Linen lock

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Front of the Leineschloss with the distinctive portico ( portico )
Castle entrance around 1900, photo by Karl Friedrich Wunder

The Leineschloss in Hanover is a classical palace complex in Hanover, in which the Lower Saxony state parliament has had its seat since 1962. It is located on Hannah-Arendt-Platz . The castle on the Leine , initially built as a half-timbered building in 1637, was expanded, rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt several times after the Second World War . From 1837 to 1866 it was the residence of the kings of Hanover .


From 1300

Today's castle stands on the site of the Minorite Monastery in Hanover called Münchehof , which was founded in 1291 and was located directly on the Leine within the city wall. The monastery was secularized during the Reformation in 1533 .

First palace construction from 1637

The castle was built on the premises of the monastery at the instigation of Duke Georg von Braunschweig and Lüneburg-Calenberg . It was based on the Welf inheritance of 1635, when he had chosen Hanover as his residence.

When the monastery was transformed into a castle in 1637, only the church remained, which was consecrated as a castle church when the work was completed in 1642 . The castle was a half-timbered building that turned out to be modest due to the economic hardship during the Thirty Years War . A kitchen garden was laid out in the neighboring Linden in 1652 , to which the mountain garden in Herrenhausen was added in 1666 .

Further conversions and occupation

The Leineschloss on the left and the Waterlooplatz facing the castle around 1850

From 1665, Duke Johann Friedrich of Braunschweig and Lüneburg had a princely crypt and a Capuchin monastery set up in the castle. At his instigation, interiors were also made more splendid. His successor, who later became the first Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Ernst August , dissolved the monastery again in 1680.

The castle stood in the narrow old town , initially squeezed in between town houses, not very representative. In 1680, Ernst August had 42 houses on the opposite side of the Leine demolished in order to create a castle for himself in the run-up to his residence . In 1690, a wooden opera house with 1,300 seats and splendid furnishings was built at his instigation (on the site of today's plenary hall of the state parliament).

In 1698, Elector Georg Ludwig , although as King George I of Great Britain resided mainly in London since 1714 , had the interior of the palace designed. Due to his numerous stays in Hanover, the court was extremely splendid. Well-known personalities visited the castle, such as George Frideric Handel as conductor of castle concerts, Tsar Peter I , Prince Eugene of Savoy and John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough .

A minor construction project was the rebuilding of the northwest chamber wing in 1742, which had burned down the year before.

The fourth construction phase was the redesign of the west facade in 1797. Because of the personal union between Great Britain and Hanover , Georg Ludwig's successors stayed less and less in the palace. As a result, it remained mostly without a regent for 123 years.

Further planned redesigns of the Leineschloss were no longer implemented due to the French occupation between 1803 and 1813. The occupation troops under General Édouard Adolphe Mortier plundered the castle, which subsequently fell into disrepair. Jérôme Bonaparte donated the building to the city and had barracks for 3,000 men set up in it. After the occupation, the castle became the seat of authorities, then again as barracks.

Over the centuries, the Leineschloss developed into a large, but architecturally inconsistent building complex. The facility was once larger than it is today. There was a chamber wing , a Leinestraße wing , a Leine wing, a castle church , a government building and several transverse wings.

Modification by Laves

Planning of the city side by Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves in 1826
Leineschloss before 1858 after redesign by Laves, steel engraving by Louis Hoffmeister after Georg Osterwald
Linen side with the winter garden added by Laves in 1840

Significant structural changes in the fifth construction phase go back to the influence of the court architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves . The increased importance of the Kingdom of Hanover due to the Congress of Vienna made a representative building for the Kingdom necessary. Laves gave the castle its classicist style through renovations between 1816 and 1844 . The linen side of the castle with its three levels and the mansard roof is more in the Baroque style . The large portico ( portico ) on Leinstraße with six Corinthian columns and a flat triangular gable is classicistic . This carries the coat of arms of the Hanoverian royal family.

As a special building element, Laves created the conservatory protruding from the line . Queen Friederike suggested him for her plants in 1839. Today the office of the Lower Saxony state parliament president is housed in the former winter garden .

The plans to complete the entire complex with a south-eastern extension (at the location of today's plenary hall) in the same style, whereby the symmetries of both the linen side with the bay window in the middle and the city side with the classical portico in the central axis would have been created, were no longer realized; the castle remained an unfinished piece of work. In 1856, King George V decided not to expand it further and instead had the Welfenschloss built, today the seat of the University of Hanover . Architecturally unfinished, the Leineschloss became the home of parliamentary bodies in 1862 that had developed from the state assembly of the Kingdom of Hanover .

The annexation of Hanover by Prussia was announced in the Leineschloss in 1866. The castle was captured and King George V went into exile . Prussian institutions were given their headquarters in the castle, including a living area for overnight stays by Kaiser Wilhelm II , who stayed here about 20 times.

20th century and 21st century

Until 1945

During the air raids on Hanover in World War II on July 26, 1943, 92 American B 17 bombers dropped around 25,000 incendiary bombs on the city center and hit the castle at around 100 locations. As a result, it burned out to the outer walls.

The fire destroyed many art treasures in the magnificent representation rooms. Among them was the knight's hall, completed in 1688 for large festivities, the walls and ceilings of which were decorated with baroque decor. The living room of the emperor, who last stayed in the Leineschloss in 1889, was also destroyed. Other important rooms were the Empress's writing and living room, the throne room and the dance hall. In another air raid on October 8, 1943, the pressure wave from an air mine caused further damage.

post war period

In 1948 the Hanoverian city planner Rudolf Hillebrecht suggested using the castle as a state parliament for the state of Lower Saxony, which was founded in 1946 . Since 1947 the parliament has been meeting in a side wing of the city ​​hall of Hanover . The Leineschloss was particularly suitable for the parliamentary plans, since the government district with its ministries was to be built in the extensive area around Waterlooplatz . From an urban development point of view, this site was ideal because of the close proximity between government and parliament and its location in the center of the city.

In 1949 the city of Hanover renounced the right to use the castle in favor of Parliament. In 1956 the state parliament decided to rebuild the Leineschloss.

Therefore, were first on December 5, 1957 from the royal crypt of the castle ruins sarcophagi of Guelph in the Welfenmausoleum transferred.

The reconstruction of the castle took place from 1957 to 1962 according to plans by Dieter Oesterlen using the outer walls and a modern design of the interior, which is also expressed by the renunciation of the historical muntin division of the windows. The plenary hall was built on the site of the destroyed opera house . The Lower Saxony state parliament has had its seat in the castle since 1962 .

21st century

Since around the year 2000 there were plans to modernize and expand the extension of the Leineschloss with the plenary hall of the state parliament designed by Dieter Oesterlen. In addition, architecture competitions were held in 2002 and 2010. On March 16, 2010, the majority of the members of the state parliament voted for the demolition of the listed annex and a new building according to plans by the Korean architect Eun Young Yi in the same place. Completion should take place in 2012. A fierce controversy over the demolition ensued in public. The new building plans led to the formation of a “Citizen Participation Initiative in the Landtag”. Due to the fear that the budget for a new building would be exceeded, it was announced in February 2011 that the demolition would not take place.

The representation hall of the Leineschloss was dedicated in 2005 to the polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , who is closely connected to the city and the castle. He lived in the castle for twelve years.

In 2007, a monument was inaugurated next to the main entrance in honor of the political poet Hoffmann von Fallersleben , who came from Lower Saxony . It is an archway with quotations and a bronze relief of the poet by Siegfried Neuenhausen .

From 2014 to 2017, the plenary hall and the entrance hall to the state parliament were completely refurbished for 58.2 million euros.

See also


  • Carl Steinmann: Hanover , in particular: The graves of the princes of the Welfenhaus. From Gertrudis, the mother of Heinrich the Lion, to Duke Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Lüneburg , Braunschweig: Verlag von Goeritz und zu Putlitz, 1885; Digitized version of the Braunschweig University Library
  • Georg Schnath : The Linen Castle. Monastery, prince seat, state parliament building. Hahn, Hanover 1962. (With contributions by Rudolf Hillebrecht and others)
  • Hinrich Ewert: A coup that wasn't one. The Leineschloss - a "Welfenepisode" , in Adelheid von Saldern et al. : Everyday life between Hindenburg and Haarmann. Another city guide through Hanover in the 20s , publisher: Geschichtswerkstatt Hannover, Hamburg: VSA-Verlag, 1987, ISBN 3-87975-397-0 , pp. 89-92
  • Gerhard Schneider: The army memorial in the Leineschloß in Hanover. At the same time a contribution to the militaria collections in the museums of Hanover. In: Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter , New Series. 41: 139-191 (1987).
  • The President of the Lower Saxony State Parliament (ed.): The linen castle through the ages. A little history of the Lower Saxony parliament building. Lower Saxony State Parliament, Hanover March 27, 2007. (PDF; 3.7 MB) The Leineschloss through the ages (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Ingeborg Flagge, Wolfgang Jean Stock: Architecture and Democracy . Build for Politics from the American Revolution to the Present. Verlag Gerd Hatje, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-7757-0402-7 , p. 82-87 .
  • Michael F. Feldkamp : The Lower Saxony State Parliament as a symbol for democratic building? In: Julia Schwanholz / Patrick Theiner (eds.), The political architecture of German parliaments, Of houses, castles and palaces, Wiesbaden 2020, ISBN 978-3-658-29330-7 , pp. 229–242.

Web links

Commons : Leineschloss  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Arnold Nöldeke : Minoritenkloster , in: Die Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Hannover Vol. 1, H. 2, Teil 1, Hannover, self-published by the provincial administration, Theodor Schulzes Buchhandlung, 1932 (Neudruck Verlag Wenner, Osnabrück 1979, ISBN 3-87898-151- 1 ), pp. 215-220
  2. Waldemar R. Röhrbein : 1957 , in: Hannover Chronik , here: p. 245 below
  3. Helmut Knocke , Hugo Thielen : Mausoleum , in: Hannover Art and Culture Lexicon , p. 92
  4. NDR 1 - Parliament approves the new building of the Landtag in Hanover ( Memento from March 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) NDR 1, March 16, 2010.
  5. ^ Jurist: The plenary hall is clearly a monument. In: Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. 4th December 2010.
  6. ^ NDR: Landtag building: delay and additional costs. Retrieved October 27, 2017 .
  7. ^ Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany: The renovated state parliament in Hanover has opened. Retrieved October 27, 2017 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 22 ′ 14 ″  N , 9 ° 44 ′ 1 ″  E