State Chancellery of Lower Saxony
Home of Diversity
Lower Saxony – from the flat coastal region bordering the North Sea through to the low mountain ranges in the Harz.
Dear Reader, Lower Saxony is one of the most innovative and most diversified federal states in the Federal Republic of Germany. No other state is so diverse, which is already evident in the wide range of landscapes. This wide variety is also reflected in the interplay of history and modernity, tradition and future. The same is true for the people in Lower Saxony. They are characterised not only by the various regions but also all the different countries of origin. The economy in Lower Saxony is booming in a wide range of industries. Here you can find both traditional craftsmanship and innovative companies with international standing. Lower Saxony offers its residents and guests an excellent quality of life. Pristine natural landscapes and pulsating metropolitan flair, along with an outstanding range of cultural activities, are right around the corner from each other. On the following pages, I would like to present you with a few impressions of Lower Saxony. This is merely a small selection. Lower Saxony is much more than this. Warmest greetings Your Stephan Weil Minister-President of Lower Saxony
Although Lower Saxony was only established as a federal state in 1946, it is brimming over with history and stories. In 1995, the oldest still-preserved hunting weapons of mankind were discovered in Schöningen (District of Helmstedt): the 300,000 year-old Schöningen spears. In 9 BC, the area now known as Lower Saxony was the scene of an event of worldwide historical significance: In the presentday Kalkriese near Bramsche (District of Osnabrück), Germanic tribes led by Arminius annihilated three Roman legions under Varus, thus putting a stop to Roman expansion into Germania. From the year 1000, rich ore and silver deposits in the Rammelsberg Mountain in the Harz enabled the city of Goslar to undergo a period of rapid growth and become the economic and political centre of the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor Barbarossa’s most
important imperial palace stood in Goslar. The silver and lead extracted from the Rammelsberg was traded all over Europe and made Goslar into the “Rome of the North”. It was in the municipality of Marienhafe (District of Aurich) that the legendary pirate Klaus Störtebeker found refuge together with his Vitalienbrüder (victual brothers) for several years at the end of the 14th century. In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia was signed in the Osnabrück City Hall, thus ending the Thirty Years’ War, heralding in a political new order in Europe and providing for new stability. At the end of the 17th century, Hannover established itself as a vibrant royal seat of residence. This is where the great universal savant Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz lived and worked. One of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Europe was created in Herrenhausen. From 1710, the young composer Georg Friedrich Händel served as court composer to the Hanoverian Elector Georg Ludwig, who succeeded to the English throne as George I in 1714. Thus began the Period of Personal Union between Great Britain and Hannover, which lasted until 1837. 1 In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia was negotiated and signed in the Osnabrück City Hall, thus ending the Thirty Years’ War. 2 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 -1716), philosopher and universal genius.
3 The Great Garden in Hannover-Herrenhausen is one of the few important baroque gardens which has been preserved in its original structure. 4 For over 1,000 years, the Rammelsberg was the most important mine in Germany. Together with the historical city centre of Goslar, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. 5 The widely visible Palaeon in Schöningen houses the oldest hunting weapons of mankind. 6 The Kalkriese Archaeological Museum was set up on the site of the legendary Battle of the Teutoburg Forest that took place in 9 BC.
1 The annual Movimentos Festival in Wolfsburg: Top-class international dance companies, classical, jazz and pop concerts as well as readings in over 60 events. 2 In Hannover, the gramophone record first saw the light of day. It is therefore no coincidence that Hannover has now become the UNESCO City of Music.
3 The Gospel Book of Heinrich the Lion is regarded as the principal work of 12th century Romanesque book illumination in Northern Germany. It is now to be found in the Duke August Library in Wolfenbüttel. 4 With an audience of over 70,000, the Hurricane Festival in Scheeßel is one of the biggest rock festivals in Germany. 5 The phæno in Wolfsburg is home to more than 350 scientific and technical experimentation stations. The building was designed by Zaha Hadid.
6 One of the most important collections of 20th and 21st century German art is on display in the Sprengel Museum in Hannover.
The cultural landscape in Lower Saxony is just as diverse as its natural landscape. Lower Saxony offers museums of international stature, such as the Roemer Pelizäus Museum in Hildesheim, the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, the phæno in Wolfsburg and the exhibition halls of the Worpswede artists’ colony. The Duke August Library in Wolfenbüttel is home to a unique collection including the Gospel Book of Heinrich the Lion dating back to the 12th century, while the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library in Hannover with its correspondence of the universal scholar is even a UNESCO Memory of the World Site.
Lower Saxony maintains prestigious opera houses as well as dance and theatre stages in Hannover, Braunschweig and Oldenburg. A large number of corporations and associations preserve and promote the regional cultural features in the entire state. Hannover is a concert and music city of international fame and – since 2014 – has been a UNESCO City of Music. Finally, Lower Saxony enjoys a rich festive and festival culture: The oldest shooting fair in the world is celebrated in Hannover. The Hurricane Festival in Scheeßel provides an annual music draw in Northern Germany. In the 1940s and 1950s, the film studios in Göttingen and the “heathland Hollywood” of Bendesdorf transformed Lower Saxony into the stronghold of the German cinema industry. Today, nordmedia, the Lower Saxony and Bremen joint-venture media company, promotes numerous film and TV productions. Inter nationally prestigious film festivals are now held in Emden, Oldenburg, Hannover and Osnabrück.
Lower Saxony is characterised by variety and diversity to a greater extent than any other state in Germany. The Harz National Park, with its extensive mountain forests, wild and romantic river valleys and reservoirs, is a popular hiking and winter sports region. To the north of the Harz, the major cities of Hildesheim, Hannover, Braunschweig and Wolfsburg form the metropolitan region. Here there are three World Heritage Sites to attract visitors: the Romanesque St. Michael’s Church and the Cathedral in Hildesheim as well as the Fagus Works, designed by Walter Gropius, in Alfeld. In the 16th century, the economic flowering along the Weser river resulted in a construction boom. Many palaces and castles were built in the “Weser renaissance” style. Today, the German Fairy-Tale Route runs along the river from Bremen to Hannoversch Münden – from the city musicians to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The fairy tales were written down by the Brothers Grimm in Göttingen.
The situation is very different in the Lüneburg Heath, a cultural landscape created by tribes some 5,000 years ago, which consists of sandy heathlands and idyllic flocks of sheep. There are extended cycling routes set between the Weser and Ems rivers. The Lower Saxony Elbtalaue biosphere reserve features a largely intact wetland landscape with marshy meadows and alluvial forests. The towns of Lüneburg, Celle and Stade delight the public with their historical centres. In summer, the North Sea coast with its traditional seaside resorts and fishing villages as well as the miles of sandy beaches of the East Frisian Islands are the main tourist attractions. The Wattenmeer National Park bears the title of a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.
1 The Weser Cycling route crosses the whole of Lower Saxony from HannoverschMünden in the south to Cuxhaven in the north. 2 Along the Weser, Renaissance buildings dating back to the 16th century characterise the picture of the Weser Hills cultural landscape. 5 6
3 In winter, cross-country skiing is one of the most popular leisure activities in the Harz. 4 The purple flowering erica dominates the Lüneburg Heath landscape. 5 The “Baron of Lies”, Hieronymus von Münchhausen, comes from Bodenwerder on the Weser. 6 The Greetsiel shrimping fleet consists of 27 cutters, making it one of the largest in the whole of Germany.
Research and development have always played a major role in Lower Saxony. Without Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and his explanations of the binary number system, more than 300 years ago, the foundations for modern information and communication technology would be lacking. On 18 August 1903 the Hanoverian aviation pioneer Karl Jatho managed to do the first “air hop” with his motorised flying machine – this was four months before the Wright brothers. After 1945, five Nobel Prize winners were explicitly honoured for their research work and findings that they developed during the time that they spent in Lower Saxony at the Georg-August University and at the Leibniz University in Hannover. In Lower Saxony, at 29 higher education institutions and a whole range of related establishments, research is being carried out into groundbreaking developments in mobility, power generation and biomedicine. 1 Nobel Prize winners: Stefan W. Hell (Chemistry, 2014, GeorgAugust University Göttingen), Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry, 2007, Leibniz University in Hannover), Erwin Neher together with Bert Sakmann (Physiology, Medicine, 1991, Georg-August University Göttingen), Manfred Eigen (Chemistry, 1967, GeorgAugust University Göttingen), Max Born (Physics, 1954, Georg-August University Göttingen). 2 At the “Wilhelm Hirte” Cochlear Implant Centre in Hannover, even the youngest patients are already learning to hear. 3 Heinrich Popow won a gold medal for the long jump at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio with a sports prosthesis from Otto Bock Healthcare, which is based in Duderstadt in Lower Saxony.
The Hannover Medical School and the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover have prestigious research facilities for human and veterinary medicine, while international marine research is conducted by the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) at the Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. The ICBM is the home institute of the research vessel ‘Sonne’ (German for ‘Sun’). Life science companies such as the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, in Braunschweig, work on innovative medical technological and biotechnological developments. Furthermore, the Leibniz University in Hannover as well as the University of Oldenburg set the tone in the field of hearing research and these days 80 per cent of all hearing aids and cochlear implants worldwide are based on research carried out in Lower Saxony.
Lower Saxony keeps things moving. Around one-third of all Lower Saxony’s export goods come from the mobility industry. Volks wagen AG, Europe’s largest car manufacturer, operates plants in Salzgitter, Emden, Osnabrück, Braunschweig and Hannover in addition to its main production site in Wolfsburg. The Volkswagen Group is working intensively to ensure that it becomes a worldwide leading provider of sustainable mobility. Continental, Wabco and Johnson Controls are just three companies among the large number of suppliers to the automotive industry that operate production sites in Lower Saxony. However, other means of transport are also manufactured in Lower Saxony. Premium Aerotec, with plants in Varel and Nordenham, produces aircraft components for Airbus and, moreover, Alstom manufactures rail vehicles in Salzgitter. Specialty agricul tural vehicles that are in demand worldwide are produced, for example, by the companies Krone in Spelle (district of Emsland) and Grimme in Damme (district of Vechta). The Aeronautics Research Centre of Lower Saxony works together with the Research Airport Braunschweig on the continuous development of low-noise and environmentally-friendly commercial aircraft. The Open Hybrid Lab Factory in Wolfsburg develops hybrid materials for automotive lightweight construction. 1
A variety of companies from the automotive and aerospace industries have come to Lower Saxony to seek innovative solutions for energy-saving and resource-efficient mobility. In the so-called CFK Valley, in Stade, more than 100 companies and research institutes develop and produce particularly lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastics (in German: carbonfaserverstärkte Kunststoffe, or CFK) for the automotive and aerospace industries. 1 The hybrid Passat GTE is just one example of how Volkswagen is promoting e-mobility. 2 With specialty vehicles like this potato harvester, the Grimme company enjoys international demand. 3 Assembly of a fuselage section for the A350 XWB made from CFRP material (carbon fibre reinforced plastic).
1 2 1 Hannover – a venue for trade fairs: every year around two million people visit more than 60 national and international trade fairs. 2 The Symrise company, which is based in Holzminden in Lower Saxony, ranks third in the global fragrances and aromas market. 3 The steel group Salzgitter AG has more than 25,000 employees worldwide.
Lower Saxony is still right up there with the front runners in other industrial sectors, too. In the areas of flat steel and profile steel the fifth largest manufacturer in Europe is Salzgitter AG. The steel plant in Peine produces around one million tonnes of steel every year that is transformed into small and large format beams for a wide variety of construction projects all over the world. The Stade region is an important location for the chemical industry. Renewable energies also have a home base in Lower Saxony. The Enercon company, based in Aurich, is a global player in the wind energy industry that has its main office in Lower Saxony. The world’s third largest supplier of fragrances and aromas – Symrise AG – produces its flavourings and active ingredients, which are used in cosmetics and foods, in Holzminden. Hannover is home to two global flagship trade fairs: the Hannover Messe is the largest industrial trade show in the world and CeBIT is regarded as the most important trade fair for information technology. Other renowned trade fairs in Hannover are Biotechnica for biotechnology, Agritechnica as the world’s largest specialist trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment as well as Ligna, a specialist woodworking trade fair. 3
Lower Saxony’s agricultural land is Germany’s largest food pantry. The food industry in Lower Saxony not only produces agricultural commodities but also processes them to create high-quality foodstuffs. Here, moreover, organic farming is growing in importance. The Oldenburg Münsterland is the centre of German meat production and the processing industry is spread throughout the administrative districts of Vechta, Cloppenburg and Oldenburg. Sugar beet farming is a feature of the Hildesheim region, while East Frisia is a leader in the dairy sector and the coastal fishing industry has its home ports principally along the East Frisian North Sea coasts. The so-called Altes Land (an area of reclaimed marshland) is Europe’s largest fruit growing region and the Ammerland district has a leading position in the tree nursery industry. The KWS Group with its headquarters in Einbeck is the fourth largest seed producer in the world. The German Institute of Food Technologies is based in Quakenbrück. While agriculture and the food processing industry constitute the second largest sector of the economy, the agricultural sciences are likewise prominently represented. The universities in Göttingen, Hannover, Braun schweig, Osnabrück and Vechta are leaders in the fields of plant sciences and horticulture, nutritional sciences, animal husbandry and biodiversity. 1
2 3 1 The Altes Land, in northeast Lower Saxony situated just outside of Hamburg, is Europe’s largest fruit growing region. 2 Yellow flowers, black seeds – in Lower Saxony more than 120,000 hectares of rapeseed are cultivated. After the harvest in the summer the seeds from the plant are pressed and turned into a healthy edible oil or biodiesel feedstock. 3 Dairy cattle in East Frisia, the northernmost part of Lower Saxony. 4 Seeds for farming sugar beet, potatoes and corn as well as other crops are cultivated in Einbeck, Lower Saxony, by KWS Saat AG. 4
With around 600 kilometres of coastline, seven offshore East Frisian islands and its nine sea ports, Lower Saxony opens far into the North Sea. The port of Emden serves as a hub for car exports and the container terminal of JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven provides the connection to the world’s oceans. The new 400-metre long container ships can also head into Germany’s only deep water harbour and are unaffected by the tides. Meyer Werft (shipyard) in Papenburg is famous throughout the world for cruise ship construction. 1
1 The JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven is Germany’s only deep water harbour. The biggest container vessels in the world can dock here irrespective of tidal conditions. 2 The Meyer Werft (shipyard) in Papenburg on the Ems is famous throughout the world for the construction of exclusive cruise ships.
3 Lower Saxony is focused on renewable energies. Offshore wind energy is becoming ever more important here. In the course of this, Cuxhaven is developing more and more strongly into the most important offshore base in Germany. 4 The Wadden Sea is an ecosystem that is unique worldwide. In Lower Saxony it receives special protection as a national park. The Wadden Sea is a UNESCO natural world heritage site. 4
Lower Saxony is focused on renewable energies. Offshore wind energy plays a key role here. The rapidly developing offshore base in Cuxhaven is a strong symbol for this. However, Lower Saxony is also a leader in onshore wind energy. Therefore, Lower Saxony is the centre in Germany for the development and manufacture of wind turbines and, at the same time, the largest wind energy producer in the country. The joint centre for wind energy research of the universities of Oldenburg, Hannover and Bremen has joined forces with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology as well as the German Aerospace Centre in the “German Wind Energy Research Association” in order to promote the continuous development of wind energy technology.
3 4 3 1
Lower 2 6 1
Lower Saxony in Germany
1 1 2 6 1 2 2 3
1 1 5
Lower Saxony Figures, Dates, Facts The Federal State Lower Saxony is 47,614 square kilometres in size and it makes up 13.3 percent of the area of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thereof around 28,600 km2 is agricultural area 10,470 km2 is woodland 3,500 km2 are buildings and open spaces 2,460 km2 are traffic thoroughfares 1,110 km2 are expanses of water 10,222 km2 are landscape protection areas 2,070 km2 are nature conservation areas The People Lower Saxony has 7,926,600 inhabitants. That is around ten per cent of the population of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thereof 4,011,200 are women 3,915,400 are men Towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants Hannover: Braunschweig: Oldenburg: Osnabrück: Wolfsburg: Göttingen: Hildesheim: Salzgitter:
533,160 inhabitants 251,360 inhabitants 163,830 inhabitants 162,400 inhabitants 124,050 inhabitants 118,910 inhabitants 101,670 inhabitants 101,080 inhabitants
Population density 166 inhabitants per square kilometre
Updated: 31 December 2015
Picture credits Page 1: Horst Schörshusen; Meyer Werft; Rainer Jensen, Deutsche Messe; shutterstock/Anna Subbotina Page 2/3: TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH; Harzer Tourismusverband e.V. Page 4/5: Osnabrück – Marketing und Tourismus GmbH (OMT)/Finke; istockphoto/ Georgios Art; HMTG/Coptograph; Sales Desk Polen/Znajkraj; Paläon; Museum und Park Kalkriese Page 6/7: Movimentos; istockphoto/Daniel Azocar; Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel; Robin-Alexander Schmiedebach; phaeno Wolfsburg/Klemens Ortmeyer; Herling/Herling/Werner, Sprengel Museum Hannover Page 8/9: Sales Desk Polen/Znajkraj (2); Hameln Marketing und Tourismus GmbH; Harzer Tourismusverband e.V.; Markus Tiemann; TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH Page 10/11: CIC Wilhelm Hirte; dpa picture alliance (4); ullstein bild – Würth GmbH/ Swiridoff; Ottobock Page 12/13: Ole Spata; Fa. Grimme Landmaschinenfabrik, Damme; Airbus Page 14/15: TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH/Markus Untergassmair; fotolia/ Friday; istockphoto/sdlgzps Page 16/17: Tourismusverband Landkreis Stade/Elbe e.V./Agit/Lohmann; TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH/J.A. Fischer; Friesland Touristik GmbH; fotolia/ Bits and Splits Page 18/19: Ole Spata; Emsland Touristik GmbH; fotolia/F. Schmidt; TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH (TMN)/Hans Kutsch
Publisher: Lower Saxony State Chancellery Press office: Planckstraße 2, 30169 Hanover (Germany) [email protected]
www.niedersachsen.de Design: brunsmiteisenberg werbeagentur GmbH Updated: October 2016