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Das "Neue Rathaus", Bild: Mapics / shutterstock

Hanover – Former residence of the Guelphs

Hanover, today’s state capital of Lower Saxony, is also known as the City of Gardens. More than 50% of it consists of publicly accessible green spaces and gardens. Excellent shopping facilities, a vibrant nightlife, numerous sights and a wide range of leisure and local recreation facilities make Hanover a city with a high quality of life.

The history of Hanover

Herrenhausen Gardens Hanover
Herrenhausen Gardens Hanover, Image: Sebastian Grote /shutterstock

In the beginning, it was a trading post on the Leine, but the actual founding of the town took place between 1124 and 1141 by the Counts of Rhoden. Duke Henry the Lion from the high noble family of the Guelphs, further expanded the small market settlement in 1142 and fortified the town. In 1241, Hanover received city rights and became an independent city.

Prince Georg von Calenberg, a general from the 30 Years’ War, appointed Hanover his residence in 1636. Other milestones in the history of Hanover were the elevation to a kingdom in 1815 and the Prussian annexation in 1815. Hanover became a Prussian garrison town. Prussian rule was accompanied by an enormous economic upswing and significant industrial development.

Then followed the First World War, the Weimar Republic and the Second World War. The post-war period was marked by extensive reconstruction measures of the largely destroyed city. Only about 5% of residential buildings in Hanover have remained unscathed. Today, Hanover is a thriving city with more than 500,000 inhabitants and is one of the leading cities in Germany.

Excursion destinations and leisure activities

The Market Church in the old town of Hanover, Image: Mapics / shutterstock

The city of Hanover and its surroundings are an El Dorado for all kinds of leisure activities. Whether cycling, playing golf, swimming in one of the many bathing lakes (e.g. the Steinhuder Meer, Altwarmbüchener See), horseback riding, playing beach volleyball, Boßeln, climbing in the high ropes course or simply relaxing in one of the parks. The wide range of leisure activities in and around Hanover leaves nothing to be desired.

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For families with children, the adventure zoo is an absolute must. On a tour through various biotopes around the world, zoo visitors can marvel at over 2000 different animals. It is home to hippos, rhinos, lions, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, chimpanzees and gorillas, tigers, leopards and elephants, polar bears, seals, penguins and even kangaroos and emus.

A visit to this unique “Noah’s Ark” will remain an unforgettable experience. A visit to Sea Life Hannover is also recommended. In this fascinating underwater world, visitors can stroll through a glass tunnel under the ocean basin to observe sharks, turtles and many tropical fish from a fish’s eye view.

In the “Aspria Spa & Sport Club” at the Maschsee, sport, fun and wellness are offered in one. Six saunas, a steam bath, a salt cave, a whirlpool and a relaxation room with a fireplace are available. Guests can swim in both the indoor and outdoor pools. There is also a fitness area, where not only strength athletes get their money’s worth. But the warm brine water of the “Kristall Saunatherme” in Seelze and the “Landgrafentherme” also makes the hearts of wellness fans beat faster.

Sights in Hanover

View of Hanover, Image: Roman Sigaev / shutterstock

In Hanover, visitors can discover numerous sights. The Gothic market church and the old town hall made of red brick are just two of them. Both buildings are located in the old town in the middle of many beautiful half-timbered houses.

Another attraction is one of Hanover’s landmarks, the new town hall. The unique arched elevator takes visitors up the dome to a viewing platform. Once at the top, he is rewarded with a magnificent view over the whole city. But the interior of the almost one hundred meter high town hall dome is also worth seeing. In the town hall you can see four city models of Hanover’s development, 1689, 1939, after the destruction in 1945 and today.

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A special attraction of Hanover are the Herrenhausen Gardens, which were laid out in the 17th century with the baroque large garden, the Museum Schloss Herrenhausen, the botanical mountain garden and the English Georgengarten. In the large garden, a water fountain, various water features, different groups of figures and a grotto can be admired. A maze and a tropical show house, as well as an open-air theatre and the castle with orangery round off the visit. The Berggarten is home to the largest collection of orchids in Europe.

Shopping and gastronomy

Hanover is filled with green spaces, Image: Mapics / shutterstock

In Hanover’s old town, shopping enthusiasts can stroll between elegant boutiques, shoe shops, jewellery shops and antique shops and at the same time admire the nostalgic half-timbered houses. For friends of “haute couture”, a stroll along Hanover’s promenade, Georgstraße, is worthwhile.

Here you can buy elegant luxury dresses and fine jewelry. You can also shop in the Ernst-August-Galerie, the Galerie Luise, around Kröpke-Platz, as well as in Hanover’s well-known shopping streets, Luisenstraße, Theaterstraße and Königstraße. A visit to one of the 26 weekly markets is also worthwhile.

The Hanoverians consider the Linden market to be the most beautiful weekly market in the city. The Linden market from 1883 has become a popular meeting place for young and old in Hanover. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, the market traders offer fruit and vegetables from the region, freshly baked bread and many other regional delicacies at numerous stalls. Friends of good food will not miss out in Hanover anyway.

In the city’s numerous restaurants, pubs and pizzerias, guests can choose between hearty, hearty, but also exclusive food offers until late at night. Lovers of French, Italian or Asian cuisine are offered everything their hearts desire in Hanover. Various excellent fish restaurants and cafés round off the gastronomic offer.

Tip: The largest shooting festival in the world takes place in Hanover every year. Hundreds of thousands of spectators do not miss the parade of the shooters in their uniforms. Maybe you don’t either?