A walk through Hannover’s Old Town


Hannover's Altstadt with the Marktkirche in the center

Hannover’s Altstadt with the Marktkirche in the center

I always love taking a walk through Hannover’s Altstadt (Old Town), so many beautiful buildings and details. I love all the small independent shops, bars, bistros, coffee houses, art shops, high-end stores and curious little one-off shops.

Another example of some great details that are often overlooked

Another example of some great details that are often overlooked

Every time we visit my hometown we make a point of going down there, and every time I discover something I hadn’t seen before.

I love the intricate design of these lanterns

I love the intricate design of these lanterns

Hannover was first mentioned in documents in 1100 and in 1241 became chartered. It joined the Hanseatic League in 1386. During these years the old town was a place where the poorest of the poor lived and the timbered buildings, now so revered, were of no interest to anybody, least of all the people who lived in and around them. The rich and well-off never ventured into the old town, as it was perceived to be full of crime and undesirable people.

Looking down Kramerstrasse, the road that is dear to me, as this is where I bought my wedding dress

Looking down Kramerstrasse, the road that is dear to me, as this is where I bought my wedding dress

Hannover has had a chequered history. From 1495 it belonged to the Calenberg-Celle line of the house of Welf, whose seat it was from 1636. In 1714 George Louis of that house became King George I of Great Britain (see my previous posts on the royal connection here and here). From 1815 to 1866 the city was capital of the Kingdom of Hannover, but in 1866 it was annexed by Prussia; it later became the capital of Hannover province and, in 1946, of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen).

Some great examples of the timber houses that were moved here after World War II

Some great examples of the timber houses that were moved here after World War II

During World War II nearly all of the old town was destroyed, and in total three fifths of Hannover was destroyed, and only a few timber buildings dotted around Hannover survived. During the rebuilding of Hannover these buildings were moved into what is now the old town to give it back its medieval look and feel.

On Knochenhauerstrasse

On Knochenhauerstrasse

During December the old town around the Marktkirche is host to the annual Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) and the smell of gluehwein (mulled wine) envelopes the area all around.

The "old" old town hall

The “old” old town hall

I love the Altstadt and yes, Hannover, like most cities these days, can look a little grey and overly modern, but if you go around some of the old districts like Linden, the Altstadt or Herrenhausen you will find a wealth of history that is worth exploring further.

Some lovely detail on one of the buildings

Some lovely detail on one of the buildings

A lot of people in Germany believe that Hannover has no place on a tourist’s must-see list, but I disagree. If you believe that this city is dull and modern, you haven’t looked properly and missed its historic buildings, the royal connections that are everywhere, the museums that showcase some great modern art, the parks that are everywhere and the great restaurants, bistros, coffee and cocoa houses, the independent quirky shops and its flea market (the oldest in Germany).

The Leibnizhaus, named after the universal scholar and polymaths Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who was also Court Librarian in his time

The Leibnizhaus, named after the universal scholar and polymaths Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who was also Court Librarian in his time

I know I am biased, but if you are travelling into the area you must put Hannover on your sightseeing list!

Advertisements
Categories: Europe Trip 2014, European History, Germany | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Post navigation

8 thoughts on “A walk through Hannover’s Old Town

  1. Monumental Expose!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks like a lovely place to explore and visit – I’m adding it to my travel dream list 🙂

    Like

  3. Julie

    Wonderful introduction to Hannover. This is another case of an admirable post-war restoration. I’d never have guessed that entire buildings would have been moved from one part of town in order to preserve the historical integrity of an historic area that was destroyed. Very cool. The one building in your post that really catches my imagination is the “old old town hall”. Fantastic symmetry in that brickwork.

    Like

    • Glad you like the old old town hall Julie, it is a very impressive building. I am sure there must be other places where buildings have been moved to preserve the integrity of a place – hmmm, I can feel some research coming!

      Like

  4. Great photographic introduction to Old Town in Hanover.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Follow the Red Thread – a tour through Hannover, Germany – Part IV | My Journey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: