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Hanover (the German spelling is Hannover) is the capital city of the Federal State of Lower Saxony, formed in 1946.

A northern World Cup city
Hanover is the third most northerly of the 12 World Cup venues (after Hamburg, 100 miles due north, and Berlin, around 170 miles to the east and very slightly north).

Hanover’s origins
The town grew from a medieval village on the banks of the River Leine and there is evidence of a market here dating from 950.

Duchy of Hanover
Hanover gained its town charter in 1241 and in 1636 the Duke of Calenberg moved his official residence to the well-fortified town. As a ‘residence town’, Hanover then flourished for two centuries. The buildings of this era still give the cityscape its character. These include the Leine Palace and the Opera House.

Kings of England
The Duke’s descendants later became kings of England, with the first of these, George I, ascending to the throne in 1714. The personal union between England and the city ended in 1837, as William IV had no male heir.

Annexed by Prussia
Hanover continued as a kingdom in its own right until 1866, when it was annexed by Prussia.

The new Hanover
In the Second World War much of Hanover’s inner city was destroyed, and subsequent remodelling proved controversial, with a broad inner ring road leaving many parts of the city cut off from the centre.
The city has more recently become famous as a venue for trade fairs, such as Expo 2000 and the CeBit consumer electronics show.

Hanover landmarks
Unlike many major European cities, Hanover does not have any one single dominant building, grand square or monument. Its main attractions consist of several outstanding parks (if you’re into that sort of thing) and a few historic buildings dotted around the inner city area. Most of these can be visited on foot (see the city tourist office’s virtual tour of Hanover).

Some sights you may want to see:

* Herrenhausen Gardens
* Old Town Hall
* New Town Hall
* Leine Palace
* Opera House

For details of others, see the Hanover tourist office website, or

See also Expedia.co.uk for Hanover hotels, flights and rental cars.

8th in terms of Germany’s major airports, Hanover airport , opened in 1952, with terminals A and B as they exist today completed in 1973, and terminal C in 1998. The somewhat inconspicuous terminal D is used by the Royal Air Force to fly British soldiers into Germany. Although the airport officially belongs to Hanover, it is actually closer to Langenhausen, to the north of Hanover, not far from the Hanover East Autobahn junction.

Flight connections with Hanover
Internally at least 4 other World Cup venues can be reached via direct flights from Hanover. These are Munich (with Air Berlin , Germania Express, Lufthansa, flydba or Hapag Lloyd), Nuremberg (with Air Berlin or Hapag Lloyd), Stuttgart (with Air Berlin or Lufthansa) and Frankfurt (with Lufthansa).

International flight connections with Hanover include flights from London Stansted (with Air Berlin ), Paris (Air France or Lufthansa), London Gatwick, Birmingham International and Manchester (with British Airways), London Heathrow (with flybmi) and Newcastle (with HLX.com ).

Getting into Hanover city centre
In the year 2000, an underground S-Bahn station was built at the airport, providing a direct rail link to the city. Trains run every half-hour.

The journey on the S5 line to the main railway station takes about 17 minutes. Click image on right for a full map of the S-Bahn network.

Greater Hanover Transport Association (GVH) operates the S-Bahn service, as well as the city’s tram and bus services. Their timetable and journey planner is available with an English interface, but struggles to understand some English words you might enter. So, to check out times to and from the airport to the main railway station, enter the details as shown to the left, i.e. spell Hannover with a double ‘n’ and use the abbreviation ‘Hbf’ for main railway station (Hauptbahnof). Then it should all work… albeit that the results are shown in German!

External links

Hanover airport
Hanover public transport
German rail journey planner

Flying from the UK? Going to the airport by train, coach or car?

If you’re flying from the UK and planning to go to the airport by coach or train, these links to National Express Airport coaches, the thetrainline, Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express let you book your journey to the airport online. If you’re driving, try Purple Parking or BAA airport parking for cheap parking at all major UK airports.