lovely people, the place was quiet, spotless and cheap (5OE), and breakfast is excellent.

Have a great time, and report back. Next time, we're planning on visiting the rest of the area.

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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Are there no Harz experts out there?

Not likely. Fortunately, the Harz is an area that not many Americans go to (why it is now one of my "back doors"). I spent five nights in Braunlage last month, but I wouldn't say I am an "Expert". Well, maybe so, as they say, "the one eyed man is king in the land of the blind".

I spent one day just in Braunlage, resting and exploring the town, another day going to neighboring towns (St. Andreasberg and Clausthal-Zellerfeld), one day in Wernigerode, and the last day taking the narrow gage steam train to the top of the Brocken.

The Harz National Park is a beautiful, pine-wooded, mountainous island in the flat-lands of northern Germany. I would not actually call Goslar, Wernigerode, and Quendlinburg part of the Harz. They are nice towns, but along the flatlands bordering the north side of the park.
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Old Jan 4th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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Hi Aramis, here I am! I've been away last week (in Braunschweig, in fact, with day trips to Wolfenbüttel and Goslar!) and Fodor's would not let me log in from my Dad's computer, for whatever reason.

And Larry, luckily not everyone here is American...

Thoughts on Wernigerode as a base? Yes, yes, and yes. I love the place. It is a pretty little town, though popular enough to offer everything a visitor might want, and in the middle of the spots you mentioned.
Wernigerode is the starting point of the steam railway up the Brocken (the trip is recommended on a fine day) and across the Harz to Nordhausen, which is a plus.
The No. 1 hotel in town is probably Gothisches Haus: http://www.travelcharme.com/en/hotel...ches-haus.html - in market square, next to the town hall (I didn't stay there because it was far above my price level, so cannot tell what it is really like, but it looks great and the location is unbeatable).

Goslar and Quedlinburg are true jewels - good choice. Wolfenbüttel is another fine old town which is well worth seeing. Since you only have three days, however, I'd rather suggest seeing a bit of the mountains on the third day, like the excursion up the Brocken on the old steam railway if the weather allows.

As for Goslar (I've just been a couple of days ago) - don't limit yourselves to the beaten path from Market square to the Kaiserpfalz. There are lovely quiet side streets everywhere in the old town - I found particularly lovely and almost tourist-free lanes west of market church along the Gose stream towards Frankenberger Kirche. Take your time to stroll and explore. The same applies for Quedlinburg and for Wernigerode itself.

Straße der Romanik: The region is indeed full of Romanesque architecture which is remarkably well preserved. I'd recommend, first of all, the abbey church in Gernrode which is not far from Quedlinburg.
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Old Jan 4th, 2009, 02:49 PM
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I spent a week in Wernigerode a few years ago mainly so I could ride all of the steam trains in the area. If you are a train buff, there are three different railroads that makes loops through the Harz Mts. One makes its way up to Brocken at the top of the mountain and you can hike back down through the Harz National Park. I stayed with a German family that rented out rooms to travelers for a very reasonable price.
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Old Jan 4th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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I know the area well, and always base myself at the Pixhaier Muehle, near Clausthall-Zellerfeld: http://www.pixhaier-muehle.de/

I enjoy "wandering" (hiking) through the countryside, especially in the spring and fall.

"Alles Gut!"
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 02:26 AM
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thought I'd just check in to thank you all, especially Quokka, for the excellent info - we're taking a trip to this area starting on Thursday so I'm doing a trawl of fodors to make sure I don't miss anything.

Acting on a recommendation from Ingo on another thread we have booked 2 nights at the Hotel am Angar in Wernigerode so I will try to remember to report on it when we get back. I've also printed out details of the Pixhaier as recommended by Liesl - we prefer staying in towns, but it looks like a great place to stop for lunch.
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