Bad Harzburg is a town in the Harz Mountains of central Germany.
Bad Harzburg is a small spa town nestled in the foothills on the northern edge of the Harz. It is named after a former imperial castle, the Harzburg, which used to stand proud on the heights above the town, but is now a ruin with just a few walls and ramparts remaining. The town itself caters largely for residents taking the "cure" as well as tourists - especially ramblers and cyclists - visiting the Harz. As a result, the centre is a pedestrian zone with small shops and timber-framed houses, surrounded by sprawling suburbs - a mix of impressive timber-framed residences and functional modern buildings.
Bad Harzburg is a great base for exploring the northern Harz. There is an 80-year old cable car to the Harzburg above the town called the Harzbergbahn. Once on the top, there is a network of easy walking trails and numerous sights within striking distance including the Lynx Enclosure near the Rabenklippe crags and several outstanding viewing points over the surrounding area.
The best place to park is the huge free car park on the B 4 just south of the town. From there it is about 5 minutes walk to the information centre and the foot of the cable car and another 5 minutes walk into town through the spa park. There is parking outside the information centre, but it is fee-paying and visitors are limited to a maximum of 4 hours.
The pedestrian precinct is an easy stroll.
- Harzburg - The former imperial castle, now ruined was built by Emperor Henry IV to guard trade routes and the lucrative mining region of the Harz. It was slighted during wars with the Saxons. Today the ruins are accessible to the public and there are information boards, a small cafe in the summer and a viewing point with the Canossa Column with great views over the town to the North German Plain
- Lynx Enclosure - behind the Rabenklippe is part of a project to reintroduce this shy wild cat to the wild again. There is a large wooden viewing platform and the lynx are often visible prowling around the hillside, sometimes at quite close quarters.
- Rabenklippe - crags and a viewing point with outstanding views of the Brocken on a good day. The name means "Raven Crag" and it lives up to its name! There is a small restaurant at the Rabenklippe which serves good food, but beware, it gets hot when its busy!
- Kreuz des deutschen Ostens ("Cross of the German East") - A huge white cross on the hills above Bad Harzburg was erected in memory of the former German territories in eastern Europe from which they were forcibly ejected at the end of the Second World War. There is a circular walk with stones placed at intervals with the shields and names of such territories as Danzig (now Gdańsk in Poland), the Sudetenland (in Bohemia) and East Prussia.
- Harzberg Cable Car.
- Thermal baths.
- Brockentorte ("Brocken Gateau") - the delicious Harz equivalent of Black Forest Gateau!