Places to visit in Hanover

"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!

Languages: EN
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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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Steintor is a district in Hannover, Germany, known for its vibrant nightlife, diverse shops, and cultural events. The name "Steintor", translating to "Stone Gate", hints at the area's historical significance as it was once one of the main gates of the city's medieval fortifications. Hannover's name, first mentioned in the 11th century as "Honovere", is thought to mean "high (river) bank", likely referring to its position by the River Leine. Over centuries, Hannover grew from a small village to a powerful duchy, becoming the Kingdom of Hannover in 1814. The industrial revolution in the 19th century transformed it into a major economic centre. As a result, Leibniz Universität Hannover was established in 1831, enhancing the city's intellectual and cultural prestige. Today, Hannover is a modern, bustling city and a major university centre, its rich history is evident in places like Steintor, and its commitment to progress is symbolized by its esteemed university.

Von Axel Hindemith - Foto aufgenommen von Benutzer:AxelHH, Gemeinfrei

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Stolpersteine ("stumbling stones") is a project initiated by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992 to commemorate victims of the Holocaust by installing brass plaques on the pavement outside their former homes. The tradition aims to bring local history to life and ensure the memories of the victims live on. Hannover is a university centre primarily because of Leibniz Universität Hannover, established in 1831 by scholar Karl Karmarsch, which has played a significant role in shaping the city as a hub for education and research. The university's tradition has a tangible link to Jews, as many Jewish scholars and students contributed significantly to its development, but tragically, many were expelled or murdered during the Holocaust. The Stolpersteine project in Hannover serves as a poignant reminder of this history, marking the last freely chosen residences of the victims and honouring their contributions to the city and its university.

"View into the Nordmannpassage; Stolpersteine at the location Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 31; for Adolf Goldfinger, born in 1897, expelled to Poland on October 28, 1938, missing; for Fredi Goldfinger, born in 1929, expelled to Poland on August 25, 1939, murdered in Auschwitz; for Fanny Goldfinger, née Wulkan, expelled to Poland on June 25, 1939, murdered in Auschwitz..."

By Foto: Bernd Schwabe in Hannover - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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The Nikolaikapelle, or St. Nicholas Chapel, in Hannover dates back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest known buildings in the city. Originally part of the medieval city fortifications, the chapel was a spiritual centre until it was destroyed in the great city fire of 1845. After that, the ruins remained untouched for almost a century, symbolizing the city's rich past.

During World War II, Hannover suffered significant damage, destroying much of the city's infrastructure and historical buildings. After the war, however, Hannover embarked on a path of reinvention. The Nikolaikapelle's ruins were integrated into the new city plan, serving as a memorial to the past while surrounded by the rising modern city.

In 1955, the construction of a new city hall nearby symbolized Hannover's transformation from a ducal city to a modern German city. The juxtaposition of the historic Nikolaikapelle ruins and the contemporary architecture in the city centre reflects Hannover's journey, showcasing how it has embraced its history while moving forward towards modernity. This transformation is also evident in the city's thriving cultural scene, its status as a key economic hub, and its commitment to innovation and education, exemplified by its globally respected universities.

By Losch - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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Leibniz Universität Hannover, established in 1831, has a rich history and tradition of promoting academic excellence and innovation. Initially founded as a vocational school, it evolved into a comprehensive university focusing on science and technology. The modern building of the Science and Technology Library beautifully symbolizes this evolution. This state-of-the-art facility provides vast resources for research and study and embodies the university's commitment to advancing knowledge in these fields.

The university has been home to many famous scientists throughout its history. Among them was the physicist and mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who made significant contributions to many fields of science and mathematics in the 19th century. In the modern era, the university's faculty includes individuals like Dietmar Hutmacher, a pioneer in regenerative medicine and biomedical engineering.

Leibniz Universität Hannover continues to build upon its historical roots and traditions, fostering a vibrant academic community that blends the richness of the past with the promise of the future. This commitment to preserving history while embracing progress is embodied in its modern infrastructure, the ongoing pursuit of academic excellence, and the contributions of its scholars to science and society.

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The Marstallgebäude in Hannover is a historical building that was initially part of the Royal Horse Stables (or "Marstall" in German, hence the name "Marstallgebäude" translates to "Stable Building"). The building is located on the central campus of Leibniz Universität Hannover, a testament to its historical significance.

The Marstall was built between 1718 and 1720 under the reign of George Louis, Elector of Hanover, and later became King George I of Great Britain. Johann Friedrich Wentzel, a German architect, designed the building. It was converted into a library in the 19th century and continues to be used by the university today. The Marstallgebäude serves as a symbol of the university's rich past and its continuous evolution over the centuries.

By Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) from Hannover - Marstallgebäude, CC BY 2.0

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Mensch-Maschine-Kommunikation building at Leibniz Universität Hannover. This institute focuses on human-machine communication, including robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive systems. The university, founded in 1831, has a rich history of transforming and repurposing buildings for educational use so this building may have a similar story.

As for the chronology of Hannover's rulers, the House of Hanover was a German-British royal house that began with George Louis, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who became King George I of Great Britain in 1714. His successors were George II, George III, George IV, William IV, and finally, Queen Victoria, who reigned until 1837. However, because of the semi-Salic law in Germany, which prevented women from inheriting, the kingdom of Hanover passed to Queen Victoria's uncle, Ernest Augustus, and not to her. Ernest Augustus was followed by his son George V, who was the last king of Hanover, as the kingdom was annexed by Prussia after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866.

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The "Grotte" by Niki de Saint Phalle is a unique art installation in the Great Garden (Großer Garten) of Herrenhausen Gardens in Hannover, Germany. Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American artist known for her bold, vibrant sculptures and installations.

The Grotte was created between 2001 and 2003, towards the end of Saint Phalle's life. It is a colourful, whimsical reinterpretation of a cave, a traditional element in elaborate gardens. The interior of the Grotte is covered in mosaics of glass, mirrors, and coloured stones, creating a dazzling, otherworldly effect.

The Grotte consists of three rooms, each with its theme: the Day, Night, and Mirror. It's a popular destination for visitors to the Herrenhausen Gardens and is considered a highlight of Saint Phalle's later work. The Grotte reflects her signature style and belief in art's transformative power.

By Hannes Grobe (talk) - Own work, CC BY 3.0

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The name "Herrenhausen" in German can be translated as "lords' houses", indicating the historical association of the site with nobility. The Herrenhausen Gardens in Hannover, Germany, are one of Europe's most distinguished elaborate formal gardens, originating back to the 17th century.

The gardens were commissioned by Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and primarily designed by the French landscape gardener Martin Charbonnier at the end of the 17th century. The purpose of the gardens was to serve as a summer residence for the royal family and to provide a suitable backdrop for grand court festivities.

Over the centuries, the gardens have seen numerous transformations and additions. They consist of the Great Garden (Großer Garten), a beautiful baroque garden; the Berggarten, a botanic garden transformed into a European-style botanic garden in the 19th century; the Georgengarten, a beautiful English-style garden; and the Welfengarten.

After World War II, the city of Hannover took over the management of the gardens. Today, they are owned by the State of Lower Saxony and managed by Herrenhäuser Gärten GmbH, a company owned by the city of Hannover. The gardens continue to serve as a significant tourist attraction and host various events, including the annual International Fireworks Competition and festivals.

By Hajotthu - Own work, CC BY 3.0

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The origins of the Herrenhausen Gardens date back to 1638 when Duke Georg of Calenberg had a kitchen garden established near the village of Höringehusen. When his son Johann Friedrich came to power in 1665, he renamed the town Herrenhausen and commissioned a pleasure garden roughly the size of the Great Parterre.

From 1674, the plans for the pleasure garden were probably developed with the involvement of the Italian architect Girolamo Sartorio under the supervision of court master builder Brand Westermann. Finally, in 1675, the fountain master Marinus Cadart (Cattare) was hired, who designed the Grotto and the Great Cascade.

The expansion and golden age of the baroque garden complex (1680–1755) are closely associated with the rise of the Hanoverian line of the House of Welf. Three regents shaped the heyday of the Great Garden between 1680 and 1755: Ernst August (1679–1698), who was appointed Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1692; his son Georg Ludwig, who was crowned King George I of England in 1714, and George II, who was born in Herrenhausen Palace in 1683 and kept the garden in excellent condition until his last visit in 1755.

Ernst August and his wife, Sophie of the Palatinate, continued expanding the pleasure garden his brother started. They had the gardener Martin Charbonnier, who had already laid out the park of Osnabrück Castle for them, come to Herrenhausen in 1683 to complete the northern half of the garden.

Ernst August's successor, Elector Georg Ludwig, continued the development of the gardens. His favourite project was the installation of the Great Fountain, which began around 1700 and was completed in 1720.

Under George II, the old court gardener's house was demolished between 1748 and 1751 and replaced by a massive new building designed by Friedrich Karl von Hardenberg, the first director of the newly independent construction and garden department, in collaboration with court architect Johann Paul Heumann. The Hardenberg House, which shows traits of French classicism, marks the end of the expansion of the Great Garden.

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The sundial is an ancient device seen in many historical gardens. It would not be out of place in the Herrenhausen Gardens, known for their baroque style and historical significance. Sundials in such gardens typically serve both a practical and an ornamental purpose. They are usually centrally located and strategically placed in a sunny spot where they can correctly tell the time.

In the context of the Herrenhausen Gardens, a sundial could symbolize the passage of time and the garden's evolution. From its inception as a simple kitchen garden in the 17th century to its transformation into a grand baroque masterpiece and its restoration after World War II, the Herrenhausen Gardens have seen centuries pass. Today, the gardens are a testament to the power of preservation and the timeless beauty of nature.

By Raycer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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The Herrenhausen Gardens, or Herrenhäuser Gärten, in Hanover, Germany, are one of Europe's most outstanding examples of elaborate garden design. The gardens consist of the Großer Garten (Great Garden), the Berggarten (Mountain Garden), the Georgengarten (George Garden), and the Welfengarten (Welf Garden).

1. Beauty and Significance as a Baroque Masterpiece:

The Großer Garten is perhaps the most significant part of the Herrenhausen Gardens, especially regarding its extravagant design. Its beauty lies in its symmetry, meticulously maintained formal planting and landscaping, and architectural features. Among these are the Great Fountain, which can reach a height of 80 meters, the ornate grotto designed by Niki de Saint Phalle, and various statues and sculptures scattered throughout the garden.

The principles of baroque garden design are evident in the Großer Garten's geometric paths and parterres, water features, and emphasis on perspective and grand vistas. The gardens are intended to showcase not only nature's beauty but also humans' ability to shape, control, and master it.

2. Historical Events:

The Herrenhausen Gardens have witnessed various historical events. They were a favourite retreat of Sophia of Hanover, known for her intellectual gatherings, which included notable figures such as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the philosopher and mathematician.

During World War II, much of the Herrenhausen Palace and the gardens were destroyed in an air raid in 1943. However, the gardens were painstakingly restored over the years, and the palace was rebuilt and opened to the public in 2013 as a museum and event venue.

3. Royal Visitors:

The gardens have been a favourite spot for many royal figures over the centuries. Sophia of Hanover, who was in line for the British throne, spent considerable time there. Her son, George I of Great Britain, also appreciated the gardens. King George II was born in Herrenhausen Palace and visited the gardens until his last visit in 1755.

4. Interesting Anecdotes:

An interesting fact about the Herrenhausen Gardens is that the Great Fountain was a significant achievement. When it was first built in the late 17th century, it could reach a height of about 35 meters. In the 19th century, it was equipped with a modern pump system that allows the water to get 80 meters today.

The gardens have also been a significant cultural venue. Since 1935, they have been the site of the annual Hanover Festival, which features fireworks competitions, concerts, and theatrical performances.

It's also worth noting the Garden Library in the Berggarten, which holds around 20,000 books about general botany and garden art, reflecting the garden's long history of botanical exploration and design.

By Stefan Bellini - Own work, CC0

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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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