Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Herrenhausen Garden in Hannover

The Herrenhausen Gardens were created for the kings of Hannover and are now open for the enjoyment of the public.  The Great Garden (Grosser Garten) is one of the finest Baroque gardens in Europe.  The House of Hannover built the gardens over several centuries, adding extensions and water features until the Great Garden now cover 50 hectares (124 acres).

 Entering the gardens

Sophia of Hannover (herself an heiress to the British throne), wife of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruler over the principality of Calenberg, of which Hannover was the capital, commissioned the French gardener Martin Charbonnier in 1683 to enlarge the garden in the manner of Versailles.  Then, their sons got involved, starting with George Louis (who in 1714 succeeded to the British throne as King George I), who concentrated on adding water features to the garden.  The next king, George II (King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire), planned a new palace (which was never built) and his successor, George III (later King George III of the United Kingdom) had the palace modernized in neoclassical style (but, never actually visited it).

We ponder all this and wander.

 The Grossen Garten

In World War II the palace alongside the garden suffered greatly from a British bombing attack, even though the Royal Air Force had been requested by the British Royal Family not to attack the palace.
In 2009, the city of Hanover decided to rebuild the palace, with financial assistance of the Volkswagen Foundation, and it reopened in January 2013.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Hannover, Germany

We arrive in Hannover on the train from Frankfurt a little after midnight, scurry to our hotel, and start to explore the next day.  We find a modern city, full of sculptures, an intriguing old town, and a fabulous tram system for getting around.

Hannover is the capital of the German state of Lower Saxony and is about 350 km (250 miles) north of Frankfurt.  Founded in medieval times, Hannover became a city in the 13th century and is now a major crossing point for both north-south and east-west highways and rail lines and hosts many commercial trade fairs with the largest fairground in the world.

 Hannover train station, multi-level street leading to station

 Opera and shops across the street

 Church skeleton across from museum

 "New" city hall next to modern Nord/LB building

Next to the new city hall, Maschpark is 10 hectares (25 acres) of calm and tranquility.  Created in 1900, the park has remained the same since then, a great example of late 19th century German garden art.


The River Leine runs through town, in front of the city hall, with parks and walkways along its banks.

 River Leine

Hannover's old town was rebuilt after the Second World War, relocating parts of old buildings, principally the facades, from all over the city into the new old town, a picturesque area of narrow streets and half-timbered buildings.

 Old town

On the edge of old town, the Kreutzkirche was originally build in 1333 and the interior was restored after the war.


Walking through Hannover on our way to the Herrenhausen Gardens and Palace, we find ourselves walking down a street of fabulous sculptures (Brühlstrasse) along the banks of the River Leine.

 Sculpture along the river

 Street art nearby

Soon we reach the Georgengarten containing the Herrenhausen Allee, a 1.85 km (1.1 mile) road built in 1726 through the gardens to connect the city with the royal palace.

Herrenhausen Allee

Half-way along the allee, the buildings of the Leibniz University Hannover look out on the park, with a tram stop right at the main entrance.

Leibniz University Hannover

Strolling up the Herrenhausen Allee through the park, we get great views of meadows, lakes, canals, and plantings of the Georgengarten, now part of the Herrenhausen Gardens located at the far end.

 Paths and meadows of Georgengarten

We walk back to Hannover's New City Hall and through Maschpark (with a great view of the New City Hall from across the pond) and over to the Maschsee, an artificial lake south of the city center. Maschsee covers 78 hectares (193 acres) and is a popular recreation area, as well as the location of many water sports.


New City Hall


Tall, decorative sculptures are located along the banks of the Maschsee, with parks, food kiosks, and water sports rentals.

 Art on the banks of the Maschsee

We stroll back through Maschpark and over to the Market Hall (Markthalle), Hannover's indoor market for fish, shellfish, sausage, meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, wine, and much, much more.


Walking away from the Markthalle, we find more great art decorating the walls, streets, and parks of the city.

 Art on the streets

We truly enjoy wandering through and exploring this delightful city.