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Hannover Travel Guide

Hannover History

In the beginning of the 12th century Hannover was a community of traders and craftsmen until 1241 when it became a borough. Twenty years later the city was fortified with a solid city wall boasting three gates: the Leintor, Aegidientor and the Steintor. In the same epoch, three Gothic churches were built: Aegidienkirche, Marktkirche and Kreuzkirche.

In 1630 the Duke of Calenberg decided to make a monastery in Hannover his residence. Just few years later the Elector of Calenberg also decided to move his residence to Hannover, his descendants would later become kings of Great Britain; the first of them was George I, who ascended to the British throne in 1714. Three kings of Great Britain, or the United Kingdom, were at the same time Electoral Princes of Hanover. His even further descendants became the monarchs of sixteen countries around the world known as the Commonwealth Realms. The most famous of these descendants living today is Elizabeth II, queen of England.

In 1757 took place the Battle of Hastenbeck where the French army defeated the Hannoverian Army of observation, leading to the occupation of Hannover. With the Convention of Artlenburg imposed by Napoleon in 1803, 30,000 French soldiers occupied Hannover. The King George III did not recognize this Convention and tried to recruit foreign troops. Even his efforts, a lot of soldiers from Hannover finally emigrated to Great Britain leading the King's German Legion which later played an important role in the Battle of Waterloo.

In the 19th century, after the Napoleonic Age was over, Hannover became a kingdom and when the union with England was finished, it had its own king, Ernst August, whose monument now stands in front of Central Station.

At that time, GF Laves, a well-known architect, worked in Hannover by appointment of the king. A lot of important buildings in Hannover are based on his plans, like the Leineschloß, Castle of Herrenhausen, the Opera House, Waterloo Square and Central Station. In the World War II two thirds of the town was bombed to ruins. After the war, Hannover was in the British zone of occupation of Germany, and became part of the new state of Lower Saxony in 1946. With rebuilding, Hannover became famous for hosting commercial expositions such as the CeBIT and the Hannover Fair. In 2000, Hannover hosted the Expo 2000. The Hannover fairground is the largest in the world.

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