Buildings are silent witnesses to centuries long past, yet they have a lot to tell. The Harz region in northern Germany was once home to emperors and kings of the Middle Ages and has several old castles, monasteries and churches. In six stages, the 95-kilometre (59-mile) long Harzer Klosterwanderweg (Harz Monastery Trail) connects some of these historic sites and the two World Heritage Sites of Goslar and Quedlinburg.
There is plenty to see along the way – blooming monastery gardens, impressive church buildings, the fantastic sandstone cliffs of the Teufelsmauer (Devil's Wall), views over the rolling hills of the northern Harz foreland and narrow paths along the Oker, Ecker and Bode rivers. With your Harzer Wandernadel (Harz Walking Badge) stamp book, you can collect 11 special stamps en route and exchange them for a copper Pilgrims’ Cross hiking pin when you finish.
As the trail is mostly gentle, it’s suitable for beginners. However, sturdy shoes are definitely recommended. At the end of each stage, you can usually choose from several places to stay, but I recommend booking accommodation in advance. Often, you can stay in one of the monastery complexes and immerse yourself in the history of the places. Most of the time, you find places to stop for refreshments along the way, but pack enough food and drinks anyway.
You can comfortably reach the start in the historic town of Goslar either by car or train. As all towns along the trail are connected to the German railway network, you can easily skip stages and return to Goslar at the end.
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Last updated: March 8, 2023
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Your hike starts at the foot of the Romanesque Neuwerk Church in Goslar. After a tour of the interior and the monastery garden, you set out on the path that initially leads you towards the exit of the village. Less than a kilometer after the start you will reach the St. Georg Abbey ruins. Only foundations…
After a restful night, you start one of the longer stages of the Harz monastery hike. But today's stage also has a lot to offer in terms of variety. After you have left the Wöltingerode monastery behind you, you first follow the ridge of the Harly. The red sandstone that supplied the building material…
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Today's stage is not particularly long, but it gives you enough time for the many historical sights along the way. After a last look over Ilsenburg, you leave the place through the romantic castle park, which has been one of the "garden dreams of Saxony-Anhalt" since 2019. Under the canopy of old beech…
With a variety of impressions of the city of Wernigerode in your luggage, you will set off for Blankenburg the next day. Across the old town and past the Romanesque St. John's Church you leave the place through the pleasure garden of the palace complex. The path leads you along the edge of the forest…
This stage is the shortest at just under ten kilometers, but the most exciting section is definitely waiting for you today. On narrow paths there is a short steep uphill climb, because the Teufelsmauer stretches from the outskirts of Blankenburg to the east and you follow this ridge with its bizarre…
On the last stage of the Harz monastery hike, a full load of history and some churches and monasteries of international importance await you. From Thale, however, your path initially leads you along romantic paths along the Bode. Soon you can make out a bizarre sandstone formation in the distance: the…
Hiking Collection by Renée
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Mountain Biking Collection by Simon Rosmolen
Mountain Biking Collection by komoot