As I’ve decided to start a new series on my blog about cities I love, it only seemed fitting to choose Hannover, Germany to be the first city featured – after all, it is my chosen hometown, and I have lived here basically all of my adult life.
Hannover is the state capital of Lower Saxony, has roughly half a million people living in and another half million living around it, and is the seat of Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge and Continental. For those interested in learning more Hannover facts, Wikipedia is a good starting point.
When I moved to Hannover almost 19 years ago, I could have cared less about most of the aforementioned facts.
For me, it was important to a) move to a biggish city, b) to find a university I liked, and c) move somewhere I felt at home. Hannover was a perfect match, and I’m still happy to have my homebase here.
So, what’s cool about Hannover, you ask?
For outdoor lovers, we have the Eilenriede, with 1,600 acres one of the biggest urban parks in the world, and a little more than twice the size of New York City’s Central Park. It is also home to Hannover Zoo, one of the nicest zoos I have visited so far – and I have visited quite a few! I might be partial to that particular zoo, though, as I used to work there more than 15 years ago…
Also nice for a summer stroll, run or bike ride are the sides of the Mittelland Canal, which runs through parts of Hannover.
Combining history and outdoor fun, the Herrenhausen Gardens are another highlight for visitors and a Hanoverian favorite for dog walking, running and basically everything you can do in a park.
In the Great Garden, you can visit the Niki de Saint Phalle Grotto, walk the historic paths, and enjoy the yearly fireworks contests.
Another lovely place to enjoy sunny weather is the Maschsee, an artificial lake next to Hannover’s stadium, formerly (and still to many) known as the Niedersachsenstadion. One pretty spectacular event on the Maschsee are the annual dragon boat races, held at Whitsun.
For those interested in technology, Hannover has the CeBit, held each and every year on the Hannover fairground, which in itself is rather spectacular. It has always been on the larger side, but with the EXPO 2000, it grew to be a giant among fairgrounds (according to Wikipedia, it’s the largest in the world).
The Hannover fairground is of course also the home of countless other fairs, both industrial and trade, which often lead to traffic congestions on the Messeschnellweg, the expressway between the inner city and the fairground…
Of course, Hannover also has basically all the attractions any bigger city has, like shopping, dining, and numerous museums.
Even though it was pretty thoroughly bombed during World War II, it still has an old town center, which is home to a very nice Christmas Market in December.
Living in Hannover, I mostly forget how many attractions we actually have right here in our front yard, so I don’t have too many photos to share – I guess my next project is snapping a lot more photos of my hometown…