Lower Saxony Travel Guide

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Pfortmühle in Hameln

Pfortmühle in Hameln

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Lower Saxony ("Niedersachsen" in German) is the second largest federal state (Bundesland) of Germany. Situated in the north-west of the country, it measures 350 km from Schnackenburg on the River Elbe to the Dutch border in the west, and 300km from Cuxhaven on the North Sea coast to Hannoversch Münden at the southern extremity of the state. Its population is almost equal to that of Sweden - nearly 8 million.

"Niedersachsen" is a mixture of flatlands and mountains. The entire area along the Weser River is spectacular with lakes waterfalls mountains rivers and windmills. Borkum, an island off the North Sea coast is as attractive as the peaks of the Harz Mountains in the south of Lower Saxony. In between these two you will find a great concentration of people around Hannover but also deserted heaths, Europe's largest automotive plant but also the Hildesheimer Börde, with the most fertile soils in Germany. Lower Saxony has the most extensive mixed woodlands in the country, eight large cities and countless moors. The East Frisian islands are undoubtedly the favourite holiday destination for German families.

The Harz Mountains contain Germany's most northerly ski resorts. Luneburg Heath is the oldest nature park in Germany and the Wattenmeer the largest national park.

Lower Saxony's capital Hannover is a great fair city. Here Europe met at the EXPO 2000 and the CEBIT, the biggest computer fair worldwide, attracts every year thousands of visitors. Plan at least half a day in Hannover to see the Herrenhausen Gardens (intricate flowerbed patterns and one of the largest garden fountains in Europe) and walk amidst clean "new German" architecture (almost all of the old city was destroyed by firebombing raids in World War II). Today nearly 60% of the city is preserved as parkland or forest.

Goslar about 45 mi/72 km southeast of Hannover (near the former East German border) is home to the Kaiserpfalz which was an emperor's residence; a tour of the structure takes about an hour. Goslar also has many medieval timbered homes that are still standing. Near Goslar is the town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld which has the largest wooden church in Europe. Consider taking a cruise down the Weser River from Hannoversch_Munden to Hameln south of Hannover (arrive at least an hour before the boat leaves Munden to admire the splendid framework art of its buildings). The 90-mi/145-km trip takes about a day passing through the area that inspired legends such as "The Pied Piper of Hameln" and several of Grimm's fairy tales. In Corvey stop to see the 9th-century Benedictine abbey and its glorious frescoes.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://www.world66.com/europe/germany/lowersaxony/

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