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DOMOTEX ENJOY HANNOVER 32


EXPLORE


Hannover is hardly a typical European city. It’s an architectural delight with a history dating back to the 11th century. But today it takes pride of place as a monument to post-war regeneration


Photography | Shutterstock Words | Richard Burton


Hannover is a city that has risen from the ashes. Rebuilt from the ruins of wartime bombing, it is a lively metropolis in keeping with its status as the state capital of Lower Saxony. It’s known for its eclectic mix of architecture, easy-going atmosphere and, of course, its world-class trade fairs which bring thousands of visitors every year. It’s proud of that reputation, calling itself the EXPO City – something


greatly enhanced in 2006 when it hosted the football World Cup six years after a huge exhibition complex was built for the World Expo. Most European travellers are struck by its unusual layout; a testament to the post-war regeneration and the remnants of its lavish, somewhat regal, past. On the surface, it appears modern and


cosmopolitan, something that belies its long and rather fascinating history. First mentions of it date back to the 11th century and, since 1636, it has been the seat of Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, later known as Kingdom of Hannover. A strong and independent state, in the second half of the 19th century,


it was incorporated into Prussia and enjoyed a reputation as a grand, regal city before around 90 per cent of it was destroyed. For a glimpse


of its past, you need to visit the new. The Town Hall itself not only has far-reaching views from its dome, which can be accessed by lift, but models of the city which chart the changes throughout the ages. They replicate in great detail the city as it was in 1689, 1939, 1945, and 2000.


And thereby lies its fascination. This is not a typical European city; one that boasts beautiful, centuries-old buildings and a plethora of historic landmarks. Even the Old City – or Altstadt - is “new”. It does, however, enjoy vast areas of green, with parks and forests marking out large areas of its mainly fl at landscape and the River Leine meandering its way through the city. The Eilenriede in the centre is twice the size of New York’s Central


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DOMOTEX PREVIEW 2020


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