Bad Harzburg

Bad Harzburg

View from the Burgberg

Coat of arms
Bad Harzburg

Coordinates: 51°52′52″N 10°33′44″E / 51.88111°N 10.56222°E / 51.88111; 10.56222Coordinates: 51°52′52″N 10°33′44″E / 51.88111°N 10.56222°E / 51.88111; 10.56222
Country Germany
State Lower Saxony
District Goslar
  Mayor Ralf Abrahms (Greens)
  Total 65.42 km2 (25.26 sq mi)
Population (2015-12-31)[1]
  Total 21,735
  Density 330/km2 (860/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 38667
Dialling codes 05322
Vehicle registration GS

Bad Harzburg is a town in central Germany, in the Goslar district of Lower Saxony. It lies on the northern edge of the Harz mountains and is a recognised saltwater spa and climatic health resort.



Bad Harzburg is situated at the northern foot of the Harz mountain range on the edge of the Harz National Park. To the east of the borough is the boundary between the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, the former Inner German Border. The small Radau river, a tributary to the Oker, has its source in the Harz mountains and flows through the town. Nearby are the towns of Goslar to the west, Vienenburg to the north, Braunlage to the south and Ilsenburg and Osterwieck in the east.

Town districts

The districts within the borough of Bad Harzburg, with their population in brackets, are:

Population: as at 31 December 2008


Climatic diagram for Bad Harzburg

Climatically Bad Harzburg is a transition zone to a pure alpine region with a pronounced local climate.


Mediaeval times

According to legend, about 780 AD the Emperor Charlemagne, after the conquest of the area in the course of the Saxon Wars, had a chapel built on the Burgberg a hill overlooking the town. It may have stood on the site of a sacred grove dedicated to a Saxon god named Krodo, whose statue Charlemagne had overthrown.

King Conrad I of Germany is believed to have established a college of canons here in 916, in order to strengthen his rule in the Duchy of Saxony under Henry the Fowler. King Henry III had it transferred to his Kaiserpfalz in Goslar in 1039. Still on bad terms with the Saxons, his son and successor Henry IV between 1065 and 1068 had a sizable castle, the Harzburg, built on the Burgberg to control the region, where he was besieged in 1073 by the forces of Duke Otto of Nordheim during the Great Saxon Revolt. Henry managed to escape from the castle, which after the Peace of Gerstungen was badly damaged by its attackers. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had it rebuilt after he had defeated his rival, the Saxon duke Henry the Lion in 1180. Henry's son Otto IV, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1209, died at the castle on 19 May 1218.

Bad Harzburg about 1900

Archaeological findings of a first, later abandoned, settlement beneath the castle called Schulenrode (Old Saxon for "hidden (cf. skulk) clearing") date back to the 10th century. Another locality nearby named Hartesborch was first mentioned in a 1314 deed by the Benedictine abbey of Ilsenburg. The present-day town itself, then called Neustadt ("new town"), was first documented in 1338.

Modern period

From 1488 on, the Harzburg with its surrounding estates was part of the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, though spatially separated from the residence of the prince at Wolfenbüttel by the neighbouring Prince-Bishoprics of Hildesheim and Halberstadt. About 1569, Duke Julius of Brunswick promoted the development of a saline water well to extract salt. The well was called Juliushall and since 1852 the brine has been used for saline baths as well as other medical purposes.

In 1892 the townspeople changed the town's name from Neustadt to Harzburg. It was given the title "Bad" (German for "bath", i. e. spa), received town privileges in 1894 and has since become an important spa town and tourist attraction.

20th century

The election results for the Nazi Party in the Bad Harzburg district had been below-average so far. The Harzburg Front of a united "national opposition" against the German government of Heinrich Brüning was initiated by Alfred Hugenberg, the national-conservative German National People's Party (DNVP), the leadership of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), the Stahlhelm paramilitary association and the Alldeutscher Verband pressure group and constituted on 11 October 1931. Both the People's and Nazi parties participated in the government of the Free State of Brunswick from 1930, with the leading Nazi politician Dietrich Klagges as Minister of the Interior from September 1931.

During World War II, military hospitals were established in several hotels. The town surrendered without a fight to the 83rd US Infantry Division on 11 April 1945.

After the war, Bad Harzburg with the lands of Brunswick belonged to the British zone of Allied-occupied Germany and from 1949 was part of West Germany. Before reunification, its railway station was the eastern terminus of a major railway route just west of the Inner German border.


Population statistics
Year Inhabitants
1821 4,358
1848 4,679
1871 6,132
1885 7,630
1905 11,568
1925 14,164
Year Inhabitants
1933 14,744
1939 16,686
1946 27,417
1950 29,901
1956 26,487
Year Inhabitants
1961 25,946
1968 26,256
1970 25,334
1975 25,780
1980 24,924
Year Inhabitants
1985 23,662
1990 23,882
1995 23,599
2000 23,100
2005 22,734
2010 21,891




Timber framed house in typical 19th century "fretsaw style"

Town council

2011 local elections:


Mayor (Bürgermeister) Ralf Abrahms (Greens) was elected in a two-round system on 22 September 2002 with 53.8% of the votes. Abrahms is the first Green mayor in Lower Saxony. He is the successor of the long-serving Mayor of Bad Harzburg, Klaus "Jockel" Homann (SPD).

From 1981 to 1986 Jürgen Dorka (CDU) was the mayor.

Twin towns

Bad Harzburg is twinned with:


The Bundesstraße 4 federal highway runs through Bad Harzburg, connecting the town with the A 395 motorway to Brunswick in the north and with Nordhausen and Erfurt in the south. In the east-west direction the B 6 federal road leads to the A 14 motorway at Bernburg and to Hanover.

Rail services are provided at Bad Harzburg station by RegionalExpress and RegionalBahn trains of the Deutsche Bahn running to Hanover, Brunswick, Holzminden and Halle.


Honorary citizen

People from Bad Harzburg

Carl Peters

External links

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bad Harzburg.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bad Harzburg.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/23/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.