This year is dominated by the 300th anniversary of the royal Personal Union between Hannover and the United Kingdom, when both countries were ruled by the Hanoverian House of Guelph for 123 years. In addition to the major state exhibition on show at various museums, a further highlight of the celebrations is about to take the stage.
From 28 May to 27 June, Hannover city centre will be turned into a highly attractive and ‘Very British’ open-air gallery based on the concept of ‘12 locations, 12 topics, 30 days’. As from today, visitors can explore the city by following a trail of large pillars which feature the most important events that took place during the era of Personal Union, accompanied by large, striking pictures. The tops of the pillars have been specially designed for this occasion and are adorned with Union Jacks and flags bearing the Hannover logo – and two of the pillars are even topped with a royal crown. Each pillar provides information about events dealing with ‘Very British’ subjects.
Entertaining texts written by Professor Thomas Schwark (Director of Hannover Museum of History), ground posters around the pillars and a competition all encourage people to linger.
‘The Kings of the Hanoverian-British Personal Union’ decorate the pillar in Ballhofplatz, ‘We are the Elector’ proclaims the pillar at the Market Hall. Passers-by can learn ‘All about Leibniz, the mathematician and philosopher’ at the Leibniz monument in Georgsplatz. A total of twelve special pillars located around the city centre provide compact information on all important topics relating to the remarkable historic period between 1714 and 1837.
Fantastic prizes and tickets to the International Fireworks Competition in Herrenhausen Gardens can be won in a special competition about the royals: each of the pillars features a question about this subject (and the answer can be found in the text on the pillar). The solution can be worked out by visiting all twelve pillars and answering the questions correctly. Competition flyers stating the pillar locations and containing an entry form are available from the Tourist Information Centre in Ernst-August-Platz or downloaded from here.
‘Very British’ city decorations
Banners showing the five kings from the Personal Union era fly above Bahnhofstrasse, Karmarschstrasse and Georgsstrasse, giving the city a very British appearance.
Hannover’s boutiques and department stores have also come up with great ideas for creating a British flair, with displays focussing on the Personal Union in their windows and in the pedestrian precinct. At the end of May, a jury of members of the City-Gemeinschaft (an association of businesses and institutions in Hannover), HMTG (Hannover Marketing & Tourismus GmbH) and Hannover Museum of History will choose the best decoration. City-Gemeinschaft has put up a prize of 1000 euros, which the display team of the winning store will then donate to charity. Each entrant has already named the non-profit organisation it wishes to support.
Throughout Hannover there are still many traces of this special period in history around 300 years ago. A new guide to the city has therefore been published in the form of an architecture trail which leads people around the many monuments that date back to the time of the Personal Union. Many works by the court architect Georg Laves (1788-1864) still dominate the cityscape today. In front of the 31 monuments, such as the Cavalry Buildings in Georgengarten, ground posters or noticeboards feature historic pictures of the buildings.
Locals and visitors can also buy one of 40,000 specially produced folding maps that describe the buildings and their connections with the Personal Union era. All the buildings, together with explanatory notes and links to sites containing further information, are listed at www.hannover.de/architekturpfad. The ground posters also have a QR code with a link to this website.
After the end of the celebrations, the Architecture Trail project is to be kept permanently as a new guide to the city.
All information about ‘Very British’ is available here.
For a description of the Architecture Trail, click here.
For a description of the Open Air Gallery, click here.
Ernst August, Hereditary Prince of Hannover:
“Presenting the history of the Personal Union, which is also the history of my family, in such an attractive way as the state exhibition and the remarkable supporting programme is really wonderful. This campaign by Hannover Marketing & Tourismus GmbH reminds the citizens and also visitors to the city of this very special part of our shared history in a particularly vivid way. And I am convinced that it will inspire many people to find out more about this subject.”
Stefan Schostok, Mayor of the State Capital of Hannover:
“I am greatly impressed by the large number of fascinating and entertaining supporting events and activities accompanying the state exhibition ‘Hanover’s Rulers on the English Throne 1714 –1837’ to mark the anniversary of the royal Personal Union. One outstanding highlight is Hannover Marketing & Tourismus GmbH’s idea of using large advertising pillars to guide visitors around the city. This ‘Very British’ open-air gallery and the new Architecture Trail are sure to generate even more interest in the history of our city.”
Professor Thomas Schwark, Director of Hannover Museum of History
“Amazing – in the city centre, people come face to face with the impressive history of Hannover and discover how exciting the 18th century was: Great Britain became a world power – and Hanoverians reigned on its throne.”
Hans Christian Nolte, Managing Director of Hannover Marketing & Tourismus GmbH:
“We cordially invite all the people of Hannover, their guests and tourists to take a walk with a difference around the ‘British’ city of Hannover.”
Martin A. Prenzler, Managing Director of City-Gemeinschaft Hannover e.V.:
“The years in which the royals from Hannover reigned as kings on England’s throne was full of pomp and glamour and was at times absolutely thrilling – and far too few people know about this age. I am therefore delighted that the city centre will present this part of history for a whole month. The campaign is a wonderful appetizer for the fantastic state exhibition at our museums and great entertainment for visitors to the city. And, of course, there are also lots of things to be won. The members of the City-Gemeinschaft have donated attractive prizes for the competition and their shop windows prove that Hannover is not just ‘Very British’, but also very creative.”