your royal tour of germany
The magnificent summer residences of the Kingdom of Great Britain are still reflected in Hanover, spiriting visitors into a time of kings, queens, castles and stately gardens.
Discover one of the most beautiful Baroque complexes in Europe, in an extraordinary green city that at one time served as the seat of power which ruled an entire kingdom – one which shared the British crown for more than 123 years.
Hanover – at one time the capital of the Electorate of Hanover and currently the capital of Germany's second-largest federal state – and the British kingdom are connected by more than just a direct flight: for more than 123 years, both countries were joined by a single regent. In 1714, the Elector of Hanover ascended the English throne as George I – a relationship that only ended with the coronation of Queen Victoria. Today, Herrenhausen Palace and the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen in Hanover serve as reminders of this extraordinary time.
"The garden is my life," said Electress Sophie, whose son George I later ruled as the Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain. Today, visitors can discover this attention to detail in every blade of grass at the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, one of Europe's most beautiful baroque complexes. Three styles of landscape art have reached the pinnacle of perfection here: the Great Garden is impressive, with its Baroque ornamentation and magnificent fountains. The grotto, designed by Niki de Saint Phalle, strikes a colourful note with its modern art. Landscaped in the style of an English garden, the idyllic Georgengarten beckons visitors to take a stroll. At neighbouring Berggarten, prepare yourself to be seduced by stunning orchids and tropical plants, plus you will e able to visit the mausoleum of the Hanoverian Dynasty. Starting in May 2014, the gardens will be transformed into a green banquet hall with numerous artistic, cultural, theatrical and other events.
With the establishment of the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, the Royal House of Hanover also planned the construction of a royal summer residence – Herrenhausen Palace. This palace played host to European aristocracy, its luxurious banquets laying the foundation stone for Hanover's ascent to an Electorate. In 1943, British bombs reduced the summer residence of the Royal House of Hanover to rubble. Seventy years after its destruction, the reconstructed Herrenhausen Palace was opened a new in 2013. Today, the Palace Museum invites you to experience the history of the Hanoverian Baroque complex up close with its exhibit "Palaces and Gardens in Herrenhausen – from the Baroque to the modern". The former Welfenschloss is located just a few metres away and is currently home to the Gottfried Leibniz University of Hanover.
In addition to the reminders of its regal past, Hanover’s diversity is inspiring: it is a city in a countryside setting, featuring the Eilenriede City Forest ranging across 650 hectares – twice as large as Central Park in New York. It’s a richly varied city of events with high-calibre shows and international concerts, an historic city centre and numerous museums and tourist attractions, such as the Hanover Adventure Zoo, Europe's number one animal theme park. An excursion to the nearby Loccum Monastery, where George IV founded the Monastery Chamber in 1818, is well worth the trip.
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