Regions and Cities of Germany
- Lower Saxony
- North Rhine Westphalia
- Frisian Islands
- Harz Mountains
This city in Germany's north east is situated on the banks of the Leine River and is the capital of Lower Saxony. A busy commercial and industrial city, Hannover also serves as a hub of the high speed train system. Its extensive industrial plant produces goods of all sorts: motor vehicles, machinery, rubber goods and food products are just some examples. Hannover is also one of the main cities for trade fairs and conventions in Germany, its most important international exhibition being EXPO 2000.
Hannover received a charter in 1241, and towards the final years of the 14th Century, became a part of the Hanseatic League. During the mid 17th Century the Braunschweig-Lüneburg family - from which the house of Hannover originated - set up their residence in the city, and towards the end of that same century Hannover became the capital of the Braunschweig-Lüneburg electorate. In the year 1866, control of the city passed over to Prussia, marking the beginning of Hannover's commercial and industrial success, which continues to exist to this day, despite having been severely hit by the Allied bombs during the Second World War.
This unfortunate history is reflected in numerous monuments, which can be reached by following "red line" drawn along the pavement in the streets. What stands out most is the extraordinary architectural combination between the modern city center and the old quarter. The Altstadt, or old city, has a medieval feel to it, with narrow streets, gabled houses with chimneys and overhanging balconies and the Market Church, a brick building dating back to the 14th Century.
Other typical sights the city has to offer include the Rathaus or the Old Townhouse, a gothic style building constructed between 1439 and 1455, and the Old Royal Palace, whose construction was completed in 1640 and which currently houses an art museum. The New Town Hall is an impressive building dating back to the early 20th Century and in whose magnificent vestibule, under a great dome, four scale models of the city are on display; one of medieval Hannover, the second of the city before the World War, the third of a city in ruins in 1945 and the fourth portraying the city as it stands today.
Some of Hannover's well-known museums include the Lower Saxony Museum, exhibiting impressive paintings and ethnography; the Sprengel Museum, housing a collection of modern art, with collections including works by Picasso, Leger, Klee and Kandinsky, among others; the Kestner Museum has excellent displays of Egyptian antiquities, ancient numismatics and ornamental art pieces.