Hannover is not only the most to central city in Germany, since it lies at the intersection of the most important traffic routes, but also is one of the greenest cities in Europe. It offers its inhabitants and, of course, the students as well, a broad range of cultural facilities, sporting activities, colourful festivals, interesting shopping and, naturally, a lot of green space for leisure.
Let yourself succumb to the fascination of an unrecognised metropolis and discover the many beautiful parts of Hannover.
Multi-Faceted - More Than Trade Fairs And Maschsee
Hannover, the Expo and Trade Fairs city, naturally has more to offer than CeBIT and Expo history. However, these are most frequently the best known aspects of this multifaceted metropolis.
As the capital city it is the economic centre of Lower Saxony and it also has an international reputation due to the world's biggest computer fair CeBIT. In addition, the city has a vision: by the year 2010 it wants to become the top city for digital technology in Germany.
An additional step is the continued use of the site of the world exposition EXPO 2000. Numerous education and development facilities for multimedia have been established there. Further education institutions and vocational schools involved in the fields of information and communication form a further basis for this new economic centre.
Green - Reputed Gardens and Secret Oases
Half of the City of Hannover consists of gardens, woods and water. These offer not only attractive goals for recreation at the weekend but unsuspected qualities each day. Students sit in the Great Garden and study for their next exam, working people spend their midday break in the Eilenriede, mothers jog while pushing prams beside the Maschsee Lake, and amateur botanists can find fantastic blossoms in the Berggarten.
The Herrenhausen Gardens are without doubt the most interesting goal in Hannover. Guelphs and British kings used to stroll between the white marble statues, Baroque flower beds and numerous theme gardens.
Today they are the location for exclusive concerts, the Little Festival and the International Firework Competition. Visitors can still wonder at the gardens which are just as Queen Sophia wanted them to be about 300 years ago.
The Great Fountain, which is 80 metres high, is the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe. And there are always new attractions. In 2003, for example, the last work of the French artist Niki de St. Phalle was completed. The Grotto enchants its visitors with its colourful design and great love of detail.
If you are more interested in animals, Hannover has a large zoo with numerous “worlds of experience”. Since the 1990s the zoo has been completely redesigned and pursues the approach of presenting the animals as far as possible in their natural surroundings. A boat trip on the Zambezi takes visitors past hippos, in the Jungle Palace they can see the elephants or, after the zoo’s next extension, they can travel on an Arctic steamer to penguins and polar bears.
Culture - A Broad Landscape
Culture enthusiasts get their money's worth in Hannover. Numerous opportunities for development are offered here, especially for lovers of modern art. First of all, the Sprengel Museum on the Maschsee Lake must be mentioned. Paintings, sculptures and photographs play a central part in the exhibition programme. A “room of experience” of the Dada artist Kurt Schwitters, who was born in Hannover, is also on permanent view there.
As early as in 1973 Niki de Saint Phalle made a contribution to the city’s understanding of modern Art when the three Nanas, which were still very controversial at that time, were placed beside the river “Am Hohen Ufer”. Despite her international career, she had a special love of Hannover and bequeathed almost 400 works to the city, which made her an honorary citizen in 2002.
In the rooms of the former city swimming baths the Kestner Society offers an exciting dialogue of historical building stock and modern variety of form with up-to-date use.
Numerous exhibitions changing throughout the year provide an exciting spectrum ranging from video and photo artists from all over the world to modern painters from the city and the region.
However, in addition to the museums, literature is of particular importance in Hannover. The doyen Wilhelm Busch has a firm place in the museum named after him. This is situated in the middle of the Georgengarten. Modern projects, such as the Literary Salon in the foyer of the Conti Building, offer young writers the opportunity to introduce their first projects. Well-known authors and other artists, too, can reveal new aspects of themselves in a relaxed atmosphere here.
The Opera House in Hannover is convincing not only architecturally, since it is the main work of the classical architect Laves, but also because of its outstanding productions of operas and operettas. With Jörg Mannes a choreographer has come to the stage and is providing new creative impulses for the ballet.
Culinary - Five Stars for Hannover
As the capital of the State of Lower Saxony, Hannover naturally also has a number of culinary specialities to offer. During the Old Town Festival at the latest you can wander between the numerous stands and try out food that is unknown in Bavaria or Thüringen. Grünkohl mit Pinkel (curly kale and sausage), for example, can be enjoyed in the season between November and March. Pinkel is a sausage served together with kale and other meat, such as Kasseler (lightly smoked pork loin) or bacon and onions. This is accompanied by boiled or fried potatoes. Other typical dishes are the Hochzeitssuppe, Calenberger Pfannenschlag and Welfenspeise.
International specialities are also easy find in the town which has more than a thousand restaurants. There are many culinary possibilities, both Italian and Greek, Chinese, Arab, Mexican, Indian and also Korean. If you want to find everything under one roof the Market Hall has numerous stands and counters with national dishes from all over the world.
Sport - Both Individual And In A Team
Hannover has much to offer regarding sport. Football plays an important part here. During the 2006 World Cup five games up to the round for a place in the quarter-final will be played in the newly developed AW D Arena. The preparations are in full swing. At the same time as the World Cup there will be a colourful festival in the whole of the city as well as numerous cultural events.
There is much on offer for amateur athletes, too. The paths along the Maschsee provide an ideal location for joggers, skaters and walkers. There is enough room for all of them. The two different sides of the Maschsee offer a great variety. On the western side there are shady trees, and the path passes rowing clubs and jetties, while on the other side one can find many people simply out for a walk, or others visiting beer gardens, ice cream stalls or the casino.
Architectural - Old and New in Dialogue
EXPO2000, in particular, was the reason for numerous projects in Hannover which had a lasting influence on the cityscape. The redesigning of the Central Station and, of course, the trade fair site itself are just two examples. Modern large buildings such as the Nord /LB building and the Ghery Tower are also striking. The Old Town and the individual districts with the different flair of the time when they were built, such as Linden, which dates from the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany, encourage one to go exploring in the city.
During the Second World War Hannover was seriously damaged by bombing. This is why most of the half-timbered houses in the Old Town are reconstructions. Nevertheless, this part of the inner city has regained its fascination. Both in summer and in winter there are numerous visitors who make a stop at one of the many bars or cafes, enjoy the Old Town Street Festival, the Christmas Market, or just simply stroll around after visiting the Historical Museum, the flea market or the theatre. One of the most interesting old buildings in the city is also to be found here, the “Old Town Hall” built in the Gothic style. Another special feature is the so-called "New Town Hall”, which was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century on more than 6000 piles made of beechwood. Today it is one of Hannover's symbols and after a trip in its diagonal lift you have one of the best views of Hannover from its dome.