On Sunday, 24 April 2016 Barack Obama landed in Hannover, met Angela Merkel at Herrenhausen Palace and, in the evening, opened the Hannover Messe trade show at Hannover Congress Centre. Following a tour of this exhibition on Monday morning (25 April 2016), François Hollande, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi were warmly received at Herrenhausen Palace for a joint meeting.
During his stay, the US President was able to see many of Hannover’s emblems and was clearly charmed by the appealing state capital. Among these landmarks were the Herrenhausen Gardens, which served as the backdrop for this coming together of political leaders. A garden ensemble, it consists of the baroque Great Garden (Großer Garten), the Herrenhausen Palace with its conference centre and museum, the botanic Hill Garden (Berggarten), and the George Garden (Georgengarten).
The Great Garden is one of the best-preserved and most important baroque gardens in Europe. In 2015, the Herrenhausen Gardens won the coveted European Garden Award. This site is also a major venue for events, among the highlights being the annual International Fireworks Competition and the ‘Little Festival in the Great Garden’. And, in his official state car nicknamed ‘The Beast’, President Obama had at least a glimpse of other attractions: the New Town Hall with its viewing dome; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University; the green expanse of the city forest, the Eilenriede; and Maschsee Lake, setting of the popular Maschsee Festival which draws numerous visitors to Hannover every summer. And Obama was treated to typical north German April weather with sun, showers and hailstorms! Indeed, Hannover really is worth a visit at any time of the year.