Stolberg im Harz is one of the most photogenic villages in Germany. Medieval half-timbered houses line the cobbled streets. Visiting Stolberg is like walking on the Beauty & The Beast film set or being transported back to the Middle Ages! We visited this picturesque village as a stopover en route from the Netherlands to the Czech Republic, but immediately fell in love with the medieval streetscape. In this blog we tell you everything about Stolberg in the Harz and hope to convince you to visit this village.
Where is Stolberg im Harz in Germany?
Stolberg is one of the charming villages in the Harz area. It is a huge natural region with hills, villages, forests and hiking trails. This region is located quite central in Germany, slightly to the north.
For us, this location made Stolberg a practical stopover when we traveled from the Netherlands to Hrensko in the Czech Republic. As this was our first trip with our baby girl – only three months old at the time – we didn’t want to make the 8-hour drive to the Czech border in one go.
When you search on Stolberg, don’t forget to add ‘Harz’ to it. There is in fact another German village with the same name, but that is located in a completely different part of the country. Don’t make that mistake when you set up your navigation too, because that would cost you a lot of extra driving hours.
Where to stay in Stolberg im Harz
In a small town like Stolberg there are no large hotel chains or trendy design hotels. Still, you will find plenty of accommodations in Stolberg, as the photogenic village attracts quite a few visitors. Opt for a hotel in the village center of Stolberg, preferably near the central market square.
We booked a room at Hotel Zum Kanzler. This hotel is located directly on the main square, has a free car park for guests and serves a good breakfast buffet in the morning. The rooms are in two separate buildings on the market square. We booked the spacious suite right next to the tower. Our tower suite was very spacious and had a sitting area and a lovely window view of the square. Check the current rates and availability of Hotel Zum Kanzler.
Things to do in Stolberg
Picturesque Stolberg im Harz consists of roughly four long streets. Along those streets are a few hundred half-timbered houses, creating a particularly photogenic cityscape. With a white castle towering above this medieval small town, Stolberg is a lovely picture.
#1 The Marktplatz
The best thing to do in Stolberg is simply wander through those picturesque streets. You will automatically arrive at the crossroads of streets, where the main square – or Marktplatz – is located. On this square you will find most of the terraces and also the most important buildings of the village. The Rathaus, a beautiful building from the fifteenth century, immediately catches the eye.
Remarkable is the wide staircase right next to the town hall. It was once built to give access to the three different floors from the outside. The construction of the house also used to have a nod to the calendar: there were 12 doors (months), 52 windows (weeks) and 365 smaller window parts in those windows (days).
#2 The old post office and the Saigerturm
Other notable buildings on Marktplatz are the old post office and of course the Saigerturm. In the old post office is nowadays Hotel Zum Kanzler located, the hotel where we booked our stay. The hotel is named after Mr Kanzler who once ran it. It is now in the hands of the family who also own Gasthaus Kupfer, not far from the market square as well. This ‘gasthaus’ is one of the most beautiful half-timbered houses in the village.
The Saigerturm is the 30-meter high tower that is one of the eye-catchers of Stolberg. In the nineteenth century, a pedestrian passage was created at the base of the tower. As people of normal height were not taken into account, you might want to pay attention to your head. Sebastiaan is two meters long, so it was quite difficult for him to use the passage without bumping his head.
#3 The most beautiful half-timbered houses in Stolberg
We already mentioned Gasthaus Kupfer as one of the most beautiful half-timbered houses in Stolberg. This beautiful building is not far from the Marktplatz. It not only has the typical wooden beams of a half-timbered house, but also colorful wooden decorations, flowery planters and attractive shutters. With a history of more than 450 years, it is also one of the oldest buildings in the village. As the name suggests, it is now a hotel. Check the current rates, availability and more photos of Gasthaus Kupfer.
Other buildings worth including in your itinerary when visiting the village? The ‘Kleines Bürgerhaus’ at 14 Rittergasse dates from the fifteenth century and is the oldest house in Stolberg. It can now be visited as a museum. Next to the Kleines Bürgerhaus is one of the steps up the hill, bringing you to a church and the castle.
The ‘Alte Münze’ at 19 Niedergasse is also converted into a museum. In the sixteenth century, this beautiful property was built by the mint master of the village. That it is why it is still called ‘Alte Münze’, which translates to Old Coin. It is one of the larger and most monumental buildings in Stolberg im Harz. The Niedergasse is the longest street in the village and is full of beautiful buildings, but the Alte Münze clearly stands out with its tower and red-colored details.
#4 Stolberg Castle
The most imposing building in the village is of course the Stolberg Castle. For over 700 years this was home to the counts and princes of Stolberg. The castle’s most famous resident was Juliana van Stolberg. She eventually became the mother of William of Orange, an ancestor of the Dutch king and an important figure in Dutch history. The castle has been open to visitors since 2008, after being restored for many years. Especially the frescoes in the castle are beautiful to see.
The hill on which the castle is located also offers the best views of Stolberg im Harz. So even if you don’t plan on visiting the castle from the inside, it’s worth taking the steps up.
#5 Watchtower Josephkreuz
Another attraction near Stolberg is the Josephkreuz. This lookout tower stands on the Auerberg, one of the highest hilltops in the area. It is 38 meters high and has 200 steps to the top. It is built with a steel structure. You pay a few euros entrance fee to climb to the top. The tower was only open in the afternoon at the time of our visit. You cannot reach the Josephkreuz by car, so you walk from Stolberg or the nearest parking lot.