Renée

Hike through history in northern Germany – Harz Monastery Trail

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Hike through history in northern Germany – Harz Monastery Trail

Hiking Collection by Renée

4-8

days

3-6 h

/ day

59.9 mi

3,625 ft

4,100 ft

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.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    03:38
    8.67 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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 of the former church are left today, which you can visit freely and which give an impression of the more than 1000-year history of the monastery.Through the city park Köppelsbleek and along the outskirts you leave Goslar and hike with a view of the Brocken through the forest and over the field to Gut Grauhof, on which the baroque monastery church St. Georg stands. The church stands out in particular because of its elaborate late baroque furnishings and the organ, which attracts organists from all over the world to the Harz Mountains due to its sound quality.

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  • Difficult
    05:20
    12.5 mi
    2.4 mph
    775 ft
    350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    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 …

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  • Intermediate
    03:26
    7.76 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    05:11
    11.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    850 ft
    875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    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 …

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  • Difficult
    02:45
    6.13 mi
    2.2 mph
    375 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    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 sandstone rock formations for the first few kilometers.The paths here are partly stony and narrow, but more demanding passages are usually secured with railings and ladders. However, a little surefootedness and sturdy shoes make sense.The path first leads past the grandmother and grandfather - two cliffs that protrude over the surrounding deciduous forest and offer a grandiose view of the surrounding area. On the Südhangweg you follow the Teufelsmauer towards Timmenrode. Shortly before the place, the Hamburg coat of arms rises up, another sandstone cliff that is visible from afar and is well suited for a break. You can even find picnic benches here.

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  • Difficult
    05:39
    13.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    825 ft
    900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    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 …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    59.9 mi
  • Duration
    26:00 h
  • Elevation
    3,625 ft4,100 ft

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Renée

Hike through history in northern Germany – Harz Monastery Trail