Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System
Together with the mines of Rammelsberg, the medieval old town of Goslar and its imperial palace were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.
The richness of the Rammelsberg in silver and particularly copper ores led to the founding of the palace by Emperor Heinrich II at the beginning of the 11th century; in the year 1009 the first Imperial Assembly was held in Goslar. The imposing palace was erected in the Romanesque style. Goslar was a residence for German kings and emperors until 1253 and a centre for the Christian faith – the ‘Rome of the North’.
The Upper Harz mining water management system, which lies south of the Rammelsberg mines and the town of Goslar, has been developed over a period of some 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. It is a major site for mining innovation in the western world.