On November 1st, 2021, the most beautiful federal state in the northwest of Germany will be 75 years old.
Lower Saxony, also called Neddersassen and Lound Läichsaksen, brings together a colorful diversity of people, regions and stories. A lot to tell. A lot to celebrate. Happy Birthday Lower Saxony!
The history of Lower Saxony
The federal state of Lower Saxony was founded almost 75 years ago on November 1, 1946, over one and a half years after the end of the second world war.
The states of Braunschweig, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe as well as the province of Hanover, from which Lower Saxony will emerge, were captured in April 1945 by Canadian, Polish, British and American troops.
With the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation. Lower Saxony was in the British zone of occupation. The state of Hanover was founded in August 1946. They discussed how to proceed. For example, there were considerations to found a federal state “Weser-Ems”. Hanover and Braunschweig were discussed as independent federal states.
In the end, however, they decided on a larger variant: the federal state of Lower Saxony. It was formed on November 1, 1946 from the State of Hanover and the three Free States of Braunschweig, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe.
However, there were a few special regulations:
- The city of Wesermünde was renamed Bremerhaven in 1947 and added to the state of Bremen. Like Bremen, Wesermünde belonged to the American zone of occupation.
- The municipalities of Amt Neuhaus and Neu Bleckede, which were located to the right of the Elbe and belonged to the state of Hanover, were added to the Soviet zone and were then part of the GDR. Only after German reunification were these communities reintegrated into Lower Saxony.
- The Free State of Braunschweig also had communities in the eastern part of the country that now fell to the GDR: Blankenburg and Calvörde. They remained part of Saxony-Anhalt even after 1990.
Like the occupiers of the other zones, the British were faced with an immense complex of tasks because they had to
- ensure the supply of all,
- initiate the reconstruction of the economy and infrastructure,
- denazify and democratize society,
- Integrate 2.2 million refugees and displaced persons in what will later become Lower Saxony alone,
- Bring 600,000 so-called displaced persons back to their homeland.
Happy Birthday Lower Saxony! Greetings from the EU commission
Facts about Lower Saxony that you did not know
- Lighthouses – the smallest is the red and yellow ringed “Otto” lighthouse in Pilsum, 11 m high, stands on a dike and is no longer in operation (only for getting married), Germany’s highest lighthouse, 65 Meters high, 308 steps, with a fantastic view (sometimes as far as Borkum), the red and white steel construction is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. For children: the lighthouse assistant attendant diploma can be obtained here!
- Largest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world – is called Colossos and is located in the Heide-Park Resort Soltau. It is 1.3 kilometers long, 52 meters high and the trains reach a top speed of 120 km / h.
- Largest concentration of amusement parks in Europe – the Lüneburg Heath, including the Heide Park, Snow Dome, Weltvogelpark, Serengeti Park, go-kart track or Center Park. In the whole of Lower Saxony, guests can even choose between 182 amusement parks.
- Drinking tea – with 290 liters per person per year, East Frisians are well above the national average of 25.5 liters (per person per year) and even ahead of the traditional tea-drinking nations of England and Ireland.
- Number one asparagus land in Germany – Lower Saxony has more than 4,500 hectares of cultivation area, in 2011 around 27 million kilograms were harvested.
- Largest wooden church in Germany – it is located in Clausthal-Zellerfeld in the Harz Mountains, is a 57 meter long hall church, is called the Market Church of the Holy Spirit and was completely renovated in 2013 after 13 years and 9.3 million euros with the restoration. It is blue on the outside, consists of oak and spruce wood, the roof is made of lead and was built in 1642. Every year they visit around 30,000 guests. It is the center of church music and many choirs.
- Longest flea market in Germany – more than two kilometers long it will be set up on the Elisabethfehn Canal in East Friesland for Ascension Day (municipality of Barßel near Leer)
- Oldest flea market in Germany – on the Hohen Ufer in Hanover, since 1967, based on the Parisian model
- Steinhuder Meer – with 29.1 square kilometers , it is the largest lake in northwest Germany (8 km long, 4.5 km wide, depth: 1.35 to 2.9 meters). Formed at the end of the last ice age around 14,000 years ago. A 1.5 km long branch canal leads from Hagenburg Castle to the lake. Wilhelmstein Island was artificially created in 1761-1765 and then expanded as a fortress, it is 12,500 square meters and has an exciting museum.
- Largest shrimp cutter fleet – with around 27 ships, it is located in the idyllic port of Greetsiel in East Frisia. It is more than 10% of all German shrimp trawlers.
- Germany’s kiosk capital – that’s Hanover. According to a 2013 survey, there are a total of 340 of these small shops here. They have flair, are often open until after midnight and, in addition to goods for daily or nightly needs, primarily offer conversations.
- Stadtwald Eilenriede – 640 hectares, largest forest within a city in Germany, it can be experienced in Hanover and even has a forest station with a lookout tower over the forest and the city.
- The smallest language island in Europe – Saterland has around 2000 people who still speak Sater Frisian. This means that this language, which is related to East Frisian, is threatened with extinction. But in kindergartens and at school, the language is taught, which sounds like a funny mixture of Dutch, High and Low German. At the end there is often a belittling with -je attached. “Funkelje” means to sparkle, “jammerje” to moan, “reekenje” to calculate. The project to preserve the language is called “Saterlandisch makes you wise” or “Seeltersk moaket klouk”.
- Oldest family in the world – found near Bad Grund in the Harz Mountains, the genetic family tree goes back 120 generations, i.e. to the Bronze Age, finds in the Bad Grund Cave Experience Center.
- The longest cliff in northern Germany is the 22 kilometer long Ith between Hameln and Alfeld, the 30 meter high Lüerdissener cliffs in the south is the most popular climbing area in Lower Saxony.
Did you know this about Lower Saxony? …
- The largest and most extensive world map of the Middle Ages is the Ebstorf world map, a replica of which is located in the Benedictine monastery of Ebstorf in the Lüneburg Heath. The original was destroyed in World War II, was 3.57 m in diameter, consisted of 30 palm leaves sewn together and had 2300 text and image entries. Made around 1300 in the monastery.
- Narrowest car bridge in Germany – is located in Amdorf near Leer and has only a 1.80 m wide carriageway.
- Oldest German sea bathing ship – was built in 1909 at the Meyer Werft in Papenburg. The twin-screw mail and passenger steamer drove from Leer to Borkum. The traditional ship Prinz Heinrich is being restored and is to moor in Leer in the future.
- The southernmost seaport city in Germany – is Papenburg an der Ems. There, cruise ships are built in the largest covered dry dock in the world and pulled into the open through the second largest garage door in the world (after the one in Cape Canaveral / USA).
- The oldest fen colony in Germany – is Papenburg in the northern Emsland, founded in 1630.
- The only German railway that is pulled by horses – Spiekeroog horse-drawn railway.
- The oldest hand-drawn inland ferry in Northern Europe – the Pünte in Wiltshausen near Leer, first mentioned in 1562 and still in operation today, is a listed building, can carry up to three cars and 30 passengers.
- Highest organ density – in Germany in East Friesland there are more than 150 historically significant organs from seven centuries, 60 of which were built before 1850.
- Oldest, playable organ in Northern Europe – in the church of Rysum in the Krummhörn west of Emden.
- Most beautiful spa park in Germany – in Bad Pyrmont, last award in 2005, baroque and palm garden.
- First potato hotel in the world – it is located in Wendland, in Lübeln, a round village, has wellness on offer, every room is named after the name of a potato variety.
- Third oldest porcelain manufacturer in Germany – founded in 1747 on the Braunschweig-Holzminden postal route (Meißen 1710 and Höchst 1746 were earlier).
- The oldest mining museum in Germany – is located in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, you can also see examples of the water shelf, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.
- The oldest and best preserved tunnel in German mining – from the 12th century in the Rammelsberg / Goslar ore mine.
- Lowest point in Lower Saxony – minus 2.5 meters in the Krummhörn west of Emden
- First club youth hostel in the world – opened in Neuharlingersiel.
- Germany’s most northerly stalactite cave – the Schillathöhle in the Weser Uplands.
- First allergy-friendly island in Europe – Borkum
- The oldest North Sea spa – Norderney becomes the first Royal Prussian seaside resort in 1797
- The transport technology of the car towers was awarded as the “Fastest Automatic Parking System in the World”. With a record speed of two meters per second, the new vehicles are transported from the entrance of the towers to the highest parking space in just one minute and 44 seconds. The fully automated high-bay warehouse is the fastest in the world.