Hanover or Hannover is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg (later described as the Elector of Hanover). At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Electorate was enlarged to become the capital of the Kingdom of Hanover.
In the 14th century the main churches of Hanover were built, as well as a city wall with three city gates. The beginning of industrialization in Germany led to trade in iron and silver from the northern Harz mountains, which increased the city's importance.
Today the City of Hanover is a Vice-President City of Mayors for Peace, an international Mayoral organization mobilizing cities and citizens worldwide to abolish and eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2020.
|New Town Hall (Rathaus)|
- The Old Town Hall. Was built over a period of more than 100 years. The earliest part (from 1410) overlooks the Schmiedestrasse (Blacksmith Street), the later wing next to the market was erected on the foundations of the 13th century trade hall. The adjacent wing in the Koebelinger Str. is called the "Chemists' Wing ("Apothekenflügel"), because it was the location of the Town Hall's pharmacy. This wing was later rebuilt in Italian Romanesque style, after a citizen's "action group" led by a well known neo-Gothic architect, Conrad Wilhelm Hase, managed to save the entire building from demolition in 1844. Hase was subsequently commissioned to renovate the remaining wings in their original style of 1500, with its exceptional gothic gables and the ornamental frieze.
- Maschee Lake. This artificial lake, created between 1934 and 1936 in the flood meadows surrounding the River Leine, does not attract only lovers of water sports; walkers, cyclists, joggers and inline skaters also throng the 6 km or so of pathways around its banks. The Maschsee Lake is perfect as a venue for regattas and other boat races, such as the annual Dragon Boat races, and many other types of water sports. In addition to sailing, rowing, taking a trip in a pedalo or windsurfing, you can also swim in the lake: the Maschsee outdoor swimming baths are on the south bank. And those who do not feel inclined to undertake water sports themselves can still cruise around the lake in the summer months on boats operated by Hanover’s public transport company, üstra. One of the highlights of the summer festival season in Hannover is the Maschsee Lake Festival. All around the lake, over a million visitors each year are treated to performing arts for all ages, culinary delights, music and fireworks.
- The Marktkirche. "The Church at the Marketplace" was built In the 14th century . Together with the Old Town Hall to the right they are considered to be the southernmost specimens of the "North German neo-Gothic" style. Just as the tower reached half of its planned height, the construction had to be stopped due to shortages in the town's coffers. "The builders be faint and taken of the sickness", reports contemporary chronicle. For financial reasons, a shortened spire was mounted without further ado (which became very popular and was imitated widely). Unchanged in style, the Marktkirche was rebuilt in 1952. The portal with scenes from the saddest chapter of German history was designed by Gerhard Marcks.
- The Opera House was built in 1845-52 based on a plan drawn by Laves. Originally it served as the royal theatre, as the king considered the theatre in the Leineschloß too small. The new opera house is a classical style building with two large wings and a balcony with statues of famous poets and composers. The balcony used to be open so that visitors could drive straight to the entrance in their carriages. Hanover's opera house was badly damaged in the Second World War and rebuilt in 1948. In 1985 the acoustics were improved and between 1996 and 1998 the stage equipment was restored.
- The Herrenhausen Gardens Are made up of the Great Garden (Großer Garten), the Berggarten, the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten. The gardens are a heritage of the Kings of Hanover. The Great Garden has always been one of the most distinguished baroque formal gardens of Europe while the Berggarten has been transformed over the years from a simple vegetable garden into a large botanical garden with its own attractions. Both the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten have been made in the style of English gardens, and both are considered popular recreation areas for the residents of Hanover. The history of the gardens spans several centuries, and they remain a popular attraction to this day.