Old Town, Hannover
Hannover has one of the biggest and oldest Fleamarkets in Germany! Every Saturday people come from all over Germany to sell and buy. The market starts at 6:00 am and finishes at 4:00 pm. After visiting the fleamarket many people go to one of the many pubs nearby and have a beer.
Since I didn't get to spend a lot of time in Hannover, I'm happy that the time spent there was in Old Town. We'd had a drink in this part of town the night before and then, after the Rathaus, went back to look around and have a snack.
Does anyone know what the red line that goes through it, is for? Made me think of the Freedom Trail in Boston...
I know that this church survived the war and has a lot of history behind it. But from a purely esthetic point of view (which is completely just my opinion), it was a little too Spartan for my tastes.
And as usual, could not pass up the photo op... : )
Living in the Old Town about 100 years ago meant to life in small and dark rooms with a low ceiling. The water had to be collected at a fountain. There were no toilets, not even public toilets. So in the living quarters of the poor the contains of the chamber pots were just poured onto the streets. You can imagine the smell! Of course there were also half timbered houses of richer people near the Market Church.
The Old Town of Hannover is full of horrible stories from this times, when the life was very hard. Specially famous is the story of Fritz Haarmann, a mass murderer, who lived in Hannover in the beginning of the 20th century. He was friendly with young boys, who had runaway from home. He spoke to them at the main station, took them with him to his small room and killed them there. It is said, that he partly threw the bodies into the near Leine River, partly he cooked the meat and ate some and sold the rest to his neighbours. He was finally arrested and executed in 1925..
Thanks to VT-member Leipzig for the pics. On his Hannover page he tells you more about facts and nicer things in Hannover.
Here is the heart of the oldest part of Hannover. The Marktkirche has been a place of worship since 800 years.
In the 12th century a small church was build on this place in romanesque style, the St. Georg's Church. In 14th century citizens wanted a bigger church. This is the big Gothic Church, which you can still see as Market Church today.
The building was badly damaged during an air raid in 1943. It was rebuild in the 1950s.
The Marktkirche is almost always open. I like to go inside and sit down for a few minutes and meditate.
"hon overe" means (or meant) "high bank" - the high (eastern) bank of Leine river; the name of the city comes from it. The first settlements are from 10th century.
What is written is:
"Es gibt nichts Oedes, nichts Unfruchtbares, nichts Todes in der Welt, kein Chaos, keine Verwirrung, ausser einer scheinbaren, ungefaehr wie sie in eimem Teiche zu herrschen
schien, wenn man aus einiger Entfernung eine verworrene Bewegung und sozusagen ein Gewimmel von Fischen saehe, ohne die Fische selbst zu unterscheiden. G.W.L."
G.W.L. stands for Leibniz, the paragraph is from his work "Monadologie"
The Old Town
From the Kröpcke, it is not very far to the Old Town. During World War II, nearly whole Hannover got bombed - but this little part of the town did not. So it's a piece of history - and different to the whole rest of the town.
Walking around the old town, you will see a Protestan Church with a statu of Martin Luter outside, and in front of this church ( which I believe it used to be a Jewish sinagoge before Hitler's times because it has David stars in the facade) there is a bar called Bar-Celona with nice cocktails, fruit and desserts.
Next to the main shopping streets in the city center. You have a largte variety of shows (operas, theater shows, concerts... everyday)
One of the 20th main operas in the world ( said by the London Opera House)
The Old Town isn´t very big in Hannover. It´s rebuild after the second world war because the most were destroyed. It´s a nice places in this town specially in the Christmas time. But it´s nice in summer time too because of the pavements.
In the Old Town you als find the Leibnitz House.
This tower was build in 1357. It has been part of the medieval city wall. Later the tower was the home of the Beginen. The Beginen were women, who lived as single women or widows. They wanted to lead a religious life but did not want to become nuns. They lived together in small comunities and worked as nurses or in other professions.
Today the Tower houses a nice pub, where people go to drink a beer after visiting the fleamarket on saturdays.
There is not much left of old Hannover. Most of it has been destroyed during World War II. But what is left is very nice. Many of the half timbered buildings, which you can see in our Old Town, had been on another place before WWII. After the war the houses have been moved and rebuilt in this part of Hannover.
Today there are many pubs and restaurants and nice little shops in our Old Town.
Nearby is also the former castle of the Kings of Hannover. This castle "Leineschloss" is now the location of the parliament of Lower Saxony.
The Old Townhall is situated at the edge of our Old Town. It has been build in 15th century. It is a fine example of the Norddeutsche Backsteingotik (Northern German Brickstone Gothic). Other examples of Backsteingotik can be seen in Lübeck and Stendal.
Today there is the regestry office inside, where Stephan and I married, but also some nice shops and restaurants.
In the old town of Hannover you still can find some old streets with half-timbered houses like Burgstrasse. Although these buildings were rebuild after World War Two they give you an impression of life in the Mediaeval Hannover.
It was built over a period of more than 100 years. The earliest part (from 1410) overlooks the Schmiedestraße (Blacksmith Street), the later wing next to the market was erected on the foundations of the 13th century trade hall. The adjacent wing in the Koebelinger Straße is called the "Chemists" Wing (Apothekenflügel", because it was the location of the Town Hall's pharmacy. This wing was later rebuilt in Italian Romanesque style, after a citizen's "action group" led by a well known neo-Gothic architect, Conrad Wilhelm Hase, managed to save the entire building from demolition in 1844. Hase was subsequently commisioned to renovate the remaining wings in their original style of 1500, with its exceptional gothic gables and the ornamental frieze.
Amongst the portraits of the princes and coats-of-arms its features the "Luderziehen", a popular game from the Middle-Ages, a kind of "Tug of War". This marvellous picture above the outer right arched window in the Schmiedestraße can only be seen be following the "red line" around the Old Town Hall.