A Visit to Hannover

Hannover (Hanover in English) is a wonderful city in the northern part of Germany. A week ago I spent some days there, but I could easily have stayed for a few more days. Of course I tried to see everything royal, but the city has more to offer. My hotel was very centrally located, just a five minutes walk to the railway station and even less to the main shopping streets. Unfortunately there were so many royal sites to visit in and around Hannover that I hardly found the time to go shopping, and I didn’t even manage to get into the nearest bookshop. Having the railway station nearby it was very easy to take the train or S-Bahn to royal places in Hannover, or to Celle and Marienburg Castle. From a previous visit I can tell you that also Bückeburg, seat of the Schaumburg-Lippe family is only a short train ride.

The shopping streets have lots to offer for people who love to go shopping. Also lots of terraces. It was harder to find good restaurants, but there were many fast food chains available. On my last (rainy) morning I found the Markthalle, an indoor market, which looked quite nice. The “Altstadt” (old town) sadly is only very small, but if you’re looking for a restaurant, this seems to be the best place. The houses are also wonderful.

The Leine River runs through the edge of the center, and on the banks I found some interesting spots. Statues of the “Göttingen seven” and more colourful ones by Niki de Saint Phalle. I also passed excavations.

One shouldn’t miss a visit to the impressive “Neues Rathaus”, the new town hall. Built in 1913 it has a nearly 100 metres high dome. A unique elevator brings you almost to the top, and from there the view on Hannover is absolutely stunning, even when the weather isn’t that great. In the hall are maquettes of Hannover in 1944, 1945 and today. It was absolutely shocking to see what had been left of Hannover after the bombings of 1945. 90% of the buildings in the city centre were destroyed and more than 6000 people lost their lives.

Several older buildings, including palaces, have been rebuilt in 1945, but that doesn’t count for everything. The Aegidiuskirche for example has never been fully rebuilt. I also passed something that must have been a cemetery with a chapel or church. A small part of this church is still standing there, and grave stones have been placed near it. Silent witnesses of the bombings of 1945.

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