A Little Exploring

German Word of the Day:


Erforschen

(a) v.; to explore, to research, to examine


On Saturday, we train-hopped to Hannover.  Hannover is the capital and largest city of Niedersachsen (my state).  My group of YFU exchange students got a chance to go sight-see around the city, and then we were let loose to explore and see what we could find among Hannover’s 500,000 inhabitants.  Here are some of the things we found:

  • A bird’s eye view of the city.  You can see here how Hannover is a mix of old and new – look at the contrast of the red bricks and tiles with the modern gray cement buildings.

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  • There are two Rathäuser, or city halls, in Hannover.  The old one was built during the middle ages; the neues Rathaus is more modern and is filled with beautiful pieces of architecture, like this staircase – I think it looks like you could throw a penny in and have your wishes come true, right?
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  • The city of Hannover has a lot of history connected to World War II.  Hannover has a large train station that transported goods and soldiers during the war.  This station was also used for transporting groups of Jews and others to concentration camps.  Ever since the war ended, the two platforms that were used for this purpose have been empty of trains.  It was chilling to stand in the station and think of others who had also stood there, about to get on a train that would take them to a terrifying and unknown future as prisoners. The train station also caused Hannover to be heavily bombed during the war.   In the new city hall, there are dioramas of Hannover before, during and after the war.  A few ruined buildings still stand in the city today as memorials of the fighting.
    This diorama shows how Hannover looked shortly before the war started.
    This diorama shows how Hannover looked shortly before the war started.

     

    This diorama shows the skeleton of Hannover that was left when the war ended.  Not many building were left standing, and for a while people crowded together in houses that may have had only 3 walls or no roof.  Amazingly, Hannover is considered to be one of the cities that suffered less damage from the war than many.
    This diorama shows the skeleton of Hannover that was left when the war ended. Not many building were left standing, and for a while people crowded together in houses that may have had only 3 walls or no roof. Amazingly, Hannover is considered to be one of the cities that suffered less damage from the war than many.

     

    This is Hannover currently, rebuilt from the war.  Many people I talked to seemed to dislike the changes that were made when the town was rebuilt .  Which city would you pick: old Hannover or New Hannover?
    This is the current version of Hannover, rebuilt from the war. Many people I talked to seemed to dislike the changes that were made when the town was rebuilt . Which city would you pick: old Hannover or New Hannover?

     

The Aegidienkirche was not rebuilt after the war.  Instead, it serves as a memorial, where people can come to remember the war and explore the reality of the ruin that took place.
The Aegidienkirche was not rebuilt after the war. Instead, it serves as a memorial where people can come to remember the war and explore the reality of the ruin that took place.

 

  • Finally, after all that sight-seeing, we got to one of the more highly anticipated parts of our visit:  a place that sold the famous German-Turkish Döner!  Traveling tip:  if you want to taste the “real thing”, you apparently have to go to Berlin, but our knock-off lunch didn’t seem to bother anyone too much.

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So that’s a wrap! One destination crossed off my bucket list.  Bis später!

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4 thoughts on “A Little Exploring

    1. Thanks! A doner is a pocket of bread stuffed with roasted lamb or chicken and vegetables. If you’re vegetarian, its basically a coleslaw sandwich 😉

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  1. Hallo Maria, ich finde deinen Blog sehr spannend, weil ich Deutschland jetzt ein wenig durch deine Augen kennen lerne. Die Fotos sind spitze, und ich hoffe, dass du mit deiner Gruppe eine gute Zeit hattest. Übrigends: Döner gibt es auch mit Schweine – und Rindfleisch.
    Hab ein schönes Wochenende! Iris

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