From the High Alps in the South, the Bavarian plain, and the flowing hills of central Germany to the coast of the North and Baltic Sea: it all looks like a miniature train landscape packed with the nicest of old towns, medieval houses, gothic churches and small villages.
Thanks to the different regional princedoms, earldoms, monarchies and states Germany did not develop unique during the last centuries. Thus Germany has not one but many major cities. And each city has its own unique character, formed by its history and the surrounding region. Each is a whole new world unto itself in which you will experience not only different architectural styles and art treasures but also a very distinctive lifestyle. Local traditions and mentalities are clearly reflected everywhere – in the arts, the nightlife, the shops, the pubs and restaurants and the way people work and live.
To start in the north, spend some days in Hamburg, Bremenor Lubeck, those old “Hanse” cities, whose prosperity arose out of the citizens ship trade market. Berlin, the capital, is of course one of the top travel destinations in Germany – no matter if you are going there for business, cultural or political reasons or just to enjoy yourself: Berlin has everything! Right in the centre Hannover is worth a visit. In the eastern part of Germany, you can find real jewels: Leipzig, Weimar, Schwerinand even Dresden, although it was bombed horribly, saved lots of their prewar architectural heritage. Continue going southwards, maybe with passing Nuremnberg, you will sooner or later meet Munich, the capital city of beer, but also of art, with the famous Pinakothek. It is a good starting point to find the treasures of Bavaria.
Germany’s cities have endless pleasant surprises in store for those who enjoy good food and drink. In addition to top-quality international cooking each region has its own local specialities, ranging from hearty country fare at simple inns to modern light cuisine at star-rated restaurants. Accompanied by our world-famous beers and wines, all this plenty is guaranteed to make your tour of Germany’s cities an unforgettable culinary experience.
Discover the beautiful south west of Germany with cities like Freiburg, Heidelberg and Tubingen. In the western part cities still have some french influence, discover Bonn, Dusseldorf, Cologne- the heart of the Rhineland, Trier, the oldest city of Germany and a former capital of the Roman Empire or Aachen with its impressive cathedral.
Today Germany is also an industrial powerhouse. In the Ruhrgebiet ( Essen, Oberhausen, Duisburg and surrounding) there is heavy industry, different car brands like Mercedes (near Stuttgart), BMW and VW make Germany one of the worlds biggest car producers and Framkfurt is the country’s bank and finance centre, called also “Mainhattan”. All this makes that the standard of living is among the highest in the world.
To make the different cities and sights more accessible to you, we have divide Gremany into regions. Click on the regions to find more info about them and the cities that are in them.
After years of seperation between West Germany and the DDR, the country is now growing together back again, a longer and maybe painfuller process than many expected. At the same time has Germany become a more normal country. If you look at the history of Germany this century, being normal is not a bad thing.
Berlin – as one of Europe’s leading cultural centres – offers the visitors a variety of museums, historic sites, and landmarks still standing as a reminder of the destruction during World War II and of its history as a divided city.
Orientating yourself in Berlin isn’t difficult at all. Berlin has three prominent landmarks:
the Gedächtniskirche (Church of Remembrance), located on the Kurfürstendamm in the West, the Brandenburger Tor in the city district of Mitte, and the Fernsehturm (TV- tower) at Alexanderplatz in the East.
Round and about these three points of interest lie the inner districts of Berlin.
This 365-meter high tower for television and ultra-short-wave transmissions, built 1965-1969, is one of the evidences of the Cold War and now sign of the reunited city. It is one of the highest buildings in Europe. The head on the tower contains an observation platform at a height of 203 meters and a restaurant with a marvellous view over the city centre.
Berlin Town Hall
The Rote Rathaus (got its name because of its colour – it was not meant as a political allusion) was build between 1861-1869 according to the North Italian renaissance. Nowadays the mayor and government of Berlin have their office there.
The history of the Berlin Dom – also known as the New Church – started in the 15th century. It was used as the court church and cathedral of the Hohenzollern dynasty. The today’s cathedral was built 1894-1905 by order of Kaiser Wilhelm II as a protestant answer to the St. Peter. During the WW II the cathedral was seriously damaged and after a temporary protection it was restored from 1975-1993.
The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s only remaining city gate, is the most known towns landmark and also symbol of the division and reunion of the city. It was situated in the no man’s land just behind the wall and reopened after the Fall of the Wall on December 22, 1989. The sandstone construction, built from 1788-91 to plans by C.G. Langhans, has 12 Doric columns and is based on the propylaeum of the Acropolis in Athens.
Column of victory
The Column of victory as a sign for the victory Prussia’s over Denmark, Austria and France in the late 19th century was primary situated at the Koenigsplatz (now the Platz der Republik near the Reichstag). During the Third Reich a fourth column drum was added and it was brought to the Grosser Stern. Now it is 69 m high and on top there is the Goddess of Victory (people call her “Goldelse”). You have a nice view around the centre of Berlin from the observation deck.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
In 1891-95, in a new-Romanesque style, the original Gedächtniskirche was built to honour the memory of Kaiser Wilhelm I and represented a symbol of the era of the German Empire. During the Second World War, the church was heavily damaged but not completely destroyed. The remaining ruins reminded the local population about the bombings of the war and were transformed into a small museum and into a memorial. In 1961-63, next to the church, the high six-sided bell tower and the flat eight-sided main building were built. The old tower ruins serve today as a church museum and a remembrance hall for peace and reconciliation.
This castle – the largest of the Berlin Hohenzollern castle – was built 1695-99 as a summer residence for Kurfürstin Sophie Charlotte. In 1943 the castle was heavily damaged in a bombing attack, and after the Second World War, it was rebuilt. Today the Belvedere (the former teahouse) is used as a exposition hall for the history of royal porcelain manufacture. In the former theatre the museum for Pre- and Early History is situated with its famous exhibits of Schliemann’s finding of Troja.
The Reichstag is a very important site in German history – its colourful past reflects the turbulence of German history since the 19th century. The Reichstag was constructed from 1884-94 by Paul Wallot, since a representative building was needed to house the parliament of the newly-founded German state. On 9 November 1918, the politician Philipp Scheidemann announced the establishment of the Republic from one of its windows. After the war, the devastated building was rebuilt in a simplified form from 1961-1971, but it was not used for parliamentary functions. After reunification, the German Federal Government decided to use the building as a parliament once again. From 1994-1999 the Reichstag was reconstructed and extended by the Architect Sir Norman Forster Since 1999 the Reichstag is home to the Bundestag (the lower Parliament).
The Berlin Wall was originally one hundred miles long and was constructed by the Communist government of the former east. All that is left today are a few sections of the wall near the Ostbahnhof and the Reichstag. These sections have been preserved to remind Berliners of the 28-year division of their city. The remnants of the Berlin Wall now serve as an outdoor gallery of art from local and city artists.
Munich is a modern city and also one of the most prosperous cities in Germany. Munich is a leading city in high-tech industries, examples are BMW and Siemens. You also can find media production in this city.
Because of the local government Munich has got one of the most expensive and also efficient public and transportation systems. On all major streets there are bike lanes, so it is safe and easy to travel by bike through the city.
In Munich there is the possibility for visitors to visit a large number of museums, art galleries, concert halls and historical buildings.
Famous attractions in Munich are:
Alte (old )Pinakothek
The Alte Pinakothek is one of the largest museums in Europe. The museum has got a large collection of paintings. This collection contains 800 paintings by European painters from the 14th century till the 18th century. Famous paintings in the museum are: Dürer’s “Four Apostles”; Rogier van der Weyden’s ” columba-altar “; Altdorfer’s “Battle of Alexander at Issus”; Botticelli’s “Pieta” and Rubens’ “Self-Portrait with his Wife”.
Neue (new) Pinakothek
The Neue Pinakothek is Munich’s museum of 19th Century painting and sculpture. The building is very nice and the collection is strong in German Romantics and French Impressionists. Goya, Manet, Renoir and Cezanne are some of the great names here. The Neue Pinakothek is Munich’s museum of 19th Century painting and sculpture. The building is very nice and the collection is strong in German Romantics and French Impressionists. Goya, Manet, Renoir and Cezanne are some of the great names here.
One of the largest museums of technology and natural sciences in the world. The Deutsches Museum contains over 13 acres of exhibitions containing invaluable original machines and equipment, models and reconstructions, from classical mechanics to telecommunications, from a full-size reconstructed coal mine to space travel technology. You can see airplanes, submarines and the first X-ray machine among other things. The live demonstrations and hands-on instructional aids are fun and informative for the visitor.
The Wittelsbacher Summer Residence in the western part of Munich. It is a Baroque Palace with a park. The highlights of the palace include the Grand Marble Hall and King Ludwig’s famous Gallery of Beauties. In the park, you can find the world-famous Amalienburg hunting-lodge (rococo masterpiece of the architect Cuvilliés). Also at Nymphenburg you can find the Marstallmuseum with royal coaches and sleighs and the museum “Mensch und Natur”(Man and Nature).
Built for the XXth Olympic Games in 1972 and the tent-roof covering 75,000 square meters and became a well known landmark. This landscaped park contains sport facilities, lakes, bicycle paths, concert venues, restaurants and a football stadium. Don’t miss the fascinating BMW Museum across the street, right next to the companies headquarters – which was constructed in the shape of a four-cylinder engine.
The Oktoberfest takes place every year late in September and runs to early October. The duration of the festival is two weeks.
Located at “Theresienwiese” you can drink beyond your limits, meeting folks from all over the world. All beer tents close at 11 p.m., so make sure you start your trip early enough. About 30% of the year’s beer-production of the big breweries in Munich are drunk during these two weeks. You can also visit a giant fun fair, side shows and souvenir stands. Every year there are nearly 7 million visitors. This makes the Munich Oktoberfest the largest festival in the world.
The Englischer Garten is Munich´s famous 900-acre park and one of the biggest public parks in a city. The park has shaded paths, brooks, ponds and swans and is best known for its four beer gardens (Chinesischer Turm, Seehaus, Hirschau, Aumeister).
Glockenspiel im Rathausturm (Carillon in New Town Hall Tower)
Largest carillon in Germany, with near life-size figures performing the traditional Coopers’ Dance and a jousting match. The carillon plays three times a day at 11 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.
A visitor can have an agreeable time in Cologne. As far as sightseeing is concerned, Cologne has a lot to offer. This is not really a surprise because of the history of the city dating back to the Roman era. It is one of the cultural centres of Germany. There are some famous attractions in Cologne.
Some of the most famous are:
The Gothic cathedral
The Cathedral has been the city’s most famous landmark for centuries. It has two spires that are 157 m in height. It is144 metres long and 86 meters wide. The Dom is a well-known architectural monument of Germany. Begun in 1248 to house the relics of the Magi, the Dom was not completed until 1880. The completion of the cathedral was celebrated as a national event.Despite changing architectural styles through the centuries, the result is essentially Gothic. Situated in the centre of Cologne, from the top of the Dom’s south tower there are panoramic views across the city and surrounding area. Open daily 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, except during religious services.
The Museum Ludwig
The Ludwig Museum is the most famous of the nine municipal and the many ecclesiastical and private museums in this cathedral city and provides an overview of major international works of 20th century art. It was opened in 1976.
The Roman-Germanic Museum
The most impressive attraction in the Roman-Germanic Museum is the 70 square metre Dionysos-Mosaik. The mosaic, once the floor of the main room of a large Roman villa dating from the third century, was discovered in 1941 during excavation work for an air-raid shelter. The Museum, which was opened in 1974 and is situated near the Kölner Dom, boasts a collection of prehistoric, ancient and medieval finds. The exhibitions give an insight into the daily life, beliefs and customs of long-forgotten cultures. An unusual feature is the collection of Roman glassware.
The Kölner Philharmonie
Cologne is the city of live music and concerts, with music from all periods from all over the world and in the most diverse stylistic schools and movements performed here every day. The powerfully pulsating heart of this Cologne music culture, is the philharmonic hall built in the cathedral mound, which seats 2000 people. Since its opening in 1986, it has become one of the leading international concert halls. The ‘Philharmonie’ concert hall has at least one performance scheduled for virtually every day of the year. Recitals range from chamber music to jazz, folk and pop, with a house policy of encouraging lesser-known, new and unusual music.
The City Hall
The city hall in Alter Markt (Old Square) dates from 1330 but has a tower from the 15th century and a Renaissance facade from the 16th century. Having been damaged during the Second World War, part of the 14th-century Renaissance building was rebuilt. Cologne artisans concentrated particularly on restoring the City Hall tower, and thanks to their donations the City Hall got restored properly. Statues of emperors, popes, poets and academics – and also of women’s rights campaigners – look down from the tower on the busy square below.
The Hohe Straße (High Street)
This is the main shopping street that you can access from the Cathedral Square, it has been attracting shoppers for centuries. Cologne’s Roman past remains constantly present. Just by making a shopping trip along the Hohe Straße, which runs down from the Gothic cathedral to the business centre of the city, you are walking in the footsteps of the ancient Romans. The modern-day Hohe Straße follows the course of the former Roman main street.
The Old Market
The Old Market lies in the heart of the old town. Surrounded by bars and restaurants, it hosts a variety of events all year round: home to the Christmas market during the festive season and the Medienburgerfestival in the summer, the Old Market is perhaps best known for the Carnival which begins here at 11.11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month. This is when Cologne goes completely crazy. During the Middle Ages, the Old Market was Cologne’s commercial centre, and the nearby butter market, fish market and hay market were some of its subsidiaries. Nowadays, it is simply a focal point for tourists who flock here to witness the comings and goings around the market fountain.
Are you interested in modern art and architecture? Do you like to see something extraordinary? If you do then Düsseldorf is the right place for you. But this city has also a lot of other things to offer to visitors who look for something else. What exactly?
Here are some examples:
From the rhein in Düsseldorf you can see the Rheintower. It is situated at the border of the southern innercity and at the entry of the Medien harbour which is directly next to the Northrhein-westphalia Landtag and the building of the Westgerman Television. The 234 meter high television tower was created by H.Deilmann. It took 3 years to build and was finished in 1982. At a height of 172,5 Meters it has a restaurant which rotates completely once every hour. On the top you get a breathtaking view of Düsseldorf. Unique in the world are the lightgiving bullseyes of the Rheintower. The 39 of the 62 bullseyes, separated by the flight…lights, represent one decimal clock.
Every day cavorting on this 1,5 square kilometer wide place walker, biker and skater. The square is the cap of the Rheinwatersidetunnel in which every day the whole traffic of the ferderal road moves and it starts at the Oberkasseler Brücke and ends at the Landtagsgebäude at the Medienhafen. Here you find generous sidewalks and bikeways which are lined with sycamores, numerous cafés, big terraces, which offer a excellent panorama and bear under blue sky. This are only some reasons why this promenade is the most lively boulevard of the town.
The Burgplatz (castle square)
Where is the castle on the castle square?Burnt down in 1872. Left over is only the castle tower. In the beginning the town thought about rebuilding the castle. But after the nomination in 1996 for the most beautiful place of Germany from the time after 1945 the plans were cancelled. Particulary loved are the “Spanish steps” from the square to the Rhine.
The 1,2 million colored spots on the wall of the stairs were painted by artists from the Art Academy in a project lasting several weeks.
A really ‘Alt’, the typical bear of Dusseldorf, is only the ‘Alt’ which go without any detour from the wooden barrel into your throat. And this is only only here in the Old Town of Düsseldorf possible. Here you can get your bear from on of 250 taps of the longest bar of the world. If you make a tour though the Old Town you should visit the 4 traditional breweries Schlüssel, Schumacher (Golden Boiler), Ueriges and Füchschen. Ribald food and originally ambiance are guaranteed!
Heine-Museum and Heinrich-Heine-Institute
Heinrich Heine was born at the 13th of December in 1797 in Düsseldorf. He was a son of a wealthy jewish draperies merchant. At the Bolkerstraße 53 you can visit the house where Heine was born. The library of the Heinrich-Heine- Institute contains thousands of books from and about him and is the most important of the world. Here is the whole literature of Heine from the first edition to the youngest scientific researches. In the department “Nachwirkung” (aftermath)it is possible to choose between the 10.000 “Heine-Tapes” to listen to Heine.
The fair ground was originally built for the health fair in 1926. Nowadays it is a “working museum” because of the constantly conference between art and science, culture and business. Therefore it also has the name North Rhine- Westphalia (NRW) Forum. In the same building is also a museum about plastic, Germany’s first museum about plastic. The exhibition shows milestones of the histiry of the design, “visions, which only plastic can realize and of course worth knowing about the material itself.
The Museum of Art, which is also at this area, housed not only fine arts of the 16th century, collection of sculptures from the Middle Ages and the Baroque, painting of the 20th century but also the “Creamcheese”, the revolutionary pub which has wall out of glimmering televisions.
At the end of the Königsalle is the “Tritonengroup” situated. Behind this sculpture you can enter the Hofgarten. Elector Carl Theodor created this garden in 1769 for the delight of the inhabitants. Carl Theodors bright garden architect Nicolas de Pigage designed only the older part of the park. 50 years later the enthusiast Napoleon, who called Düsseldorf “mon petit paris” advanced the park.
Für den Franzosenkaiser erweiterte 1811 Maximilian Weyhe den bestehenden Park auf die heutige Fläche von 26 Hektar. Entdecken Sie bei einen Spaziergang auch das Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, das “Drei-Scheiben-Haus”, das Schloss Jägerhof mit dem Goethe-Museum sowie das Theatermuseum und die Oper. Möchten Sie bei Ihrem Aufenthalt auch gern ein Aufführung besuchen? Dann schauen Sie doch mal einfach unter “Search” und “Tickets” nach.
Diesen und anderen Fragen geht das Düsseldorfer Filmmuseum unter den Titeln “Träume zu verkaufen”, “Das Pantheon der Filmgeschichte” und “Filmkult – Kinokult” nach. Das Museum ist neben Frankfurt/Main und Potsdam eines von dreien in Deutschland und der jüngste Spross (1993) der Düsseldorfer Museumslandschaft.
Frankfurt am Main has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment and culture.
There are quite some famous attraction.
Attractions that are certainly worth seeing are:
This is the house where Goethe was born on 28th August 1749. It is a typical example of how people lived in the late baroque period. The house was completely destroyed in the Second World War but it was restored to its original condition between 1946-51. Most of the objects that are on display didn’t belong to the Goethe family, but they are from the same period. It’s also worth taking a trip to the adjoining Goethe Museum, which was recently renovated and contains both a library and a bookshop.
Paulskirche (St. Paul’s Church)
The Paulskirche became famous as an important meeting place. Built to replace the Barfüßerkirche (Church of the Barefooted), it was opened in 1833, the construction work began in 1789. The first freely-elected German parliament sat there in 1848.
Destroyed in an air-raid in 1944, the church was rebuilt in 1947/48 as a memorial to the horrors of war.
The simple hall now provides a venue for important events such as the annual German Peace Prize ceremony and the City of Frankfurt’s Goethepreis awards. Both are dedicated to civil rights.
This white, 120 metre-high silo was built in 1961 by the Henninger brewery to store barley. As such, it is the tallest brewery in Germany. 761 steps lead up to the viewing platform which offers fine views of the city and the surrounding countryside. A restaurant is located in the tower along with a small museum devoted to the history of brewing. The Henninger Turm is also known for the yearly cycling event in May, the name of this contest is Rund um den Henninger Turm and top cyclists participate.
The Old Opera House still looks as magnificent and imposing as it did in 1880, when it was inaugurated in the presence of Emperor Wilhelm I. The building was financed by wealthy Frankfurt citizens and was built in Italian Renaissance style by Richard Lucae. It was completely destroyed in an air raid in 1944. It was rebuilt between 1964 and 1981, and was renamed ‘Old Opera Concert and Conference Centre’. The rebuilding of the opera house was again financed by the citizens of Frankfurt. The main hall has seating for about 2,500 people. This is the central part of the building and is used for concerts, conferences or smaller events. There are also other rooms, these rooms enable a number of functions to take place at the same time.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) is the world’s third largest stock market. It is also the largest stock exchange in Germany. The forerunner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was established in the 16th century.
The current stock exchange stems from 1879 when it was built to replace the old building next to the Paulskirche.
Main Tower is one of Frankfurt’s most famous buildings. It is 200 meters high. You can visit the Main Tower’s spectacular observation platform, from where guests are presented with a fascinating bird’s eye view of Frankfurt. It is the first bank skyscraper to open its doors to the citizens of Frankfurt and visitors to the city.
Frankfurt Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt/Main)
Situated on just 13 hectares, Frankfurt’s typical city zoo shows a variety of very rare and special species, and some unique buildings. Frankfurt zoo today presents some 4500 animals from 560 species and is attended by 800.000 visitors annually. Frankfurt zoo is amongst the oldest in the world, being founded in 1858. It was founded by citizens of the then fast growing city of Frankfurt. All was destroyed in a single night on 18 March 1944. All buildings, except for the bear castle, were bombed to the basement, as was most of Frankfurt. After the Second World War the Zoo was slowly rebuilt. Restricted by space and money, Frankfurt Zoo had to pass the status of a pioneer zoo on to parks with better possibilities of development. The zoo is limited in its possibilities of development in terms of space and funding, but it is still one of the most important zoos in Europe.
Hamburg is one of the most interesting cities of Germany. On the one hand it is a busy and bustling metropolis, but on the other hand is also an elegant and cozy seaside idyll.
Some of the famous Hamburg’s attractions are:
One of the city’s major landmarks is the Lutheran church of St. Michealis. It was built in the early 17th century. The church was destroyed by lightening in 1661. It was replaced by a baroque building with a tower in 1786. In 1906, the church was destroyed by fire but rebuilt, this time it was rebuilt true to the original. The two World Wars left the building severely damaged.
Another interesting fact is that St. Michaelis used to have the world’s largest organ.
From the tower you can get nice views of the city A famous tradition has been kept intact for 300 years, every Sunday a trumpet player plays a hymn in all directions of the compass.
The Jungfernstieg with its tree avenue along the Alster (a river) has been Hamburg’s shopping and promenade street for a long time. The trees have been planted to make the Jungfernstieg look more attractive. To the north of the Inner Alster Lake big steps lead to a terrace that is right next to the Alster. Ferries depart from there. The well-known café Alsterpavillion is located on the West side of the Jungfernstieg and is a popular place in Hamburg.
The Town Hall
The Town Hall is an impressive, neo-Renaissance town hall. It was built in 1897. The 111m-long north facade is dominated by a huge tower decorated with bronze statues of past German Emperors. The interior contains some 650 different rooms. Famous rooms are the Bürgersaal, Kaisersaal , Turmsaal and the fantastic Große Festsaal. The Große Festsaal is still used for celebrations. The building was left undamaged during the second World War. The town hall is the seat of the senate, the parliament and the government of the state-city Hamburg.
Hamburg’s harbour is known as the ‘gateway to the world’. The harbour has expanded a great deal since it’s founding The harbour was founded prior to the 12th century.
Hamburg is one of the world’s largest seaports – approximately 12,000 ships dock here annually and it is one of the largest industrial areas in Europe. The harbour takes up almost one tenth of the city’s total area, the harbour covers about 75 square kilometers.
The Landungsbrücken, the Old Elbe Tunnel and the Köhlbrandt bridge are all worth visiting. The Landungsbrücken is also the staring point for tours of the harbour. These tours take place daily and in many areas of the port.
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Speicherstadt is the world’s largest warehouse complex. The warehouses are all made of brick. The copper roofs and small towers serve as decorative features. Many of the warehouses have up to eight floors. The historic Speicherstadt still serves its original purpose. A number of different wares, from spices to carpets, are stored in the huge warehouses founded by local merchants over a century ago.
The Reeperbahn is one of the most famous streets in Germany. The Reeperbahn is full of cafés, bars, restaurants, theatres, cabarets, music clubs and sex shops. The Reeperbahn is situated in the district of St. Pauli, and it is the center of Hamburg’s red-light district.
The Staatsoper is one of the best opera houses in the world. International stars perform in the Staatsoper. The plays that are performed in this opera house range from the classical to the modern.
The building dates from the 1950s, but the opera itself was founded as long ago as 1678.
In the city of Hannover there are plenty of permanent attractions in that are worth a look. If you have come to the city for a fair or an exposition, you should take your time to explore the city and its sights.
The fair in Hanover is the world’s largest industrial trade fair, showcasing a unique blend of inter-related, leading-edge technology. The trend towards global convergence of different technologies is reflected in each of the world leading shows-within-a-show that make up the fair in Hanover. For example the CeBIT Hanover is the most widely known ICT trade fair world-wide, covering the entire spectrum of information technology, telecommunications, software and services. It serves as the leading event for the ICT sector every year. In fact, with 7,500 exhibitors from more than 60 countries and 700,000 visitors from all over the world, it has long been more than just a trade fair.
The Neues Rathaus (The New Town Hall) was ceremonially opened on 20 June 1913, after twelve years building time. It was designed by the architects Eggert and Halmhuber. The doors of the Rathaus are always wide open to all visitors. And a visit can be worthwhile. Four scale models of Hannover are on display showing the city as it was in the Middle Ages, before World War II, the destruction of 1945 and the townscape of today. But there is more to see. For instance the Hodler Hall with it’s mural painting “Unanimity” by the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler. And you can also check out the Mosaic Hall and the Ladies Hall with its noble décor. Visitors can ascend the dome by means of the unique curving lift, for an excellent view of the city and Maschsee.
The Altes Rathaus (The Old Town Hall) was built over a period of more than 100 years. The earliest part dates from 1410. A well known neo-Gothic architect, Conrad Wilhelm Hase, managed to save the entire building from demolition in 1844. Hase was subsequently commissioned to renovate the remaining wings in their original style of 1500, with its exceptional gothic gables and the ornamental frieze. You can admire portraits of princes and coats-of-arms.
The largest church in Hannover’s “old town” built in the northern German neo-Gothic style. The marketplace was at the very centre of urban expansion in Hannover. Merchants and craftsmen used to live around here. In the 14th century, the Marktkirche (“The Church at the Marketplace”) was built here. Just as the tower reached half of its planned height, the construction had to be stopped because of financial problems. Because of those financial problems, a shortened spire was mounted (such a spire became very popular and was imitated widely). Unchanged in style, the Marktkirche was rebuilt in 1952.
Eilenriede is the famous “city forest” of Hannover’s. Eilenriede forest covers an area of 650 hectares in the middle of the city, which makes it unique in the whole of Europe. The park is larger than famous parks in Europe such as Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne. The citizens of Hannover are very proud of the Eilenriede. The forest stretches across the city, almost into the city centre. The name is derived from the alder trees which used to grow on its soil. In German these trees were named: Erlen or Ellern. The earlier “Ellernried” eventually became “Eilenriede”. Many leisure activities can be pursued in the Eilenriede: you can go for a walk, ride a bicycle or a horse, hike, jog, or just have a picnic – there is something for everyone. Not to mention the fitness trails, forest educational trails, playgrounds, lawns, forest cafeterias and restaurants, numerous monuments and statues, a minigolf course and a toboggan slope.
The zoo is a great destination in itself, with lots of animals and special exhibitions. The Zoo houses 1300 animals. It is a place where animals live almost like in their natural environment and where visitors are able to watch them at close distance. It is a place where animals live almost like in their natural environment and where visitors are able to watch them at close distance. Attractions here are enclosures (not cages) where animals are in a recreation of natural habitats, such as: Gorilla Mountain, take a path on an expedition into Central Africa; Jungle Palace, enter the ruins of a maharaja’s palace with waterworks and gargoyles, “crumbling” walls covered in vines reveal elephants, tigers, and leopards; Jambesi, visit the African steppes filled with zebras, antelope, ostriches and walk across the suspension bridge and Meyer’s Farm, recreation of a Saxony farm with bakery, storehouse, sheep, pigs, and cows. At the end you’ll find a great restaurant filled with typical country dishes.
The Sprengel Museum
The sprengel Museum opened in 1979. The museum owns a comprehensive collection and quite some temporary exhibitions take place. Round about 25 exhibitions take place each year. The museum today builds on the original collection owned by Dr Bernhard Sprengel, who favoured German Expressionism and French Modern Art. The last 20 years have seen the Collection expand to include works from the most important epochs of contemporary art. Moreover, the Department of Photography and Media came into being in 1994. It also offers a comprehensive educational programme and since 1993 houses the Kurt Schwitters Archive. The Sprengel Museum thus provides a lively forum for art and art studies.
Visiting the beautiful Herrenhäuser Gardens is a nice way to spend the afternoon. The Gardens are nicely landscaped, each section in a different style. The baroque garden and park ensemble of Herrenhausen is a remarkable example of the traditional art of landscape gardening. Besides the landscaping you can also admire the fountains and the statues If you’re visiting in the summer you’ll be able to enjoy one of the many art performances that play throughout the gardens during the season. These performances can be part of the Herrenhäuser Garten Fest. Running all summer long, this festival in the Herrenhäuser gardens combines theater, music and dance programs. Many of the shows are held outdoors on the grounds of the Gardens.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons.