Carolingian Abbey and a 1000 years old mine
Continuing on the second part of the weekend today Sunday, after visiting the day before the cities of Hanover, Hildesheim and Alfeld with their UNESCO World Heritage sites; our first point would be the beautiful and historical city of Hoxter, some 100 kilometres south of Hanover, our base city. While a small city, probably unheard to everyone (unless for a German), it is very important in the country due to its Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey, the only standing structure that dates back to the Carolingian era in the country.
Farther east from Höxter, not near though and on small roads since there are no motorways in this area, is the city of Goslar with its over 1000 year old mines of Rammelsberg. All the places and cities are incredible in every sense, and something we actually did not expect. We did not know there was so much to see at both cities, and so many timber framed buildings, specially in Goslar. It was literally every single building! The only fact that played against us was the time. We wish to have had more time to enjoy more peacefully the visit, and even reach the historical city of Quedlinburg. This will have to be done on a future trip.
So while our original thoughts were that Hanover would be a bit boring, with not much to see to keep you buys for a weekend, it does have a good side, the many many other places “nearby” in the region. Way too many, so in the pipe, probably for the next year, is to find another good flight deal to Hanover and continue visiting the region and historical cities.
For more information about these places click on their respective Wikipedia sites. Germany’s currency is the Euro. Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do
- Höxter At little over 100 kilometres to the south of Hanover, it hosts a beautifully preserved historic old town worth every street, and the famed Corvey.
-Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey Is the only standing structure that dates back to the Carolingian era, erected between 822 and 885AD, and it is largely preserved and listed an UNESCO World Heritage site.
-Old Town Small, with the usual urban plan, the market square with the City Hall, churches and cathedral.
- Goslar Without any doubt, our favourite city from all the ones we visited this weekend, and the one with the most number of historical buildings, literally, everyone every street. Located at 100 kilometres east from Höxter; 100 kilometres south of Hanover.
–Mines of Rammelsberg Listed an UNESCO World Heritage site. Developed over a period of over 1000 800 years to assist in the process of extracting ore for the production of non-ferrous metals, its construction was first undertaken in the Middle Ages by Cistercian monks, and it was then developed on a vast scale from the end of the 16th century until the 19th century. It is made up of an extremely complex but perfectly coherent system of artificial ponds, small channels, tunnels and underground drains. It enabled the development of water power for use in mining and metallurgical processes.
-Old Town The same as for Höxter, with the difference that here almost every building is timber framed. The entire city is listed an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Notably beautiful is the Imperial Palace, City Hall and the Cathedral among the many impressive buildings all around.
Reaching Höxter and Goslar, both southeast from Hanover is possible with frequent trains and buses, and so a good transportation between them both. Still, if you can only opt for public transportation then bear in mind this is time consuming. The best you can do is having a rental car and be independent. It will save you loads of time. For further information about Hanover and a full description on its transports check the relevant guide here.
We made our base in Hanover from where we drove to all these places, hence I can only comment here about our experience there. Being one of the largest cities in Germany and due to its importance with regards to industry and economy, it is heavily visited by people on business. This is a good side since the city boasts many hotels from every kind and every chain. However it is necessary to say here that the city is not an importance tourism pole, and getting a good deal was actually difficult. As usual, a good point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred hotel search engine websites such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms or Ebookers.
Since we knew we were going to be on a much wider tour through other places south of the city and we rented a car, we did not have any preference in where to get a hotel, as such we chose to stay near the airport where a great deal popped! We stayed at the back then ACHAT Premium Airport, nowadays Dormero Langenhagen Airport. It was simple yet nice, with friendly staff and all we needed for just 2 nights, a good and comfortable rest. Bear in mind when searching for hotels in Hanover that majority of them do not include breakfast in their “basic”rate, but for a hefty higher fare you can have it. Indefinitely we decided to have it by ourselves, something easy considering the many nice bakeries everywhere and even inside the supermarkets. Just across the road from the hotel there is a shopping centre with a large supermarket and great bakery within!