Pinsteps. Sophia of Hanover in the Herrenhausen Gardens
Places to visit in Hanover. Languages: en

Sophia of Hanover (1630-1714) was the Electress of Hanover from 1692 to 1698, but her significance in European history is much broader than her title suggests.

Sophia was born in The Hague to Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, and Ireland. After exile during the Thirty Years' War, she married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1658. They had seven children, including the future King George I of Great Britain.

Sophia was renowned for her intellect and wit. She maintained a lively correspondence with Leibniz, one of the most prominent philosophers and mathematicians of her time. She held a court that became famous throughout Europe for its liberal atmosphere and high intellectual standards.

Heritage for Hanover and European History:

Sophia's most significant impact on European history is her connection to the British throne. In 1701, the Act of Settlement was passed in England, which stipulated that in the absence of a direct heir from William III or Anne I, the British crown would pass to Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant descendants. The act was designed to ensure a Protestant succession to the throne, thereby excluding the Catholic line of James II.

Sophia predeceased Queen Anne by a few weeks in 1714. As a result, Sophia's son, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, ascended the British throne as George I, marking the start of the Georgian era and the House of Hanover's reign in Britain.


Sophia's descendants, through her son, George I, include subsequent British monarchs and current British royal family members, such as Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs.

Through her daughter Sophia Charlotte, who married Frederick I of Prussia, she is also an ancestor of the Hohenzollern family, which ruled Prussia and the German Empire until the end of World War I.

Thus, Sophia of Hanover's legacy has had a profound and enduring impact on the royal families of Europe, particularly in Britain and Germany.

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Asya Fix
"Hanover Highlights" Aug 15, 2018

Here's a sample itinerary for a one-day trip in Hanover, visiting the Leibniz University and Herrenhausen Gardens.


  1. Start at Leibniz University: Start your day at the Leibniz University of Hanover, one of Germany's largest and oldest science and technology universities. The campus is dotted with historical buildings and modern structures, reflecting the evolution of education and technology over the centuries. Explore the main building, the Conti-Tower, and the beautiful library.

  2. Visit the Welfenschloss: This former royal palace now serves as the university's main building. It is an excellent example of historicist architecture with a beautiful facade and interior. Also, don't miss the chance to visit the Welfengarten, the park surrounding the palace.

  3. Lunch: Enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants or cafes near the university. You can find everything from traditional German fare to international cuisine.


  1. Herrenhausen Gardens: Head to the Herrenhausen Gardens after lunch. This complex consists of the Great Garden (Großer Garten), the Berggarten, the Georgengarten, and the Welfengarten. Spend the afternoon strolling through these stunning gardens, which reflect the baroque ideals of ordered nature and art.

  2. The Great Garden: Start with the Great Garden, one of Europe's most distinguished elaborate formal gardens. Here, you can admire meticulously manicured lawns, hedges, walkways, and a beautiful fountain that shoots water 80 meters high.

  3. The Berggarten: Next, visit the Berggarten, a botanical garden with an impressive collection of plants. Don't miss the orchid collection, the rainforest house, and the cactus house.

  4. The Georgengarten and Welfengarten: These English-style gardens are perfect for a stroll. They're also home to the Wilhelm Busch Museum and the Leibniz Temple.


  1. Dinner: After a day of exploring, have dinner at one of the restaurants near the gardens. You could also opt for a meal in the city centre, just a short tram ride away. Here's a sample itinerary for a one-day trip in Hanover, visiting the Leibniz University and Herrenhausen Gardens.

Enjoy your day in Hanover!

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Asya Fix (author)
I love history and architecture. I am a certified tour guide in Israel and travel around the world. I am happy to share my travels with you and be your guide in Israel.
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