The Rammelsberg Mines, in north-central Germany, is a major site for innovation in the Western world. Kilometres of waterways make up one of the largest pre-industrial power supply facilities in the world, which helped the underground operations to expand. An estimated 30 million tons of ore were mined and helped build Germany into the country it is today.
The Rammelsberg mines ran, continuously, for more than 1,000 years. Archaeological finds show that ore was excavated here 3,000 years ago, and the area's mountains held the world's greatest deposits of copper, lead, and zinc. Today, the mine—closed since 1988—and its surroundings form one of the most impressive historic mining areas in the world.
In December 1992, the former Rammelsberg Mine and the old town of Goslar were included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. The site spotlights more than ten centuries of mining history and a large inventory of mining monuments: the Rathstiefste gallery (12th century), the oldest brick mine in Europe (13th century), and the Roeder tunnels (18th/19th c.), with original waterwheels.
Some 30 million tons of ore mined here in Rammelberg have shaped the history of the city of Goslar. The mine's wealth, at the beginning of the 11th century, led to the establishment of the Palatinate by Emperor Henry II. In the year 1009, the first imperial assembly took place in Goslar. Goslar was the residence of German kings and emperors until 1253.
Nowadays, the World Heritage site of Goslar is known for its half-timbered houses thanks to this well-preserved medieval townscape with over 1,500 houses. For centuries it was the favored seat of government in northern Germany, and the center of Christianity. The spires of the 47 churches, chapels, and monasteries framed the town’s unique silhouette. It was referred to as “Rome of the North.“
According to visitworldheritage.com