Hanover (Hannover) is the largest city and capital of Lower Saxony (Nieder-Sachsen) and the 3rd largest city in Northern Germany. It is known for Hannover Messe, a large fair that is one of the world's largest. Hannover was venue for the World Expo in 2000. 1814-66 Hannover was its own country, Kingdom of Hannover. It is a crossing point for Autobahn roads and railways. Hannover also has a big university and is a very green city. Leine and Ihme are rivers that flow through the city.
Since the city was bombed by the allied forces in 1945, many of the old buildings are lost, especially in the area around the central station (hauptbahnhof), where you find many grey modernist buildings. On the North side of the station are the Hochhaus Lister Tor from 1974 and the 141m tall VW-turm from 1948. On the other side is also modernist architecture, stretching from Ernst-August-Platz in front of the station along the partly underground Bahnhofstrasse/Karmarschstrasse and other pedestrian streets with shopping and stores that meet at the square Kröpcke. The first older building you find when approaching from the station is the classical 19th century Staatsoper at Opernplatz.
The Old Town (Altstadt) is the most beautiful and best historically preserved part of the the city center (Mitte). Here you find half-timbered houses, the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) and the Market Church (Marktkirche), the tallest and largest church of Hannover, a red-brick Lutheran church that is known for its inverted pentagram on top! Both built in the 14th century in red-brick gothic style. Kreuz Kirche (Schloss -und Stadtkirche St. Crucis) is another gothic Lutheran church in the Old Town. Nieder-Sachsen Landtag is the neo-classical provincial parliament of Lower Saxony. Anzeiger Hochhaus is a 10-storey highrise with a green cupola, the first highrise built in Germany, completed in 1928 in brick expressionist style. Itis situated at Steintor, a large square. Frank Gehry Tower is a highrise from 2003 that was one of the first twisted towers (even some years before the much taller Turning Torso).
On the other side of Altstadt is the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), a really impressive castle like building from 1913 in eclectic style (with baroque and gothic elements), that can be visited inside. It has a huge cathedral like marble atrium with models of Hannover, before and after the 1945 bombings. Neues Rathaus was one of few buildings that at least partly survived the bombings. There is a strange diagonal elevator that goes to the top of the cupola, something I wasn’t aware of during the visit. In front of the Neues Rathaus is the green Maschpark and the Maschsee, a beautiful lake with fountains and boats. Palm trees are overlooking the lake.
Hannover is a bit quite city for being a big city. It was very quite. I was visiting on a Sunday but for example Cologne and Berlin are busy even on Sundays.
Like many other German cities, Hannover has no complete subway system, but a U-bahn that are trams that go partly underground and works as a subway system. Telemax is a 282m tall TV tower in the East outskirts, that is the tallest structure in Hannover.
Hannover is famous for the enormous baroque gardens called Herrenhausen in the outskirts, but unfortunately there was no time to visit. Unfortunately I also missed the Aegedienkirche, a church that is partly in ruins. A large part of the East part of the city is Stadtwald Eilenriede, a large city forest! There are also many museums, like the Sprengel Museum (a modern art museum at Maschsee), Historisches Museum Hannover, Landesmuseum Hannover, Museum August Kestner, German Museum of Caricature and Drawings, Avaiation Museum, Textile Museum and many more. Unfortunately there was no time to visit museums. Hanover Airport is one of Germany’s 9 busiest airports.
I travelled through Germany with the 9euro ticket, from Rostock to Köln, and then Luxembourg. The first stop was Hannover. Since I had already been in Hamburg I wanted to discovery a new city and it was geographically better position.
I stayed at the 4-star Loftstyle Hotel – a signature collection by Best Western, that called itself premium budget hotel. The room was large and cozy with purple and dark colours, mixed with vintage furniture and disco lights at the toilets. In the lobby stands a VW bus. The breakfast was amazing. The building itself is a dull black box building, but the interior is stylish and it has a nice setting at in the quiet Varhenwald district, a short tram ride North of the city center, the Mittellandkanal, flowing through the North part of the city.
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