A CURVED ELEVATOR
No doubt, one of the mandatory places to be visited in Hannover is the City Hall, the most emblematic building of the city for many reasons, being the most relevant its magnificent viewpoint place more than ninety meters high, from where it is possible to admire a 360 °panoramic view of all the city. It is also a viewpoint guarding a special surprise as further from the splendid views of Hannover it gives, what is curious and amusing is the lift to arrive at the top of the building. Climb to heaven in a unique ride in all the world!
The dizzying viewpoint of the New Hannover City Hall is over the top of the dome of the building. We have to use a small lift moving inside the dome following its internal curvature to access its observation platform. It is the only European lift that makes a parabolic ride. Also, thanks to its glass cabin, during the trajectory, it is possible to observe perfectly how the charge goes around the curve, travelling a total of fifty metres covering an angle of 17°. Once you have finished this curved route in the lift, it will only remain going to the top via a spiral staircase. All an adventure with many emotions ending in apotheosis with exciting views over the city!
The vertiginous viewpoint of the New Hanover City Hall is over the top of the dome of the building and to access its observation platform we have to use a small lift moving inside the dome following its internal curvature. It is the only European lift that makes a parabolic ride. Also, thanks to its glass cabin, during the trajectory it is possible to observe perfectly how the lift goes around the curve, travelling a total of fifty metres covering an angle of 17°. Once you have finished this curved route in the lift, it will only remain going to the top via a spiral staircase. All an adventure with many emotions ending in apotheosis with exciting views over the city!
But the surprises of the New City Hall doesn´t end here! In the lobby located just under the dome, we can find four huge models of Hannover, marking the city´s evolution ideally across four very different moments. It is fascinating to discover how Hannover was looking in the XVII th century, or just before World War II, observing the destruction after the contest and finally seeing how it looks nowadays.
The New City Hall building is grandiloquent, resulting in an accurate architectural display. More than an administrative building, it seems a place with spectacular proportions! It belongs to the so-called eclectic style, an artistic trend in the middle of the XIXth century. It mixes elements of different creative, historical periods with a huge grandiosity, allowing the new bourgeoisie to show its economic and social splendour. Undoubtedly, the New City Hall of Hannover inaugurated in 1,913 is one of the best examples of this bombastic style. It has to be mentioned that it suffered almost no damages during World War II. However, unfortunately, the same didn´t happen with other historical buildings of the city.
The city of Hannover historically had a first City Hall with headquarters in another building located in the Historical Centre. Still, in front of the vigorous growth the city experienced at the end of the XIXth century, it was necessary to choose a new building able to host its also growing administration.
Thus was born the New Town Hall, built in front of a square named Trammplatz after Henrich Tramm, mayor of Hannover, during the complex´s construction. The New Town Hall and Trammplatz were inaugurated at the same time in a pompous ceremony attended by Emperor William II, a great admirer of stately buildings.
Neues Rathaus (New City Hall)
30159 Hanniver, Germany
Open from Monday to Friday from 11 AM till 4.30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM till16.30 PM
Free entrance to the City Hall. Actual price for the lift 3.5 €
THE MOTHER OF ALL SAUSAGES
Everybody knows that sausage is the flagship of German gastronomy. It is an omnipresent product in the culinary of the country from which there are about 1,500 varieties in the market, but all of them with a common element: a base of minced meat stuffed in natural casings. In most of the used varieties, the meat used is pork. However, we also find veal sausage, lamb, or even chicken or turkey for those who want to take care of their cholesterol. It is a pleasure to see how they exhibit their product! The offer of sausages is so ample in this country that it is a show to enter a German deli and enjoy the different colours and sizes of the exposed sausages.
And precisely in this German land, we find the Heidschnucke Knipp sausage. Sorry? May you repeat it? But, if it has two times more consonants than vowels! It is better known as "Heidjer Knipp" to simplify its complicated name, which we suppose for earning consonants. This sausage, typical of Hannover, is elaborated with lamb meat of excellent quality and has a Protected Designation of Origin label. The kind of lamb used in its elaboration belongs to a sheep breed called Paramo Sheep, whose shape is more like a goat than a sheep as the males and the females have curved horns.
The specimens of this sheep breed usually pasture on heather and paramos from where they take their name. They are distinguished for having blackhead and foot, in clear contrast with the rest of their body that is clear grey. They have short tails and long, loose hair, giving excellent wool to confectionate rugs. Due to the outstanding quality of their meat and wool, this sheep breed is very appreciated in Germany´s Northern area.
But, let´s go back to Heidjer Knipp. The sausage we are talking about is "the mother of all sausages´. Its size is enormous! Each piece is a meat tube of about thirty cm. long by another ten cm. in diameter. Due to its colossal dimensions, it is always served already cut in slices. Because of its form and colour, it might seem like a blood sausage or even a hamburger.
A VERY GENUINE ENERGETIC DRINK
In all the souvenir shops of Hannover and supermarkets, the visitor will find a striking bottling product that is the owner of a story as ancient as curious. We refer to Mumme, a local drink that has accompanied the nearby regions for centuries and whose production has always proportioned a lot of fame and huge profits to these regions. Let´s know the properties of this potion able to resist so stoically the pass of time!
The origins of Mumme go back to the end of the Middle Ages. Its elaboration started in the area of Lower Saxony, and it was born as a kind of beer very thick, with a lot of alcohol and sugar, with a robust flavour and scent and a high nutritional value. Its formula was so consistent that it achieved a potion with high stimulating properties, so many that almost miraculous effects were given to it. The firm physic complexion of Saxons was even attributed to it! Its fame ran as powder and with time, the drink arrived to remote oversea places. Mumme protected sailors from scurvy and other diseases during their long crossings and represented a vital food provision.
In its elaboration, a very curious trick is used. To determine if the amount of sugar was adequate, a spoonful of the drink was placed on a chair. After letting it dry for a short time, someone sat on it, and if the chair remained stuck when the person got up, then the quality of the drink was excellent.
But with time, its intense flavour ended up being a disadvantage, and its history started to have many ups and downs. Tremendously sweet and too thick, it stopped being liked by the public. After the appearance in the market of new liquors, it ended being consumed only by sailors, as it was supposed to support that resisted for a long time without losing its qualities. Just after World War II, its production returned. Still, after a short time, it was discovered that the drink had significant quantities of iron, the reason why its production finished again. It has not been till a few years ago that Mumme has returned to be commercialized, but this time with some critical changes. The present Mumme doesn´t have alcohol, and it is commercialized as a syrup.
Mumme is used in Saxon gastronomy as a portion of food and drink enhancer. It is used to sweeten pastry, to complement sauces. It is also very typical to put some drops of Mumme in beer to invigorate its flavour. Overall, its use is oriented to the tourist thanks to its nice labels, and it is all a local claim for commerce.
Mumme may be purchased in cans or glass bottles with a typical practical cap with airtight closure. A perfect idea! Once it is empty, the nice bottle can be reused or even exposed as a nice souvenir of our visit to Hannover.
A JEWELL MADE OF BRICK
In the Historical Centre of Hannover, we can find the most ancient emblematic preserved building in the city, despite having been reconstructed after the bombings the city suffered during World War II. We are talking about the Old City Council, a beautiful building especially curious because of the kind of material used in its construction.brick! Also, it is tremendously striking as it is a building that does not go unnoticed, resulting in a stimulus for the retina.
The Old City Council of Hannover, Altes Rathaus in German, is one of the most prestigious consistories of the country. A century was invested in its construction. Once finished, it became the headquarters of countless activities that had nothing to do with those properly administrative. It functioned as a warehouse, cellar, dance room, pharmacy, and even jail. A multifunctional building well used until today! This magnificent building nowadays embraces a municipal office and a cafeteria, restaurants, and shops. This fact shows that this beautiful construction, located in the famous Market Square, never lost its commercial vocation. In ancient times there were several stalls attached to its walls.
This brick jewel suffered a critical moment when the municipality decided to demolish it to build the New City Hall. Still, thanks to popular clamour, its demolition was avoided. It happened that the population was revealed, totally willing to make a revolution to maintain one of the city´s emblems, and they got it! Thanks to the sovereign people, a building with magnificent architecture and unique style could be preserved. But unfortunately, this conservation only lasted a few more decades. During World War II, the allies´ aviation attacks damaged the building when a significant part of its original structure was lost. Fortunately, thanks to the hard work of reconstruction, the facility could be recovered. With time more works were done, endowing it with some improvements, such as the novel glass cover covering the ceiling of its interior patio giving. As a result, a very accurate contrast between ancient and modern.
Innumerable details stand out in the facade that will make us lose observing all the architectural set. Between so much information, we cannot pass unnoticing the reliefs and sculptures splashing the front as a decoration. To mention some of these ornaments, we can find a grotesque being taking out the tongue, some portraits of princes, several coats of arms, different representations of medieval folklore, niches at the angles of the facades and even a commemorative plaque of the visit of the Prussian Emperor. These ornamental treasures are carved in stone, outstanding in a positive way their grey colour over ocher brick colour.
Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall)
Köbelingerstraße 4 (Marktplatz)
HOPE AFTER DESTRUCTION
Like many other German cities, Hannover was the objective of the allies´ aviation during World War II. Before the contest, the town was an important industrial and logistic centre based primarily on oil refining and the fabrication of tires. Thanks to the famous brand Continental, this activity is even active nowadays, as it has its headquarters in the city. But Hannover also counted a strong industry of war material, making it a priority objective for the enemy. And suppose we have in mind the great proximity of Hannover to England at the same time. In that case, we will find out that this closeness allowed British aviation to reach its objective comfortably with fast and numerous roundtrip flights.
These attacks were intense bombardments over Hannover, incessant and devastating, with hundreds of bombs falling for days over Hannover. The city was razed entirely! Almost nothing stood up, only remaining a great desolation potentiated by the irreparable loss of thousands of human lives lost forever, counting that half of the population could be evacuated.
After the attacks, the moment to reconstruct the whole city arrived, an arduous task remained ahead! Thanks to the laborious works of reconstruction, the historic centre of Hannover returned to emerge from the mess, and a new city was born full of modern residential cores. But the town of Hannover didn´t want so much suffering to fall into oblivion and had the beautiful idea of maintaining a historic building without reconstructing it after the destruction. Only one, but serving as a homage to the victims, a testimony of the past and a trustworthy witness of the barbarism and the disproportion. This building is the Church of Saint Giles, Aegidenkirche in German.
Bare walls, hollow windows, openwork walls and a part of the bell tower are rhe vestiges of one of the oldest churches of the historic centre of Hannover. The little remaining standing up from Aegidienkirche supposes a perennial reminder that wars only produce pain and destruction. Despite its ruined state, the Church has not lost an apex of the elegant bearing which characterized it in the past. Visiting the remains of this Church supposes a tremendously solemn moment that makes silence inviting us to reflect on what happened and the limits that human beings can reach.
But even in the middle of so much destruction, there is still space for hope. Between the walls, so full of desolation, a great bell hangs that was delivered in brotherhood by the city of Hiroshima as a symbol of peace that every year, August sixth tolls in homage of the victims of the atomic holocaust. The carillon added to the bell tower sounds four times a day to remind us that life continues despite everything.
Aegidienkirche (Church of Saint Giles)
30159 Hannover, Germany
EDALING THROUGH THE SEA OF HANNOVER
The bicycle culture is very rooted in German society, a prevalent means of transport and very used by persons of every age. Riding a bike is such an agreeable and healthy sensation…! It benefits our heart, tones the muscles, exercises articulations and also fills us with energy while it makes us wander with total freedom. Dare to go around Masch Lake pedalling! Well, in Hannover byque lovers are in luck, as the city owns a perfect paradise to tour it in bicycle.
Machsee or Masch Lake in English is a vast artificial lake located at the end of the gardens of the New City Council. It was built as a dam between two rivers crossing the city to regulate the level of its waters and prevent the fearful floods due to strong meltings that frequently punished Hannover. Although the project had been a long time over the table, it was not carried out till the arrival into the power of the Nazi Party, signing up for social propaganda.
The vast urban pond is haunted nowadays, so much by lovers of aquatic activities as for those who practice land sport due to its six-kilometre circular path surrounding the lake. This way covers a safe route and is always full of distractions and enchanting views. From these lines, we challenge you to tour it, and, to encourage you in this direction, we will tell you everything you can see while doing this route by pedal.
Our itinerary starts in the Avenue Rudolf Von Bennigsen, where we will find a bike lane asphalted and also used to practice roller skating—by the way, speaking about skating. We must know that the lake is frozen during the harsh winter months, and it is also very usual to practice skating on ice, and even hockey! But let´s go back to our bicycle.
The first stretch of our tour is residential, as we can see by its houses and the concentration of academies and schools. However, during the second stretch we will note much more the presence of green spaces, till culminating in a beach! In the heart of Hannover! We will start pedalling, leaving the lake always to our right.
We go around the curve of the lake and return by the opposite bank, which River Leine flanks. It is a sidewalk full of nature, so leafy that it seems its vegetation carries us into an imaginary world. We will feel that we are almost at the final stretch of our tour when we see the Nautical Club and the Sports Centre of Hannover to our left. A few meters ahead, we will be again at our tour´s starting point.
This comfortable circular tour going around Maschsee is done pedalling about half an hour with no stops. A challenge, easy to be done, healthy and full of surprises! Also, the platform ListNRide will allow you to easily rent every kind of bicycle at any place in the city.
THE BIRTH OF A NEW DOCTRINE
Throughout history, the commercial life of Hannover has continually developed in Am Markt, the esplanade popularly known as the Market square.
Initially, a church existed here, which became small as the city experienced significant growth. By unanimity, it was decided to build a bigger size temple that should rise over the original. In this way, the work of the New Church began. Still, when they were on track, they had to be interrupted due to lack of money and a terrible plague that ravaged the population. When the works were finally carried out, the New Church was of discomfiting proportions. The colossal Marktkirche was born!
Marktkirche or Market Church in English is also the highest, aside from being the oldest temple of the four existing in Hannover. The top of this slender tower is topped with eleven bells, outstanding among all of them the huge Christ Bell, one of the biggest in the country. Thanks to its bell tower touching a whopping one hundred meters, Marktkirche became the New architectural symbol of the city.
But aside from the architectural importance, this city´s point has plenty of historical relevance as in the XVIth century. A considerable fact happened in Am Markt, marking the country´s destiny. The Market Square witnessed the birth of the New doctrine, as just between Marktkirche and the Old City Council was where the citizens of Hannover swore Lutheranism as their religion. The transcendence of this fact is still so tangible nowadays that Marktkirche is still the central Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hannover. Besides the base of its bell tower, a sculpture remembers Luther. Undoubtedly, the Reform father never imagined the substantial consequences his thesis would bring.
We find another work near the Luther sculpture representing a singer boy referencing a famous story. As the legend tells, two children of the Church´s choir climbed to the top of the bell tower to take away the eggs of a bird´s nest. In a discusión on the egg´s distribución, one of the children fell from the high. Still, miraculously, the cloak he dressed opened, slowing down his fall, shaving the small one from sure death—a story with a happy end.
We must not miss the gate of the main entrance to Marktkirche. It is spectacular! Done in bronze, it was sculpted to commemorate the six centuries of the temple´s construction. The author does not lose the occasion to escenify
the war´s horrors, representing the destruction with tanks, flames, deads and even a nazi praying. Raw scenes of horror, finally all of them relieved by a Resurrected Christ. And just in front of the spectacular gate, we can find across on the sidewalk from where we will have a unique view of the bell towers of the other three churches.
Marktkirche (Market Church)
39159 Hannover, Germany
Open from Monday to Saturday from 8 AM till 6 PM/ Free entrance
A MAGIC FAIRY TAIL WALK
Walking in the city centre of Hannover, the visitor feels like stepping inside a fairy tale due to the magic detached from the lovely ancient houses there. Before the destruction of Hannover by bombardment, many of these charming houses were scattered all around the city. Still, after the war, it was decided to reconstruct them, concentrating them in a single central area. The chosen place to replace these architectonic beauties was between the Ancient City Council and the River Leine. Let´s tour together these magical streets guarding the oldest and most original houses of Hannover!
The starting point for our fairy tail walk is located in Am Markt, a square gathering some of the most splendorous buildings of the city. Right there, in front of the central doorway of Marktkirche, we´ll already see the first charming houses. They call our attention strongly because of their colour, their expansive picture windows peeking out between framework and wooden beams and their curious roofs with triangular shapes that surround them.
Walking the streets joining this square with the river, we will find many more charming houses, almost all of them with stories at their back, as we will confirm next.
One of the most important houses is Leibnizhaus, in Holzmarkt 5. Leibnitz House belonged to Gottfried W. Leibniz, an important sage who was a philosopher, mathematician, theologue, jurist, physicist, and if this is not enough, the discoverer of the binary system. This sage, considered by many "the last universal genius", lived in Hannover for forty long years till he died in 1,716. His marvellous house could be reconstructed thanks to a photograph. Blessed snapshot!
In our fairy tail walk, we must not forget to visit the coquette square Ballhofplatz, a beautiful square concentrating original houses surrounded by an ambience full of serenity. And walking the adjacent streets, we will discover many more houses with charm embracing today´s famous breweries or famous restaurants. We will find a clear example in Kramerstrasse 24, where the authentic restaurant Broyhanhaus is located, the perfect place to try the typical local gastronomy. And another house of mandatory visit is Ernst-Grotte-Haus in Breite Straße 10. It is a house totally built in brick, with an original stepped ceiling that belonged to the Coffee trader Ernst Grotte. The shape of this house is so peculiar that it served as the logo of his own coffee! Between the walls of this beautiful house, the brewmaster Broyhan elaborated the famous local beer carrying his name.
To finish our idyllic walk, we´ll be able to walk toward the New City Council, visiting on the way the nearby and famous Wunder-Haus, located in Friedrichswall 17. It is a modern residential building that is a clear example of the bourgeois architecture of Hannover. Wunder- Haus is pure elegante!
A VERY HISTORIC BREAK
Hannover has many parks and gardens, making it one of Germany´s main"green cities ´. As necessary for emotional and physical welfare, these healthy spaces are the best allies against stress.
At the heart of the city, just behind the City Council, is one of the authentic lungs of the city, very popular and frequented by the inhabitants of Hannover, thanks to its proximity and the variety of plants and flowers decorating it. Is Maesch Park, an ideal place to sit down and rest, where we can breathe fresh air and be fooled by the beauty of the nature living there. At another time, this park´s area was occupied by a river plain used to cultivate hay. Because of its extension and situation, this vast area of the city was chosen to build the New City Council on it and the excepcional gardens from where to admire all the splendor of what ended up being the maximum architectural attractiveness of the city Hannover.
Many great trees are waiting for us in Masch Park, many of them even centenaries. Pines, oaks, plains, maples and beautiful weeping willows will fill us with emotion thanks to their elegant bearing. Flowers also have their protagonism thanks to specimens as exotic as magnolias or tulips, giving colour and scent to this haven of peace. The stillness is topped by a huge pond full of water lilies where the magnificent facade of the New City Council is reflected. Several sculptures in the open air scattered in the park put an artistic note in these gardens. A real delight.
A pleasant walk in this friendly environment might be a good moment to enjoy a little bit of history. Nowadays, the name of Hannover is worldly known thanks to Ernest de Hannover, present (for the time being) husband of Caroline from Monaco. It is curious to know that this famous character of the heart press, so well known for his scandals and excesses, is also the present Head of Hannover House, a noble German family so extremely relevant that for almost 200 years was the head of the reigning dynasty of Great Britain, and afterwards, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. And it is so that after Queen Anne of Great Britain died in 1,714 without descendants, the succession for the throne had to be from the nearest protestant relative. The lucky one was George, sovereign of the Hannover Electorate, a protestant German noble and second cousin of the deceased monarch. The House of Hannover wore the British Crown until it was substituted in 1,901 by the present House of Windsor.
In addition, the noble family founded in Germany its own Kingdom of Hannover, one of the many ones that shaped the mosaic of Germany before its unity.
As you can see, the husband of Caroline from Monaco counts with a prestigious family history with the rank of Royal Highness, something very quoted on the "jet set".
Tram Platz 2
30159 Hannover, Germany
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