Clausthal-Zellerfeld is situated in the Oberharz. It is the largest town of the Oberharz community and with an altitude of 535m up to 600m makes it great for winter activities as well as walking and mountain biking. Clausthal-Zellerfeld consists of two towns: Clausthal and Zellerfeld. They were merged in 1924. Clausthal has its well known University with its magnificent building "Aula Academica".
The University was opened back in 1775 and used to be a school for children and a centre for mining apprentices. In 1864 it was established as a Mining Academy, where students could also study physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. Today the University has about 3000 students. It also has the largest collection of minerals in Europe and well worth seeing. Zellerfeld always has been a popular holiday destination for hikers and winter activities. There are some great walks starting here through stunning scenery.
Both parts of the city have some amazing and historic buildings. In Clausthal is the Market Church "To the Holy Spirit". The original church was destroyed in the great fire in 1634. It was decided to replace it with a wooden church, which was completed in 1642. It is now the largest wooden church in Germany and can seat up to 2200 people. Inside you have a massive organ and a great altar. In the southwestern corner you can find an alabaster carving of the story of Christ. In Zellerfeld, you can find many craftsman houses, which have been rebuilt after the devastating fire in 1672. One of the craftsmanship was to produce silver and gold coins. To separate the gold special laboratories were designed and built. In 1978 it was converted into a glass-blower craftsmanshop. Nowadays you can watch the old traditional craft technology very close up and discover how the glass is blown and formed.
The Dietzelhaus is another historic building dating back to 1673. This magnificent mansion is in the center of Zellerfeld. Today you can find the Tourist Information in there. The town is also famous for the invention of the "cable". Julius Albert together with his mountain locksmith Mummenthey invented after many experiments the first wire ropes of iron. This wire rope could carry six times more than the hemp rope and could carry four times more than the chain.