Lower Saxony

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State of Lower Saxony

Land Neddersassen ( Low German )
Lound Läichsaksen ( Sater Frisian )

Flag of Lower Saxony
Country flag
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Sachsenross # Coat of arms of Lower Saxony
State coat of arms
Basic data
Language : German ( Sater Frisian and Low German permitted for official use)
State capital : Hanover
Form of government : parliamentary republic , partially sovereign member state of a federal state
Area : 47,709.82 km²
Foundation : November 1, 1946
ISO 3166-2 : DE-NI
Website: www.niedersachsen.de
Population : 7,993,608 (December 31, 2019)
Population density : 168 inhabitants per km²
Unemployment rate : 6.2% (July 2020)
GDP (nominal): 287.96 billion euros  ( 4th , 2017)
Debt : EUR 58.718 billion (December 31, 2018)
Head of Government : Prime Minister
Stephan Weil ( SPD )
President of the State Parliament : Gabriele Andretta ( SPD )
Ruling parties: SPD and CDU
Distribution of seats in the 18th state parliament
Distribution of seats in the state parliament : Out of 137 seats:
  • SPD 55
  • CDU 50
  • Green 12
  • FDP 11
  • AfD 9
  • Last choice: 15th October 2017
    Next choice : probably 2022
    Votes in the Federal Council : 6th
    Landkreis Göttingen Landkreis Holzminden Landkreis Schaumburg Landkreis Goslar Region Hannover Landkreis Hildesheim Salzgitter Landkreis Wolfenbüttel Braunschweig Landkreis Wolfenbüttel Landkreis Peine Landkreis Hameln-Pyrmont Landkreis Helmstedt Wolfsburg Landkreis Gifhorn Landkreis Nienburg/Weser Landkreis Northeim Landkreis Diepholz Freie Hansestadt Bremen Freie Hansestadt Bremen Hamburg Hamburg Königreich der Niederlande Nordrhein-Westfalen Hessen Thüringen Schleswig-Holstein Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Brandenburg Sachsen-Anhalt Osnabrück Landkreis Osnabrück Delmenhorst Oldenburg (Oldenburg) Landkreis Wesermarsch Landkreis Vechta Landkreis Emsland Landkreis Grafschaft Bentheim Landkreis Leer Emden Landkreis Leer Landkreis Cloppenburg Landkreis Ammerland Wilhelmshaven Mellum Landkreis Aurich Landkreis Aurich Landkreis Wittmund Landkreis Aurich Landkreis Friesland Landkreis Oldenburg Landkreis Cuxhaven Landkreis Osterholz Landkreis Verden Landkreis Stade Landkreis Harburg Landkreis Lüneburg Landkreis Lüchow-Dannenberg Landkreis Heidekreis Landkreis Uelzen Landkreis Celle Landkreis Rotenburg (Wümme)Lower Saxony, administrative divisions - de - colored.svg
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    Lower Saxony  [ ˈniːdɐzaksn̩ ] ( Low German Neddersassen , Sater Frisian Läichsaksen , country code NI , abbreviation Nds. ) Is a country in the north-west of the Federal Republic of Germany . The tract of land is approximately 47,600 square kilometers of the 16 German states in second place behind Bayern and takes out of a population of around 8 million in this regard fourth place. In addition to the state capital Hanover, there are seven other large cities : Braunschweig , Oldenburg , Osnabrück , Wolfsburg , Göttingen , Hildesheim and Salzgitter . The metropolitan areas of Bremen and Hamburg extend far into Lower Saxony. Please click to listen!Play

    The current state of Lower Saxony was created after the Second World War through the union of the state of Hanover with the Free States of Braunschweig , Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe .


    Geographical location

    Lower Saxony is mostly perceived as part of Northern Germany, although there are often controversial views against this general classification for various reasons (see also the main article Northern Germany ) . Lower Saxony has a natural boundary in the north by the North Sea and the lower reaches ( the Elbe ) as well as its lower middle course. The Neuhaus district , which is northeast of the river, and the southern Elbe parts of Hamburg are excluded from this classification . As enclave surrounded by the territory of the country is out of the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven existing state of Bremen , which together with the surrounding metropolitan region Nordwest forms. In the southeast , the state border runs through the low mountain range of the Harz Mountains . The north-east and the west - around three quarters of the area in total - belong to the North German Plain , the south to the Lower Saxon mountainous region with the Weserbergland , Leinebergland , Schaumburger Land , Braunschweiger Land , Untereichsfeld , Elm and Lappwald . The Lüneburg Heath and the Elbe-Weser triangle, which is dominated by the Stader Geest , lie in the northeast of Lower Saxony . While the poorer sandy soils of the Geest predominate there, there are high-yield soils with high natural fertility in the middle east and southeast in the Loessbörden zone . Under these conditions ( loamy and sandy soils ) the country is considered to be well developed for agriculture . In the west lie the Grafschaft Bentheim , the Osnabrücker Land , the Emsland , the Oldenburger Land , the Ammerland , the Oldenburger Münsterland and - on the coast - Ostfriesland .

    The highest mountain in Lower Saxony is the Wurmberg in the Harz at 971  m above sea level. NN . For other mountains see: List of mountains and elevations in Lower Saxony . Most of the mountains and hills can be found in the southeast of the country. The deepest point of the terrain is around two and a half meters below sea level in a depression near Freepsum in East Frisia.

    The settlement, economic and infrastructural focus of Lower Saxony is in the area of ​​the cities Stadthagen - Hanover with the region Hanover - Celle - Braunschweig - Wolfsburg - Hildesheim - Salzgitter. Together with Göttingen, which is located in southern Lower Saxony, they form the core of the Hanover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg metropolitan region .

    Parts of the country

    Large areas

    Lower Saxony has a clear regional structure, which manifests itself in the landscape as well as in historical, traditional-confessional and cultural lines of development. In the formerly independent sub-areas of Braunschweig , Hanover , Oldenburg and Schaumburg , especially in their core areas, one can often find pronounced local patriotism to this day , as well as in East Frisia and in the traditionally Roman Catholic regions of Emsland , Eichsfeld and Oldenburger Münsterland . In the area around the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg, however, an orientation towards these centers dominates more often. Today's metropolitan regions, which are located in Lower Saxony, take into account the prevailing regional orientation relevant in everyday life, which is expressed, for example, in the form of economic cooperation and commuter flows.

    Former administrative and government districts

    Even today, the catchment areas of many ecclesiastical and social institutions, the boundaries of chambers of commerce and crafts and cultural institutions are based on the historical areas that existed until 1978 in the form of administrative and governmental districts and currently continue to exist in the landscapes and landscape associations. The catchment area of ​​today's regional representatives of the state government is based on the enlarged administrative districts that were created after 1978 through amalgamation . The NUTS 2 regions in Lower Saxony also correspond to the former government districts of Lower Saxony.

    Neighboring countries

    With its nine neighbors Bremen , Hamburg , Schleswig-Holstein , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Brandenburg , Saxony-Anhalt , Thuringia , Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony is the state with the most neighbors .

    German-Dutch border issue

    Lower Saxony also has a border with the Dutch provinces of Overijssel , Drenthe and Groningen . In the area of ​​the mouth of the Ems , the exact course of the border between Germany and the Netherlands is not precisely defined under international law. Although the two states agreed in the treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the regulation of cooperation in the mouth of the Ems on April 8, 1960, there are always differences in detail, for example about the approval of planned offshore wind farms .


    European watersheds


    All rivers in Lower Saxony flow directly or indirectly into the North Sea . A distinction is made between the three catchment areas of the Ems , Weser and Elbe . Only the rivers Vechte , Harle , Jade and Maade as well as some other marsh waters that drain directly into the North Sea do not belong to any of the aforementioned catchment areas.


    Lower Saxony is rich in natural lakes, which as a rule only have a shallow average depth. The largest lake is the Steinhuder Meer with an area of ​​29.1 km², followed by Dümmer with 13.5 km² and the Zwischenahner Meer with 5.5 km². The fourth largest lake is the Great Sea in East Friesland with 2.89 km².

    Various information on the 280 or so bathing waters in Lower Saxony can be found in the Lower Saxony bathing water atlas. In addition to the quality of the bathing water, there is also information about the location and the infrastructure such as parking spaces, sanitary facilities or bathing supervision. The bathing water quality is determined on the basis of the monitoring results of the last four bathing seasons. Each bathing water receives a corresponding quality category from “excellent” to “poor”.



    There are 86 dams in Lower Saxony that are  monitored by the Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management, Coastal and Nature Conservation (NLWKN). According to the dam definition, this total number also includes around 30 Upper Harz reservoir ponds of the Upper Harz ponds , which represent an essential part of the Upper Harz water shelf . The Upper Harz water shelf is considered to be the world's most important pre-industrial water management system for mining and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 .

    Most of the reservoirs in Lower Saxony are located in the Harz Mountains , which is one of the regions with the highest rainfall in Germany. There are 78 dams in the catchment areas of Oker , Innerste , Rhume , Leine and Aller . There are five barriers in the Ems , Hase and Hunte catchment areas, two barriers are in the Ilmenau area, and only one exists in the Weser catchment area in Lower Saxony . The dams are used both for the production of drinking water and for flood protection .

    The largest dam in Lower Saxony is the Okertalsperre with a storage volume of 47.4 million cubic meters. The oldest dam is the Thülsfelder dam in the district of Cloppenburg , which was built from 1924 to 1927.

    Land use

    Around 82 percent of the area in Lower Saxony consists of forest and agricultural areas. The building, open and traffic areas account for around twelve percent. The total other land use can be seen in the following table:

    Land use in 2016 Area in km² percent
    Agricultural land 28,599 60.9
    Forest areas 10,339 21.6
    Buildings and open spaces 03,475 07.3
    Traffic areas 02,429 05.1
    Bodies of water 01,119 02.3
    Recreational areas 00.436 00.9
    Operating areas 00.323 00.8
    Areas of other use 00.909 01.9
    total area 47,613 100.00

    Landscape protection areas

    At the end of 2011, there were 1,272 landscape protection areas in Lower Saxony  with a total area of ​​9,857 square kilometers. That is 18.58 percent of the total area of ​​Lower Saxony. The largest protected landscape areas are the Südheide landscape protection area with 43,775 hectares, the Harz landscape protection area in the Goslar district with 39,018 hectares and the Elbhöhen- Drawehn landscape protection area with 37,105 hectares.

    Nature reserves

    Furthermore, at the end of 2011 there were 772  nature reserves with an area of ​​1,988 square kilometers, which corresponds to a share of 3.75 percent of the total area of ​​Lower Saxony. The largest nature reserve is the Lüneburger Heide nature reserve with 23,437 hectares, followed by the Borkum Riff nature reserve with 10,000 hectares and the Esterweger Dose nature reserve with 4,747 hectares. The Lüneburg Heath nature reserve is also the oldest nature reserve in Lower Saxony. It was placed under protection on January 12, 1922.

    Nature parks

    Lower Saxony also has 13 nature parks with a total area of ​​937,721 hectares. That is 17.68 percent of the country's area. There are the nature parks Dümmer , Elbhöhen-Wendland , Elm-Lappwald , Harz , Lüneburg Heath , Münden , Terra.vita , Solling-Vogler , Steinhuder Meer , Südheide , Weserbergland , Wildeshauser Geest , Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen . The largest nature park is the Wildeshauser Geest with 155,400 hectares.

    National parks

    To protect the ecosystem and for recreation, Lower Saxony joins the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park (345,800  ha ) in an almost continuous chain of protected areas of the Wadden Sea between Blåvandshuk ( Denmark ) to Den Helder ( Netherlands ). Together with Saxony-Anhalt , the Harz National Park (approx.15,800 ha in Lower Saxony and 8,900 ha in Saxony-Anhalt) with its extensive forest areas and moors was also designated as a German national park.


    Lower Saxony belongs to the moderate climatic zone of Central Europe in the area of ​​the west wind zone and is in the transition area between the maritime climate in Western Europe and the continental climate in Eastern Europe . This transition is clearly noticeable within the country: While the north-west has an Atlantic (North Sea coast) to sub-Atlantic climate with a comparatively low temperature amplitude and a water balance surplus over the course of the year, the climate towards the south-east is increasingly influenced by the continent. This becomes clear in the greater temperature differences between the summer and winter half-year as well as in lower and unevenly distributed precipitation. This subcontinental coloration is most pronounced in the Wendland, in the Weser Uplands (Hameln to Göttingen) and in the Helmstedt area. The highest levels of precipitation are recorded in the Harz, as the Lower Saxony part represents the windward side of this low mountain range, on which incline rain , among other things, discharges. The annual mean temperature is 8 ° C (7.5 ° C in the Altes Land and 8.5 ° C in the Cloppenburg district ).


    History until the founding of the country

    Until the Congress of Vienna (1814/1815)

    The Duchy of Saxony around 1000

    The area of ​​today's federal state of Lower Saxony belonged to different territories in its history . Before 1946, the terms "Lower Saxony" and "Lower Saxony" only temporarily referred to different areas of what is now the state. The name and coat of arms of today's state refer to the Germanic tribe of the Saxons and the tribal duchy of Saxony . From around the 7th century the Saxons had occupied a settlement area that roughly corresponded to today's Lower Saxony (with the regions of Engern and Ostfalen ), Westphalia and some areas bordering to the east such as the western and northern parts of Saxony-Anhalt and also the older settlement areas in Northern Albania included. The Saxon area was divided into about 60  districts . The originally predominant language of the population in the area of Old Saxony is Saxon , a language variety of Low German . In the east of the tribal area (in today's Drawehn and Wendland ), Slavic-speaking Polabians settled since the 8th century and were soon subjugated by the Saxons. In contrast, the Frisians who settled on the North Sea coast kept their independence for centuries ( Frisian freedom ) and the majority were loosely assigned to the Duchy of Lower Lorraine .

    The permanent demarcation of the area, later known as Lower Saxony , from Westphalia and some eastern parts of the country began in the 12th century. The last Duke of Saxony to rule the entire tribal duchy was Henry the Lion . After its disempowerment in 1180, the old tribal duchy was divided, while the Saxon duchy passed first to the Ascanians , then to the Margraves of Meißen ( Wettiner , 1423). In 1260, in a contract between the Archdiocese of Cologne and the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, the areas of interest of both territories were delimited from each other and Westphalia was assigned to the Cologne sphere of influence. The border ran to the north of Nienburg along the Weser. The northern part of the Weser-Ems area was assigned to the Braunschweig-Lüneburg area of ​​influence.

    The imperial circles of the Holy Roman Empire at the beginning of the 16th century: red the Lower Saxony imperial circle, light brown the Lower Rhine-Westphalian imperial circle

    The term "Lower Saxony" was first used in a Dutch rhyming chronicle before 1300. Since the 14th century it has referred to the duchy of Saxony-Lauenburg in contrast to Saxony-Wittenberg , which shared the Saxon ducal dignity and were ruled by two branches of the Ascanians at that time. When the imperial circles were founded from 1500 onwards, the Lower Saxon Empire was distinguished from the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire . The following areas, which today partially belong to the state of Lower Saxony, were assigned to the latter: the bishopric of Osnabrück , the bishopric of Münster , the county of Bentheim , the county of Hoya , the principality of East Friesland , the principality of Verden , the county of Diepholz , the county of Oldenburg , the county of Schaumburg and the county Spiegelberg . At the same time, a distinction was made between the eastern part of the old Sachsenland and the central German principalities, later named " Upper Saxony " for dynastic reasons (see also Electorate of Saxony , History of Saxony ).

    The close historical connection between the states of the Lower Saxon Empire, located in what is now Lower Saxony, existed for centuries, especially in dynastic terms. Most of the country's predecessor territories were part of the medieval Guelph Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg . All Guelph princes called themselves dukes of Braunschweig and Lüneburg in their respective often fragmented and repeatedly united principalities .

    The "Hanseatic Departments" existed from 1811 to 1813

    Between 1806 and 1813, most of today's Lower Saxony belonged to the Rhine Confederation or Napoleonic France . After the battle of Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, East Frisia and Jeverland were incorporated into the Kingdom of Holland and thus into the French sphere of influence. In 1810 the area was immediately subordinated to the French Empire as the department Ems-Orientale . The Rheiderland in western East Frisia was spun off from East Frisia due to old Dutch claims and added to the Dutch department Ems-Occidental with the capital Groningen .

    On January 1, 1811, the three Hanseatic departments of Ober-Ems (with the capital Osnabrück ), the mouth of the Weser (with the capital Bremen ) and the mouth of the Elbe (with the capital Hamburg ) were formed. On April 27, 1811, the Lippe department with the capital Münster was added. Parts of today's Emsland belonged to this department . After Napoleon's defeat, these departments were dissolved from 1813 to 1815.

    Until the fall of the Kingdom of Hanover

    Flag of the Kingdom of Hanover with the Sachsenross

    In the course of time, two larger principalities were left east of the Weser: the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Braunschweig (after 1919 Free State / Land). Historically, there is a close bond between the noble house in Hanover ( Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg ) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland , established by the personal union of the 18th century .

    West of the Hunte , a "de-westernization process" began in 1815: after the Congress of Vienna , the areas of the later administrative districts of Osnabrück and Aurich came to the Kingdom of Hanover.

    Until the end of the Weimar Republic

    After the German War in 1866, the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and "degraded" to a Prussian province . After 1918 the province of Hanover belonged to the Free State of Prussia . In contrast, the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg , the Duchy of Braunschweig and the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe retained their territorial autonomy within Germany until November 1, 1946.

    In a lecture on September 14, 2007 Dietmar von Reeken described the emergence of a "Lower Saxony consciousness" in the 19th century, the spatial basis of which was invented as a spatial construct in the 19th century: The emerging local associations and the associated magazines carried the term "Lower Saxony" or . "Lower Saxony" as the program in the name. At the end of the 1920s, in the context of the discussions about a reform of the Reich and forced by the spreading homeland movements, a twenty-five-year dispute between “Lower Saxony” and “Westphalia” began. Administrators and politicians were responsible for this dispute; Regional scientists from different disciplines would have provided the arguments. In the 1930s , a real Lower Saxony did not yet exist, but there was an abundance of institutions that called themselves “Lower Saxony”. The motives and arguments in the disputes between “Lower Saxony” and “Westphalia” were very similar on both sides: economic interests, political objectives, cultural interests and historical aspects. In 2006, Thomas Vogtherr said in a lecture on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Lower Saxony the process: "Lower Saxony [...] is an invention of the 19th century, which became a political reality through many intermediate stops as a result of the Second World War."

    According to Vogtherr, anyone who spoke of "Lower Saxony" after 1866 also included an anti-Prussian tip. Anyone who invoked the values ​​of their Lower Saxony homeland wanted to distance themselves from Berlin centralism. Anyone who claimed the extension of the term Lower Saxony to Oldenburg or Braunschweig was attempting to take the residents of these still independent territories into an anti-Prussian collective liability. In the years after 1866, the number of books with the keyword "Lower Saxony" in their titles rose almost explosively.

    In 1920 the entire Weser-Ems area (including the city of Bremen ) in what is now Lower Saxony was assigned to a constituency association IX (Lower Saxony) . This can be seen as an indication that at that time the western administrative districts of the Prussian province of Hanover and the state of Oldenburg were perceived as "Lower Saxony". In 1927 the “Landesarbeitsamt Lower Saxony” (as the predecessor of today's “Regional Directorate Lower Saxony-Bremen of the Federal Employment Agency ”) was responsible for the same area .

    The forerunners of today's state of Lower Saxony are states that were geographically and partly also institutionally interlinked at an early stage. The county of Schaumburg (not to be confused with the principality of Schaumburg-Lippe ) around the cities of Rinteln and Hessisch Oldendorf belonged to the Prussian province of Hessen-Nassau until 1932 , which also included large parts of today's state of Hesse including the cities of Kassel , Wiesbaden and Frankfurt am Main included; In 1932, however, the county of Schaumburg became part of the Prussian province of Hanover.

    Also before 1945, namely in 1937, the city of Cuxhaven was completely incorporated into the Prussian province of Hanover by the Greater Hamburg Act , so that when the state of Lower Saxony was founded on November 1, 1946, only four states had to be merged. With the exception of Bremen and the areas that had been ceded to the SBZ after 1945 , all areas were assigned to the state of Lower Saxony in 1946, which had already been combined in 1920 to form the "Lower Saxony constituency association".

    Until the end of World War II

    In 1934, Hermann Lübbing spoke about the future of the state of Oldenburg. He sees the state of Oldenburg in the role of a courted bride with two admirers, namely the supporters of a state of Lower Saxony and the supporters of a Westphalian in the tradition of the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire. Lübbing reproaches both groups that they did not respect the circumstances, i. H. Firstly, the existing political boundaries associated with traditions, secondly, the natural boundaries ("low" references to the North German Plain; the inclusion of further low mountain ranges is missing; there is also no coherent natural spatial explanation for the eastern border of Lower Saxony) and thirdly, the tribal boundaries (Frisians are not Saxons). According to Lübbing, the “bride Oldenburg” reserved “the sacrifice of her independence for a new German Reich” (with the National Socialists as a “bridegroom” , so to speak ). Apparently Lübbing in 1934 advocated neither a “Greater Hanover” nor a “Greater Westphalia” as a new home for the Oldenburgs, but rather a kind of “Greater Oldenburg”, which is said to have been rejected at the Vienna Congress in 1815, but in form of the Weser-Ems-Gaues of the NSDAP in 1925 (within the party) and 1933 (decisive for the state organization). This Gau actually represented a kind of "Greater Oldenburg" insofar as both Gauleiter, Carl Röver and Paul Wegener , came from the state of Oldenburg and as from the city of Oldenburg, where the National Socialists were able to form their first state government in the German Reich in 1932, the previously independent city of Bremen should also be administered. However, the Gauleiter Weser-Ems was only Reichsstatthalter in the state of Oldenburg and in the Hanseatic city of Bremen . The position of a Reich Governor in the administrative districts of Aurich and Osnabrück was held by the President of the Prussian Province of Hanover, so that Röver and Wegener's influence on these parts of the Weser-Ems Gau remained limited.

    After the end of World War II

    British zone of occupation since June 8, 1947

    After the Second World War , north-west Germany was largely in the British zone of occupation . With the ordinance No. 46 of the British military government of 23 August 1946 "concerning the dissolution of the provinces of the former state of Prussia in the British zone and their new formation as independent states" , the state of Hanover was initially established on the territory of the Prussian province of Hanover . Its Prime Minister Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf had already suggested the formation of a state of Lower Saxony in June 1945, which should cover as large areas as possible in the middle of the British zone. In addition to the areas that were later actually assigned to Lower Saxony, in a memorandum from April 1946, Kopf called for the inclusion of the former Prussian district of Minden-Ravensberg (i.e. the Westphalian cities of Bielefeld and Herford and the Westphalian districts of Minden , Lübbecke , Bielefeld , Herford and Halle ( Westf.) ), The district of Tecklenburg and the state of Lippe . Kopf's plan is ultimately based on a draft for the reform of the German Empire submitted by Georg Schnath and Kurt Brüning at the end of the 1920s . According to Thomas Vogtherr, the “Guelph-like character” of this design did not facilitate the development of a “Lower Saxony identity” after 1946.

    An alternative model propagated by politicians in Oldenburg and Braunschweig envisaged founding a separate state "Weser-Ems" in the northwest, which was to consist of the state of Oldenburg, the Hanseatic city of Bremen and the administrative districts of Aurich and Osnabrück. Some representatives of the state of Oldenburg even called for the Hanoverian districts of Diepholz , Syke , Osterholz-Scharmbeck and Wesermünde to be included in the newly founded state of "Weser-Ems". Likewise, a state of Braunschweig, enlarged by the Hildesheim administrative district and the Gifhorn district , was to be retained in the southeast . If this plan had been implemented, the area of ​​today's Lower Saxony would consist of three countries of roughly the same size.

    The district council of the district of Vechta protested on June 12, 1946 against an assignment of the district to the "Greater Hanover". In the event of the state of Oldenburg being dissolved, the Vechta district should rather be integrated into the Westphalia area. In political Catholic circles in particular , the opinion was widespread that the Oldenburger Münsterland and the administrative district of Osnabrück should be added to a newly founded state, "Westphalia".

    Since the founding of the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hanover on August 23, 1946, the northern and eastern borders of North Rhine-Westphalia have largely been identical to the corresponding borders of the Prussian province of Westphalia . Only the state of Lippe was not assigned to North Rhine-Westphalia until January 1947. As a result, a large part of the areas to the left of the Upper Weser became North Rhine-Westphalian.

    Areas of present-day Lower Saxony in the British zone of occupation (1946)

    Ultimately, at the meeting of the Zone Advisory Council on September 20, 1946, Kopf's proposal regarding the division of the British zone of occupation into three territorial states proved to be a majority. Since this division of their zone of occupation into relatively large countries also corresponded to the interests of the British, Ordinance No. 55 of the British military government was issued on November 8, 1946 , by which the state of Lower Saxony with the capital Hanover was established retroactively to November 1, 1946 . The state emerged from the union of the states of Braunschweig , Free State of Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe with the previously formed state of Hanover. There were exceptions:

    Demands by Dutch politicians, according to which the Netherlands should receive German territories east of the German-Dutch border as reparations , were largely shelved at the London Germany Conference on March 26, 1949. In fact, only around 1.3 square kilometers in western Lower Saxony were ceded to the Netherlands in 1949.

    History of the State of Lower Saxony

    post war period

    Ordinance No. 55

    The first Lower Saxony state parliament met on December 9, 1946 . He was not elected, but appointed by the British occupation administration ( appointed Landtag ). On the same day, the state parliament elected Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf (SPD), the former Hanover government president, as the first prime minister. Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf remained - interrupted by the reign of Heinrich Hellweges (1955–1959) - until 1961 as head of government in Lower Saxony. On April 13, 1951, the “ Provisional Lower Saxony Constitution ” came into force.

    The most important problem in the first post-war years was the large number of refugees from the east of the collapsed Greater German Reich who sought refuge in the large area. Lower Saxony was at the western end of the direct escape route from East Prussia and had the longest border with the Soviet occupation zone. On October 3, 1950, Lower Saxony took over the sponsorship of the very numerous refugees from Silesia . According to official figures, around 730,000 apartments were still missing in 1950.

    During the time of the division of Germany , the main load of transit traffic to West Berlin was handled via the Lower Saxony checkpoint in Helmstedt to the German Democratic Republic .

    Under the sign of the Cold War , Lower Saxony was the focus of NATO's stationing for decades due to its location on the “ Iron Curtain ” and the strategic importance of the North German Plain ; In addition to British and Dutch troops, strong army units of the German Bundeswehr have been stationed here since the late 1950s .


    The Volkswagen group, which began again with the production of civilian vehicles in 1945 under British supervision, and in 1949 passed into the ownership of the newly founded West German state (FRG) and the state of Lower Saxony, had an economic impact on the state . Overall, Lower Saxony, with its large, rural area and its few urban centers, has long been one of the structurally weak regions of the Federal Republic. In 1960, 20 percent of the workforce was employed in agriculture. In the rest of Germany, this value was 14 percent. Even in economically favorable times, the unemployment rate in Lower Saxony remained consistently higher than the national average.

    In 1961 Georg Diederichs took over the post of Minister-President of Lower Saxony as the successor to Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf. He was replaced in 1970 by Alfred Kubel . The disputes over the Gorleben nuclear waste storage facility , which began during the reign of Prime Minister Ernst Albrecht (1976–1990), have played an important role in Lower Saxony state and federal politics since the late 1970s.

    After reunification

    In 1990, Gerhard Schröder took up the post of Prime Minister. On June 1, 1993, the new constitution of the state came into force, which replaced the "Provisional Lower Saxony Constitution" of 1951. For the first time, it enables referendums and referendums and anchors environmental protection as a state principle.

    The former Hanoverian office of Neuhaus with the former municipalities of Dellien , Haar , Kaarßen , Neuhaus (Elbe) , Stapel , Sückau, Sumte and Tripkau as well as the districts of Neu Bleckede, Neu Wendischthun and Stiepelse of the municipality of Teldau and the historic Hanoverian area in the Bohldamm forest district in of the municipality of Garlitz moved from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to the state of Lower Saxony ( Lüneburg district ) with effect from June 30, 1993 . Neu Bleckede and Neu Wendischthun were incorporated into the town of Bleckede again on the same day , to which they had belonged until 1945. From the other communities and districts, the new unified community Amt Neuhaus was formed on October 1, 1993 .

    In 1998 Gerhard Glogowski replaced Gerhard Schröder, who had moved to the Federal Chancellery. Since he was associated with various scandals in his hometown of Braunschweig, he resigned in 1999 and was replaced by Sigmar Gabriel .

    Recent developments

    From 2003 until he accepted the election as Federal President in 2010, Christian Wulff was Prime Minister of Lower Saxony. The Osnabrücker stood as his successor David McAllister before a CDU led coalition government with the FDP.

    On January 1, 2005, the four administrative districts into which Lower Saxony had been divided since 1978 were dissolved. These were the administrative districts of Braunschweig , Hanover , Lüneburg and Weser-Ems . The administrative district of Braunschweig, in turn, was formed in 1978 from the amalgamation of the administrative district of Braunschweig with parts of the former administrative district of Hildesheim and parts of the old district of Lüneburg, the "new" administrative district of Hanover from the expansion of the old district of Hanover to include parts of the former administrative district of Hildesheim, the administrative district of Lüneburg from the merger of the largest Part of the old district of Lüneburg with the former administrative district of Stade , the administrative district of Weser-Ems emerged from the amalgamation of the administrative district of Oldenburg (Oldb) with the former administrative districts of Aurich and Osnabrück . Instead of the district governments, government representatives were set up for special tasks in Braunschweig, Hanover, Lüneburg and Oldenburg.

    After the state elections in January 2013 , a government was formed under Stephan Weil from the SPD. Instead of the government representatives for the areas of the former government districts, so-called state representatives have been installed as regional contacts for the state government , who have expanded competencies. So there are no more administrative districts.

    On August 4, 2017, the move of MP Elke Twesten from the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen parliamentary group to the CDU led to a government crisis. This was ended after new elections with the formation of a government of the SPD and CDU under the leadership of Stephan Weil.

    Population development

    Population development from 1987 to the end of June 2018 according to the table below

    Figures based on the extrapolation of the 1987 census:

    year 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    Residents 7,163,602 7,577,520 7,845,398 7,980,472 7,971,684 7,947,244 7,928,815 7,918,293 7,913,502

    Figures after updating the results of the 2011 census:

    year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
    Residents 7,774,253 7,778,995 7,790,559 7,826,739 7,926,599 7,945,685 7,962,775 7,978,917

    Source: State Statistical Office (collected as of December 31; 2018 value for June 30)


    Constitutional law

    The Lower Saxony constitution dates from May 19, 1993 and came into force on June 1, 1993. In contrast to that of other state constitutions, history is strongly linked to the development of Germany.

    In 1951 a transitional constitution (Provisional Lower Saxony Constitution) was passed, which regulated the state foundations in the period up to German reunification . Since the Provisional Lower Saxony Constitution could refer to the Basic Law , a catalog of basic rights was dispensed with. With the reunification of Germany, the provisional reservation no longer applies. The new Lower Saxony constitution of 1993 was built on the basis of the Provisional Lower Saxony Constitution.


    State politics

    Distribution of seats in the state parliament (2017)
    The Lower Saxony state parliament with its seat in the Leineschloss in Hanover

    The last change of government took place on February 19, 2013 after the state elections on January 20, 2013 . The CDU became the strongest parliamentary group, but together with the Greens the SPD won a slim majority of one vote in the newly elected state parliament. The SPD and the Greens then formed the new state government with Stephan Weil as prime minister, which was also confirmed in office by the state parliament. Thus the previous government under David McAllister was voted out. Since August 4, 2017, the government has been without a parliamentary majority because a Green MP had left the government faction and converted to the CDU. As a result, state elections were scheduled for October 15, 2017 . Since the SPD emerged from the election as the strongest parliamentary group, the incumbent Prime Minister Stephan Weil started coalition negotiations with the CDU.

    The Prime Ministers of Lower Saxony :

    1946–1955: Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf SPD
    1955–1959: Heinrich Hellwege DP
    1959–1961: Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf SPD
    1961–1970: Georg Diederichs SPD
    1970–1976: Alfred Kubel SPD
    1976–1990: Ernst Albrecht CDU
    1990-1998: Gerhard Schröder SPD
    1998–1999: Gerhard Glogowski SPD
    1999-2003: Sigmar Gabriel SPD
    2003-2010: Christian Wulff CDU
    2010-2013: David McAllister CDU
    since 2013: Stephan Weil SPD

    public finances

    Lower Saxony's new debt since 1990 under the SPD and CDU in million euros

    As of December 31, 2006, the total debt was determined to be 48.7 billion euros. Of this, the securities debt amounted to around 20.5 billion euros, while the debts from borrower's note loans alone with domestic banks and savings banks amounted to around 26.4 billion euros.

    In 2007, EUR 950 million in new debt was taken out. For 2008, a new debt of 550 million euros was planned and achieved. The reduction in new debt to EUR 0 planned for 2010 could not be implemented due to the economic and financial crisis. Instead, new debt of EUR 2,300 million took place in 2009.

    The Association of Taxpayers Lower Saxony and Bremen e. V. maintains a debt clock in the Lower Saxony state parliament in Hanover , which shows the increase in public debt in Lower Saxony. After a peak of 93 euros per second in 2002, debts were reduced in the following years from 90 euros per second in 2003 to 30 euros per second in 2007 and to 17 euros per second in 2008. In 2010 the value should actually be reduced to 0 euros per second and thus the new debt should be brought to a standstill. Due to the economic and financial crisis, the value initially rose to the record amount of 105 euros per second, and there has been no new debt since 2016.

    year New borrowing
    in EUR million
    1990 0.538 1
    1991 0.857 1
    1992 1,321 1
    1993 1,069 1
    1994 0.854 1
    1995 0.821 1
    1996 0.744 1
    1997 0.435 1
    year New borrowing
    in EUR million
    2002 2,949
    2003 2,844
    2004 2,499
    2005 2.149
    2006 1,133
    2007 0.950
    2008 0.550
    2009 2,300
    year New borrowing
    in EUR million
    2010 2,300
    2011 1,950
    2012 0.720
    2013 0.700
    2014 0.250
    2015 0.224
    2016 0.000
    1 D-Mark converted into euros

    Federal and European policy

    In the Federal Council , Lower Saxony, like Bavaria , Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia , has the highest possible number of six votes. Lower Saxony is represented by Prime Minister Stephan Weil , his deputy, Minister for Economics, Labor, Transport and Digitization Bernd Althusmann , Minister of Justice Barbara Havliza , Minister of Finance Reinhold Hilbers , Minister for Federal and European Affairs Birgit Honé and Minister for Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection Olaf Lies . The work in the Federal Council is coordinated by the Representation of the State of Lower Saxony at the federal level .

    66 MPs represent the citizens of Lower Saxony in the German Bundestag : 31 from the CDU, 25 from the SPD, six from Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and four from the Left Party.

    The European Parliament has ten members from Lower Saxony: four from the CDU, two from the SPD, two from Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and one each from the FDP and the Left Party. In Brussels, the State of Lower Saxony maintains the representation of the State of Lower Saxony to the European Union to coordinate European policy and represent it .

    Internal security

    Police Star Lower Saxony

    The Lower Saxony police force is the state police force of Lower Saxony . It reports to the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport . As the executive body of the state of Lower Saxony, it has the task of ensuring public safety and order within the framework of police law . As a law enforcement authority , it takes action against unlawful and criminal acts, identifies offenders and analyzes patterns of crime. Another task is the defense against threats in the area of internal security . As part of traffic monitoring, it regulates traffic flows and plays a key role in emergency assistance ( emergency calls ). Furthermore, the police, in close cooperation with the judiciary and other authorities for crime prevention to possible offenses in advance to detect and prevent.

    The Lower Saxony State Police was born on April 1, 1951, when the Lower Saxony Law on Public Safety and Order ( SOG ) came into force. Previously, in the post-war period, due to the British occupation, the police were organized according to their model. During the major police reform of 1994, the protection and criminal police divisions were merged. The current (2011) structure of the police organization in Lower Saxony arose from a major reorganization in 2004. The police were removed from the four district governments (Braunschweig, Hanover, Weser-Ems, Lüneburg) that were dissolved in 2004 . The present police headquarters in the area emerged from this.

    There are around 500 police stations in Lower Saxony  , with round-the-clock shift work at 140 locations . Around 23,000 people are employed, of which around 18,500 are civil servants  .

    State coat of arms

    The current draft of the coat of arms of Lower Saxony comes from the in Isernhagen born and later in Hannover living heraldry and crest painter peoples Gustav , who is also the emblem of Großburgwedel , Melle village , Wunstorf and many other towns has designed. In 1946 the Sachsenross was chosen to be the unofficial coat of arms of the state and five years later the state parliament confirmed it on April 3, 1951. The state coat of arms was anchored in the provisional Lower Saxony constitution of April 13, 1951 and confirmed again in the Lower Saxony constitution, which came into force on June 1, 1993.

    Coat of arms of Lower Saxony
    Blazon : "The state of Lower Saxony has a semicircular shield with a jumping white / heraldic silver horse in the red field as the state coat of arms."
    Justification of the coat of arms: The coat of arms goes back to the Guelph dukes who wanted to use the Sachsenross to document their claim to the territory of the old Saxons at the time of the famous Duke Widukind . In the years that followed, the Sachsenross served as the coat of arms of various rulers. It found its way into the coats of arms of the electorate as well as the kingdom and province of Hanover , but also of the duchy and the Free State of Braunschweig .

    Country flag


    The country has the national colors black-red-gold with the national coat of arms in the national flag.

    In view of the different and traditional historical colors of the states from which Lower Saxony emerged, the state founders agreed on the black, red and gold state flag with the state coat of arms as a compromise.


    The state of Lower Saxony maintains several international partnerships. Within Europe there is a partnership with the region Haute-Normandie in France , the Netherlands and the provinces Greater Poland and Lower Silesia in Poland . Outside Europe, partnerships exist in Anhui Province in the People's Republic of China , Tokushima Prefecture in Japan , the Perm and Tyumen regions in Russia, and the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa .


    Lower Saxony does not have an official state anthem. The Lower Saxony song is sometimes viewed as the unofficial anthem of the state of Lower Saxony . It was written and composed by Hermann Grote as early as 1926, around 20 years before the country was founded in 1946 . The original text by Grote is often criticized under various aspects and described as politically incorrect , so that various adapted versions of the text have since emerged. What they all have in common is that they couldn't prevail.


    The Lower Saxony State Medal

    The highest award given by the State of Lower Saxony is the Lower Saxony State Medal . The Lower Saxony Order of Merit is awarded for services in state politics . In addition, the Prime Minister has been awarding the Lower Saxony State Prize since 2002 , which was formerly known as the “Lower Saxony Prize”. Lower Saxony awards the Praetorius Music Prize as a music prize and the Nicolas Born Prize every year as a literary prize .


    Administrative division

    The country is divided into 158 cities, 51 towns and 762 municipalities (684 of them in joint municipalities ) as well as 25 municipality-free areas, which form a total of 37 rural districts, one region and eight independent cities.

    Biggest cities

    Metropolitan regions in Germany

    Lower Saxony has eight large cities , of which the state capital Hanover with 536,925 clearly has the most inhabitants. The second largest city of Braunschweig has less than half as many inhabitants with 249,406. The cities of Oldenburg with 169,077 inhabitants, Osnabrück with 165,251, Wolfsburg with 124,371, Göttingen with 118,911, Salzgitter with 104,291 inhabitants and Hildesheim with 101,693 follow in the other ranks .

    Metropolitan areas

    There are three metropolitan regions in Lower Saxony , of which the Hanover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg metropolitan region is entirely in Lower Saxony. In addition to Hamburg, the Hamburg metropolitan region also includes areas of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. The north-west metropolitan region includes the Bremen and Bremerhaven urban areas. A metropolitan region is a densely populated metropolitan area that is viewed as the engine of the social, societal and economic development of a country. In Germany, metropolitan regions were first defined in 1995 by the Ministerial Conference for Spatial Planning .

    Administrative reforms

    Completed administrative reforms

    In the course of the local reorganization / regional reform in the 1960s to 1980s, the number of urban districts was reduced from 16 to nine and the number of rural districts from 60 to 38. Formerly of over 4000 municipalities were made around 2000, which is now to be united communities or member communities of joint communities organized. The reforms carried out were controversial in the population and in politics and also led to numerous complaints before the State Court and the Federal Constitutional Court .

    The following independent cities were incorporated into districts: Celle , Cuxhaven , Goslar , Göttingen , Hameln , Hildesheim and Lüneburg . The following districts were dissolved: Alfeld (Leine) , Aschendorf-Hümmling , Bersenbrück , Blankenburg , Braunschweig , Bremervörde , Burgdorf , Duderstadt , Einbeck , Fallingbostel , Gandersheim , Grafschaft Hoya , Grafschaft Schaumburg , Hildesheim-Marienburg , Land Hadeln , Lingen , Melle , Meppen , Münden , Neustadt am Rübenberge , north , Schaumburg-Lippe , Soltau , Springe , Wesermünde , Wittlage , Wittmund and Zellerfeld . The Wittmund district was re-established in 1980. In 2001, the district of Hanover and the city of Hanover were merged to form the Hanover region .

    Until 1978, Lower Saxony was divided into the administrative districts of Oldenburg and Braunschweig , which emerged from the previous states of the same name, and the administrative districts of Stade , Lüneburg , Hanover , Hildesheim , Osnabrück and Aurich , which had previously emerged from the Hanoverian districts . The formerly independent state of Schaumburg-Lippe belonged to the Hanover administrative district until 1978. Historically, these administrative instances often go back to much older predecessor institutions. Their borders and catchment areas still play a role in many institutions today. In 1978 there was a reorganization into four administrative districts, which were dissolved on January 1, 2005. These were the administrative districts of Braunschweig , Hanover , Lüneburg and Weser-Ems . Their authorities, the district governments, have been disbanded. The responsibilities of the district governments have been redistributed to other state authorities and corporations. The task of the “supra-local municipal examination” was transferred to the Lower Saxony municipal examination institute, which was founded in 2005 . In 2014, the new SPD-led state government introduced the institution of the state commissioner to represent the state government in the regions.

    On October 31, 2016, the districts of Osterode am Harz and Göttingen merged to form the new district of Göttingen .

    Areas of responsibility of the regional representatives

    In 2014, the state government appointed regional officers to replace the previous government representatives. The areas of responsibility of the regional representatives are based on the boundaries of the administrative districts, which existed between 1978 and 2004.

    Planned administrative reforms

    In particular since the dissolution of the administrative districts in 2004, there have been repeated suggestions to close the gap that has arisen (a medium-sized regional authority between the state and the municipalities is now missing). These proposals include, for example, the amalgamation of rural districts, which will then become comparable regional authorities based on the example of the Hanover region, which was created in 2001. Specific proposals include the merger of the Lüchow-Dannenberg district with one or both of its neighboring districts in Lower Saxony, a merger of the districts in the Braunschweig area, the merger of the Schaumburg, Hameln-Pyrmont and Holzminden districts in the Weser Uplands, reforms in the coastal area and in the Lower Saxony area around Hamburg and Bremen. A merger of the rural districts of Rotenburg (Wümme) and Verden has also been proposed several times, but is particularly rejected by local Union politicians. A merger of the city of Wilhelmshaven with the neighboring district of Friesland , which was discussed from December 2012, was rejected by the municipalities involved by a large majority in December 2013 , despite a positive opinion from the municipal community center for administrative management (KGSt) . The merger talks between the district councils of the districts of Göttingen and Osterode am Harz about the formation of a new district of Göttingen on November 1, 2016, were sealed with a change of territory agreement on February 1, 2014, which had been positive from the start . At the same time, merger talks were held between the districts of Hildesheim and Peine, which were ended in July 2015 due to a failed vote in the district of Hildesheim.

    State merger and relationship to Bremen

    A merger of the states of Lower Saxony and Bremen has been regularly discussed for years . The Prime Minister of Lower Saxony last proposed such a merger at the beginning of 2009. A merger traditionally meets with rejection, especially in Bremen. In the relationship between Bremen and Lower Saxony, there have been repeated irritations in the past, which were often based on aspects of spatial and economic planning in Lower Saxony's surrounding municipalities, which Bremen saw as unfavorable, where large industrial areas were created in competition with Bremen's economy (including the emergence of bacon belts ). On the other hand, the Lower Saxony side often criticizes so-called “Bremen solo efforts” in infrastructure planning. In this respect, the relationship between Bremen and Lower Saxony is marked by far greater dissonances than, for example, that between Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Individual projects, on the other hand, are characterized by cooperation, for example the introduction of the regional S-Bahn Bremen / Lower Saxony , the implementation of the Northwest metropolitan region , the JadeWeserPort and the extension of tram lines from Bremen to the Lower Saxony area. In 2010, the then Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, McAllister , spoke in favor of cooperation between the federal states instead of a merger. Although he does not reject a merger, the initiative for this must come from Bremen, which is not to be expected.

    Economy and Infrastructure

    Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg
    Former Haverlahwiese opencast iron ore mine operated by Salzgitter AG, April 27, 1961


    gross domestic product

    In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union , expressed in purchasing power standards, Lower Saxony achieved an index of 114.0 (EU-28: 100.0 Germany: 126.0) in 2014. Lower Saxony is above the EU average, but below the value of Germany.

    In 2019, the economic output in Lower Saxony measured against the gross domestic product was around 307.036 billion euros. In 2007, gross value added was distributed across the three economic sectors as follows :

    Economic sector Volume in billion euros Percentage
    Primary sector 003.1 01.6
    Secondary sector 056.6 30.6
    Tertiary sector 125.5 67.8

    In 2010, the economic growth in Lower Saxony was 3.4% compared to the previous year, in the first half of 2011 a growth of 3.3% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year was recorded.

    labour market

    The unemployment rate was 4.8% in November 2019 (also 4.8% nationwide). However, there are clear differences between the individual districts and urban districts: Wilhelmshaven had the highest unemployment rates in November 2019 at 9.6%, while the districts of Emsland and Grafschaft Bentheim had the lowest unemployment rates at 2.3% each. Nordhorn has had the lowest unemployment rate among the agency districts in the west of the country for years; it was 2.3% in November 2019, while the Hanover agency district had the highest unemployment rate at 6.2% at the same time.

    The ten most important locations of employment subject to social insurance are ( place of work ):

    city social insurance
    June 30, 2012
    June 30, 2007
    Commuter balance
    June 30, 2012
    Job density 2
    Hanover 288,720 0+ 7.49% +107.264 0872
    Braunschweig 115,590 0+ 9.67% 0+25,961 0743
    Wolfsburg 112,764 + 25.02% 0+65,298 1522
    Osnabrück 085.966 0+6.63% 0+31,076 0856
    Oldenburg 074.176 + 13.49% 0+19,028 0715
    Goettingen 063,643 0+ 8.86% 0+25,648 0806
    Salzgitter 044,963 0−0.14% 0+10,686 0758
    Hildesheim 043,626 0+ 4.92% 0+12,162 0698
    Luneburg 035,323 0+ 9.08% 0+11,311 0771
    Celle 033,465 + 11.97% 0+11.206 0803
    2Jobs subject to social security contributions per 1000 inhabitants between the ages of 18 and 64; Figures as of May 9, 2011 according to the 2011 census

    Structural funding

    The economic focus region of Lower Saxony is in the Hanover area. The European metropolitan region of Hanover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg serves to further strengthen this economically strong region. In contrast, the large, rural areas in the north-east and west of Lower Saxony, i.e. the Elbe-Weser triangle , the Lüneburg Heath , the Central Weser region and parts of the coastal region, have long been structurally weak areas - some of these areas border directly on the state of Bremen with the major cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. Exceptions are - as a rural region outside the Hanover area with economic growth - the Oldenburger Münsterland , the Emsland and the Grafschaft Bentheim . There have been and are now a number of measures to improve the economic situation in structurally weak areas. This includes


    In 2012, Volkswagen AG ( Wolfsburg ) and Continental AG ( Hanover ) were among the largest companies in Lower Saxony - both in terms of their value added . TUI AG took third place ahead of the Talanx  AG insurance group and Salzgitter AG . In sixth place was the energy supplier EWE AG, followed by the Norddeutsche Landesbank .

    Volkswagen AG (Wolfsburg) and Continental AG (Hanover) are represented in the most important German share index, the DAX , which reflects the development of the 30 largest and best-selling German shares. The 20 most important listed companies in Lower Saxony are listed in the NISAX20 share index , which was launched in 2002 by the Norddeutsche Landesbank NORD / LB and is calculated by Deutsche Börse .


    Potato harvest with a full harvester near Krummendeich ( district of Stade )
    The second largest sugar factory in Europe in Uelzen

    The agriculture is still very different conditions in Lower Saxony. The soils in the Hildesheimer Börde and between the Harz and the Mittelland Canal are characterized by very high numbers of soils and are particularly suitable for the cultivation of sugar beet and grain . In the Lüneburg Heath, the soil is barren; The main products are potatoes and asparagus as a specialty . In the marshland on the coast, on the other hand, livestock farming dominates .

    Besides crops are canola , sugar beet , lettuce (especially lettuce ), cabbage , carrots ( carrots , carrots ) and thanks to the sand-containing soil asparagus grown in the country. The kale culture in Lower Saxony is also known (in south-eastern regions also the variant brown cabbage ). In addition to growing vegetables and raising livestock , fruit growing (especially in the north, Altes Land ) is an important branch of the economy .

    Accordingly, this is groundwater with pesticides loaded. 2015 were in the country 13 groundwater bodies in a "poor chemical status" .

    In addition, agribusiness is of great importance in Lower Saxony as an economic stage upstream and downstream of agriculture.


    The industrial center of Lower Saxony is located in room Hannover - Braunschweig - Wolfsburg with several automobile plants - including the main plant Wolfsburg of Volkswagen AG , the works of Braunschweig and Salzgitter as well as the commercial vehicle plant in Hanover . There is also the steel industry based in Peine and Salzgitter . In mechanical and plant engineering , the areas of agricultural engineering , wind energy plants , biogas plants and offshore supplies are also of particular importance.

    Furthermore, Lower Saxony is Germany's leader in the mining and recycling of raw materials such as peat , sand and gravel .

    The processing of agricultural products and food production is also one of the major branches of industry in Lower Saxony.

    Economy on the coast

    Halls of the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg

    In addition to tourism, the focus on the North Sea coast is fish processing , while the importance of shipbuilding has declined sharply since the shipyard crisis .

    The nine seaports of Brake, Cuxhaven, Emden, Leer, Nordenham, Oldenburg, Papenburg, Stade and Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony are organized as Seaports of Lower Saxony . In 2014, 46.4 million tonnes of goods were handled through these ports. The turnover of new vehicles in the seaports of Lower Saxony was 1,702,706 vehicles in 2014 (2013: 1,597,945). The port of Emden in particular also functions as a shipping port for the VW vehicles built in the local plant (1.25 million cars in 2011), but new vehicles are also handled in Cuxhaven. Oldenburg is an important port location for handling agricultural goods. Business with offshore wind turbines is also of growing importance for the seaports of Lower Saxony . Due to the expected growth in the volume of goods traffic, the seaports of Lower Saxony will be expanded further; investments of around 60 million euros were planned for 2012/2013.

    In shipbuilding in Lower Saxony , the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg is particularly important.

    Bundeswehr as an economic factor

    The Bundeswehr will continue to be an important employer in Lower Saxony in the future . With more than 55,000 soldiers and civilian employees, Lower Saxony is likely to be the state with the largest number of Bundeswehr employees even after the planned reduction in the German armed forces, even though severe cuts are to be feared for Lower Saxony.

    The Bergen military training area in the southern part of the Lüneburg Heath is the largest training area in Europe at 284 km². It was set up by the German Wehrmacht from 1935 and after the end of World War II in 1945 it was taken over by the British occupation forces and continuously expanded. The area has also been used by the German armed forces and NATO armed forces since the 1960s .

    Large parts of the German Navy are stationed in Wilhelmshaven at the Heppenser Groden naval base . Wilhelmshaven is today the largest location of the German Navy and the second largest location of the Bundeswehr. After the implementation of the new Bundeswehr stationing concept in 2011, Wilhelmshaven will in future be by far the largest location for the Bundeswehr.

    The Air Force is represented at the Diepholz , Wittmundhafen and Wunstorf air bases . In addition, the army aviation operates the Bückeburg , Celle and Faßberg airfields and the naval aviation operates the Nordholz air base .

    Insurance industry

    The insurance industry traditionally occupies an important position among the branches in Lower Saxony. That is u. a. due to the importance of Hanover as a major insurance location with over 12,500 employees. From a regional perspective, seven of the eleven company headquarters are located in the state capital Hanover, which also unites the top 5 companies. These include Talanx including Hannover Re , the VHV Group , VGH Insurance , Swiss Life Germany (Group headquarters in Zurich) and Concordia Insurance .

    Energy industry

    Three wind turbines with a transformer platform in the first German offshore wind farm, alpha ventus

    Two nuclear power plants are in operation in Lower Saxony : The Emsland nuclear power plant and the Grohnde nuclear power plant . The Stade nuclear power plant was shut down in 2003. Another nuclear power plant, the Unterweser nuclear power plant, was taken off the grid and shut down in 2011 as a result of the nuclear moratorium introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster .

    There are also several conventional coal and gas power plants , for example the Mehrum power plant or the Emsland natural gas power plant . The city of Wilhelmshaven is the location of two coal-fired power plants (operators: E.ON and GDF Suez ).

    Lower Saxony has the largest natural gas reserves in Germany. 95% of German natural gas production and 40% of German oil production come from Lower Saxony. In 2011, the country had the highest electricity production from biogas in a national comparison (4190 million kilowatt hours). In a national comparison, the country is progressive in some disciplines of the transport sector: 84 bioethanol filling stations (1st place) and 33 vegetable oil filling stations (3rd place) supply vehicles with climate-friendly fuels.

    Lower Saxony also occupies a leading position in the use of wind energy . Several wind turbine manufacturers have production facilities in Lower Saxony, e.g. B. Enercon with locations in Aurich, Emden and Haren and GE Wind Energy in Salzbergen. As of June 2016, there were 5,783 wind turbines with a total output of 8,957 MW, a good fifth of all German plants, in the country. In addition, further wind turbines are being planned or built; There are also several offshore wind farms off the coast of Lower Saxony in the German exclusive economic zone of the Federal Republic (EEZ) . Within the 12 nautical mile zone and thus in Lower Saxony, the Nordergrund offshore wind farm is currently being built , which is to be commissioned in 2017 [obsolete] . (see also: List of offshore wind farms ).

    In 2010, wind turbines fed around 9,200 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity into the grid. There was also growth in heat generation from solar thermal energy : it rose from 382 million kWh in 2008 to 532 million kWh in 2011. Last but not least, Lower Saxony continues to invest in the further development of renewable energy technologies. In 2010, most of the money went into research, at 15.1 million euros.


    Lueneburg Heath
    East Frisian coast
    East Frisian Islands

    In a national comparison for 2013, Lower Saxony ranks fourth behind Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia with 39.9 million overnight stays.

    The main attraction within the Lower Saxony travel areas was the Lower Saxony North Sea coast with 7,236,224 overnight stays. Important tourist spots here are the so-called Cuxland with Cuxhaven and its districts Duhnen , Döse and Sahlenburg as well as the municipality of Wurster North Sea Coast . Other important seaside resorts are in Butjadingen , in Oldenburg Friesland and on the East Frisian coast . The following ranks are occupied by the travel areas Lüneburg Heath with 6,026,603 overnight stays and the East Frisian Islands with 5,090,692 overnight stays. The other placements for 2013 can be seen in the following table:

    Lower Saxony travel area Overnight stays 3
    Lower Saxony North Sea coast 7,236,224
    Lueneburg Heath 6,026,603
    East Frisian Islands 5,090,692
    Region GEO ( Grafschaft Bentheim , Emsland , Osnabrücker Land ) 4,719,197
    Hanover - Hildesheim 4,248,214
    resin 3,372,408
    Weserbergland - southern Lower Saxony 3,249,810
    Braunschweiger Land 1,602,254
    Ostfriesland 1,451,934
    Mittelweser 0.823.168
    Lower Elbe-Lower Weser 0.804.383
    Oldenburger Münsterland 0.664.004
    Oldenburger Land 0.612.154
    3 Overnight stays in small businesses (<9 beds) are not taken into account


    The trade fairs organized by Deutsche Messe AG in Hanover are an important economic factor . Individual trade fairs are the largest of their kind in the world . The most important trade fairs include the Hanover Fair , IAA Commercial Vehicles , Infa , Agritechnica , Interschutz and IdeenExpo . Around the second millennium , CeBIT was the most important trade fair in Germany alongside the Hanover Fair and one of the most respected worldwide.


    In Lower Saxony there has been advertising-financed private broadcasting in addition to public broadcasting financed from fees since 1984 . The Lower Saxony State Media Authority is responsible for the development and promotion of private broadcasting . It licenses private radio and television providers and supervises their programs. Further tasks are the supervision with regard to the compliance with the protection of minors at the private providers of telemedia in Lower Saxony as well as the promotion of the citizen broadcasting .


    Public radio is operated by Norddeutscher Rundfunk , which broadcasts a state-specific program for Lower Saxony. The North German Broadcasting Corporation (NDR) maintains a regional radio and television broadcasting company in the state capital of Hanover, in which the regional program for Lower Saxony is designed. In addition, the NDR is represented in several cities in Lower Saxony with regional studios and correspondent offices. There are regional studios in Braunschweig , Göttingen , Lüneburg , Oldenburg and Osnabrück ; Correspondents' offices in Lingen / Emsland , Otterndorf / Niederelbe , Esens / East Frisia , Vechta , Verden , Hameln / Weserbergland and Wilhelmshaven .

    In private radio there are three private radio chains broadcasting nationwide: radio ffn , Antenne Niedersachsen and Radio 21 . In addition, 15 non-commercial , non-profit citizens' broadcasters ensure diversity in the respective local regions. The operators include ten community radios, two community television broadcasters and three transmitters that offer radio and television programs. With the new version of the Lower Saxony Media Act , local and regional advertising-financed radio stations have also been permitted since January 1, 2011. The first approved local broadcasters were Radio Hannover , teutoRADIO Osnabrück , Radio38 , BWReins and Radio Nienburg .

    watch TV

    The NDR television is the regional public television program of the North German Broadcasting Corporation , which is produced jointly with Radio Bremen for the states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein.

    As private television broadcasters, RTL Nord and Sat.1 Norddeutschland broadcast country-specific regional programs such as Guten Abend RTL and 17:30 SAT.1 REGIONAL - the magazine for Lower Saxony and Bremen . With the new version of the Lower Saxony Media Act, local and regional TV channels financed by advertising may also be permitted since January 1, 2011. It all started with Friesischer Rundfunk , regiotv , heimatLIVE , Hannover TV , os1.tv , ev1.tv and fan24.tv .


    Around 50 regional daily newspapers appear in Lower Saxony, but they are not of great national importance. The largest newspapers are the Hannoversche Allgemeine , the Braunschweiger Zeitung , the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung , the Nordwest-Zeitung and the district newspaper Syke . A special feature is the Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine , whose distribution area is transnational and covers the area of northern Hesse and southern Lower Saxony.


    Mittelland Canal near Braunschweig
    Airports and landing fields in Lower Saxony and Bremen
    The newly opened JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven


    The most important traffic junction in rail traffic is the state capital Hanover. The most important railway lines run from southern Germany via Göttingen and Hanover to Hamburg , from the Ruhr area / Amsterdam via Hanover and Braunschweig or Wolfsburg to Berlin and from the Ruhr area via Münster, Osnabrück and Bremen to Hamburg . The Hanover – Bremen line and the Emsland line are also important . Various route variants are currently being discussed that will connect the seaports to the hinterland for freight traffic. In addition, the upgrading of the Hanover – Hamburg and Hanover – Bremen connections is planned, for example through the construction of the Y-route or the expansion of the connection from Verden (Aller) via Rotenburg (Wümme) to Hamburg with the simultaneous expansion of the Hanover – Verden (Aller ) –Bremen could take place.

    The Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen mbH (LNVG) is a responsible authority for rail-bound local transport in Lower Saxony. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State of Lower Saxony and is based in Hanover. It was founded in March 1996.

    Road traffic

    According to the population distribution, one focus of the road network is in southeastern Lower Saxony with the centers Hanover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim and Salzgitter. In this area the motorways from the Ruhr area to Berlin and from southern Germany to the coast intersect . These are the A 2 and A 7 / A 27 motorways and the A 36 / A 39 , which are intended to open up eastern Lower Saxony. Other important motorways run from the Ruhr area via Osnabrück and Bremen to Hamburg ( A 1 (Hansalinie) ), from the Ruhr area to Emden ( A 31 / Emsland motorway ) and from Amsterdam via Osnabrück to Hanover ( A 30 and A 2 ).

    Air traffic

    The most important air hubs for the state are Hannover-Langenhagen Airport (HAJ) and the Bremen (BRE) , Hamburg (HAM) and Münster / Osnabrück (FMO) airports outside of Lower Saxony .


    The largest seaports in Lower Saxony are in Wilhelmshaven , Cuxhaven , Nordenham , Emden , and Brake . In 2017, 53.4 million tons of goods were handled in the seaports of Lower Saxony. The most important inland waterways are the Mittelland Canal , the Weser , the Elbe , the Elbe Lateral Canal and the Ems .

    JadeWeserPort is located in the north of Wilhelmshaven as a deep-water port for large container ships . The newly flushed container port was one of the largest infrastructure projects in northern Germany in recent decades. The port was built with financial support from the states of Bremen and Lower Saxony and officially opened on September 21, 2012. The two federal states and the container terminal operator Eurogate have invested around one billion euros .



    In terms of culture, the state shows great regional differentiation and shows flowing transitions, especially to Westphalia . After the Second World War , Lower Saxony also became a new home for many refugees and displaced persons from the German eastern regions , who mostly settled in the cities, but often also in the smallest villages and have helped shape them ever since. On October 3, 1950, the state of Lower Saxony, in which a particularly large number of Silesians had settled after the expulsion, took over the patronage of the Silesian Landsmannschaft . The many military facilities, industrial companies and scientific institutions in Lower Saxony and also in the neighboring city-states also led to the immigration of people from other regions of Germany. In addition, there are many immigrants who came to the country as so-called guest workers and new citizens from the countries of the former Eastern Bloc . It is becoming apparent that migration towards Lower Saxony will continue to exist, for example through refugees who find a new home here. Due to this heterogeneity of the population, Lower Saxony has no population that can be called Lower Saxony in the ethnic-cultural sense . The Lower Saxony is therefore best referred to simply as those who have their place of residence, their home or adopted home in the state of Lower Saxony.

    The average life expectancy in the period 2015/17 was 78.0 years for men and 82.8 years for women. The men are 8th among the German federal states, while women are 12th. Regionally, in 2013/15 Vechta (expectation of the total population: 81.75 years), Harburg (81.51) and Ammerland (81.28) had the highest, as did Wilhelmshaven (78.99), Helmstedt (78.94) and Emden ( 78.07) has the lowest life expectancy.

    With 1.62 children per woman in 2017, Lower Saxony had the third highest total fertility rate among the German federal states.

    Traditionally resident population groups

    The parts of the population that were resident in the former states of Braunschweig, Hanover, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe before the founding of the State of Lower Saxony have a lot in common both with each other and with north and north-west German neighboring regions, such as the use of the original local dialects of Low German, which is usually colloquial as Low German is designated. Similarities also exist in certain aspects of the predominant traditional architecture and construction (brick construction) of buildings ( Niedersachsenhaus ). The greater part of the country is traditionally Evangelical-Lutheran, but some parts of the country are also Roman-Catholic. In addition, there were Jewish communities that had existed for centuries and were spread over the entire country and whose members often helped shape the respective places. Today, Jewish communities only exist in the larger cities. The parishioners have often immigrated from Eastern Europe.

    In the north-west of the country there are Frisians who are recognized as a national minority in Germany . They differ among other things in the language, since the dialects of Low German spoken here have a high Frisian reference. The Federal Ministry of the Interior specifies the area of East Friesland as a settlement area for the minority. The Frisians include the Sater Frisians , who represent a linguistic minority with the Sater Frisian language .

    Settlement area of ​​the Lower Saxony Frisians according to the BMI

    In Lower Saxony, some minorities of Sinti and Roma have lived for centuries . The first evidence comes from Hildesheim in 1407.


    After the Second World War, Lower Saxony was one of the main settlement areas for expellees from Silesia , East Prussia , Western Pomerania , the Neumark and other formerly German eastern areas , from expelled German Bohemians from Czechoslovakia and from Germans from other areas such as Bessarabia (in descending order according to the number of people). According to the last correspondingly itemized census at the end of the 1960s, 30% of the inhabitants of Lower Saxony were refugees, displaced persons or children from relevant families. In addition, from the 1960s there were German repatriates from Transylvania , from the 1970s from Upper Silesia and other regions of Poland , Vietnamese and from the 1980s Russian-German repatriates and ethnic repatriates with their foreign-language family members.

    In addition, the large number of industrial companies in the Hanover-Braunschweig-Salzgitter-Wolfsburg area, but also in the metropolitan areas of Bremen and Hamburg that extended to Lower Saxony, created a high demand for workers during the economic miracle in the 1950s, which is why there were numerous guest workers from Italy , Spain , Turkey , Greece , Yugoslavia and Portugal , who often stayed in Lower Saxony. There are also refugees living in Lower Saxony, especially since 2015 in large numbers from Syria, but also from Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and other African countries.

    Since Lower Saxony was founded, the region has also been a target area for internal migration within the Federal Republic of Germany, particularly due to the large number of businesses.


    Official language

    The official language is German . The minority language Sater Frisian and the regional language Low German are specially protected according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and authorized for official use.

    Colloquial language

    Todays situation

    Today, standard German is mainly spoken in Lower Saxony . Until the 19th century it only played a role in Lower Saxony as a written language. In the course of the 19th and 20th centuries the process of replacing the languages ​​previously spoken in Lower Saxony with standard German took place. This development was also accelerated by the integration of refugees and displaced persons from the East Central German dialect area - for example from Silesia - after the Second World War. For a long time, alongside “pure” Standard German, there was a language form that was characterized by a strong Low German substrate ; this form of language is known in its extreme form as Missingsch . Today this "intermediate form" is even more threatened than Low German.

    In addition to standard German, Sater Frisian and Erzgebirge are still alive in the Upper Harz, while the language that was dominant until a few decades ago, Lower Saxony , is threatened in most regions; East Frisia is the most prominent example of a region where this has not been the case so far. On the other hand, the East Westphalian Low German is particularly threatened and is probably already extinct in some regions, certainly in the larger cities.

    The East Westphalian pronunciation of standard German is often mistakenly confused with the modern pronunciation of standard German in other regions of the German-speaking area. This misunderstanding can be attributed to the fact that standard German prevailed very early in the East Westphalian dialect area and replaced the native dialects. As a result, the German standard language was in the following period, especially speakers of southern German dialects, as the “dialect of Hanover”.

    Standard German has been used as the written language in Lower Saxony since the 16th century, and Dutch in western East Frisia and in the county of Bentheim, and only Standard German since the beginning of the 20th century. The most widespread languages ​​of immigrant groups (foreigners) are on the one hand Turkish , Kurdish , Arabic , Italian , Serbian , Croatian , Albanian , Romanes and Greek, and on the other hand Russian and Polish , which are spoken by parts of the ethnic German repatriates . In addition, due to the stationing of troops within the framework of NATO , English is widespread in some regions.

    Traditional situation
    "Low German"

    Before standard German prevailed, Low German dialects were mainly spoken in Lower Saxony . These dialects are known today as Low German . The individual Lower Saxony local dialects are called Platt by their speakers , as are many dialects in central Germany. The Low German dialects in Lower Saxony can be assigned to four dialect groups: East Low German in the Wendland, East Faelic in the southeast, Westphalian in Osnabrück and in the southern district of Osnabrück, and North Lower Saxon in the rest of the country. The East Frisian Platt is to be emphasized, which has special features due to its Frisian substrate and is the least threatened with extinction compared to other Low German dialects.

    More traditional languages ​​and dialects

    In addition to Low German, there were other language varieties in the area of ​​today's Lower Saxony. In the Frisian-populated coastal area from the Dutch border to the Land of Wursten, the richly varied East Frisian language was at home, of which only Sater Frisian still exists in the municipality of Saterland today. In addition, some long-established population groups also speak dialects based on Central German , which belong to the sub-group of East Central German . Due to the immigration of miners to the Upper Harz in the Middle Ages, dialects from the Ore Mountains are spoken there. The Benrath line runs along the southern edge of the Harz in the Bad Lauterberg / Bad Sachsa area . Here's the Thuringian-Upper Saxon dialect group belonging Nordthüringisch in use. Since the 18th century there has also been a small Palatinate-speaking group in Veltenhof , which has been a district of Braunschweig since 1931. Slavic Polabic was also used in Wendland until the 18th century . The resident of Lower Saxony Gypsies speak Romany .

    Education, science and culture



    Auditorium of the Georg August University in Göttingen

    Scientific locations are:



    UNESCO world heritage

    The Kaiserpfalz Goslar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

    As a World Heritage in Germany, there are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lower Saxony . This includes the two-part heritage site of the St. Mariae Cathedral and the Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim . The three-part heritage site in the western Harz consists of the Rammelsberg mine , the old town of Goslar and the Upper Harz water shelf with the Samson mine and the Walkenried monastery . The Fagus factory in Alfeld became the latest World Heritage site in 2011 . The Lower Saxony Wadden Sea is a world natural heritage site. In the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library - Lower Saxony State Library of the correspondence is from Leibniz , who since 2007 for the World Soundtrack Awards is one of UNESCO. In the Lower Saxony State and University Library in Göttingen, the 42-line Gutenberg Bible printed on parchment is world document heritage.

    In 2012, the state of Lower Saxony nominated the cultural landscapes of the Altes Land and the Rundlingsdörfer in the Hanoverian Wendland for the German tentative list for future UNESCO World Heritage applications, for which each German state may submit two proposals. The Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture announced the two candidates on June 18, 2012 after a selection process that began in 2011. In 2013, the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs will decide which applications from the federal states will be placed on the German tentative list, from which UNESCO will select new World Heritage sites from 2017 at the earliest. The city of Lüneburg submitted further applications at state level for its old town and the Association for Nature Conservation Park (VNP) for the Lüneburg Heath . The ministry recommended that both institutions submit serial applications, at Lüneburg together with comparable “salt places ” and at the VNP together with other “agro- pastoral ” places. The application of the city of Wunstorf for the nomination of the Sigward Church in Idensen as an important sacred small building of the Romanesque was not considered for tactical reasons.

    Landscapes and landscape associations

    After the dissolution of the administrative districts, contracts were concluded between the state of Lower Saxony on the one hand and the landscapes and landscape associations on the other hand, according to which they are responsible for cultural issues in the respective regions in the future.

    Art history


    The epoch of the Renaissance , which is reflected in many buildings in the Weser Renaissance style , was significant in terms of building history in Lower Saxony . Another attraction are the Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover , including the Great Garden , one of the most important European baroque gardens .

    In Osnabrück there are many buildings from classicism and the rococo period . Sights are the old town with the cathedral and the town hall of the Peace of Westphalia , numerous stone works such as the Ledenhof and half-timbered houses. Lower Saxony's largest baroque palace , Osnabrück Palace , and St. Katharinen, the tallest medieval, late Gothic building, can also be seen here.

    The double complex of Iburg Castle and Benedictine Abbey in Bad Iburg is of architectural and art historical importance . In the knight's hall, with the work of Andrea Alovisii, it shows the only surviving ceiling painting in perspective architecture north of the Alps.

    Visual arts

    The Barkenhoff became the center of the Worpswede artist movement.

    Lower Saxony has produced important artists of international standing since the 19th century. The most popular is probably Wilhelm Busch , who became known through his picture stories. His work as a landscape painter is less well known. He created more than 1000 paintings that were only published posthumously.

    In 1895 the artist Heinrich Vogeler bought the Barkenhoff in Worpswede and thus founded the Worpswede artists' colony . This was home to well-known artists of German impressionism and expressionism . The best-known artists of the first generation of the colony were Fritz Mackensen , Paula Modersohn-Becker , Otto Modersohn , Fritz Overbeck , Heinrich Vogeler, Clara Westhoff , Hans am Ende , Richard Oelze and Rainer Maria Rilke .

    In addition to the artists' colony in Worpswede, there were other places in Lower Saxony that attracted artists. In Dötlingen an der Hunte , a small town in the Wildeshauser Geest , artists such as Georg Müller vom Siel , August Kaufhold and Otto Pankok lived and worked from 1900 . From 1907 to 1912 painters from the artist group Die Brücke regularly spent the summer months in Dangast , a coastal town on the southern Jade Bay . Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was accompanied by Erich Heckel in 1907 and 1908 and Max Pechstein followed his painter colleagues in June 1910 . Numerous works by these expressionist artists show Dangaster motifs.

    Between the 1920s and 1930s the Hanoverian painter and poet Kurt Schwitters worked in Lower Saxony. He is the inventor of the Merz art , which is considered a further development of Dadaism . Schwitters did not describe himself as a Dadaist, but as a Merz artist, but at times worked closely with the Berlin Dadaists. His most famous poems are "To Anna Blume" and the "Sonata in Urlauten". Classified as "degenerate" by the National Socialists , the artist fled in 1937 and never returned to his hometown. A reconstruction of his famous Merz building can be seen in the Sprengel Museum in Hanover.

    The Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum (1904–1944) also achieved great fame . As a painter of the New Objectivity , he belonged to the " lost generation " of those born around 1900. Many of his works deal with the Holocaust , to which he himself fell victim in 1944.

    The painter, draftsman, graphic artist and sculptor Kurt Sohns (1907–1990) also achieved considerable fame .

    The neo-Dadaist , performance and concept artist Timm Ulrichs , born in 1940, achieved international fame. Among other things, he was represented at documenta 6 in 1977 . In 2001 he received the Lower Saxony State Prize .

    Lower Saxony has two art universities : the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts and the Hanover University of Music and Drama . In addition, the Ottersberg University of Applied Sciences offers the courses “Art in the Social. Art Therapy ”,“ Theater in the Social ”and“ Fine Art ”.


    The coastal area between the Ems, Weser and Elbe has a unique organ culture with historical organs from over 500 years. More than 300 registers have survived from the time before 1700 alone . In the organ landscape of East Friesland , instruments have largely been preserved in their original form since the late Gothic, such as the organ in Rysum from 1457, which is one of the oldest organs in the world. Of particular importance are the works of Arp Schnitger , the finisher of the north German baroque organ. His instruments were style-defining and have influenced organ building all over the world. Some of the best-preserved Schnitger organs can be found in the organ landscape between the Elbe and Weser . The organ landscapes of southern Lower Saxony , Braunschweig, Lüneburg and Oldenburg also developed into distinct cultural landscapes. Jürgen Ahrend Orgelbau from Leer-Loga has set standards in the area of ​​restoring old instruments .

    Lower Saxony's musical culture is made accessible to the public through concert series, festivals, academies and music centers. The Göttingen International Handel Festival is the oldest music festival for early music in the world and the Hitzacker Summer Music Days is the oldest German festival for chamber music . The Lower Saxony State Music Academy , founded in 2009, is home to the Lower Saxony Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Lower Saxony State Youth Choir . Hanover is the seat of the NDR Radiophilharmonie .


    Opera house in Hanover

    The Lower Saxony theater landscape consists of three state theaters, the state theater in Wilhelmshaven, five municipal and around 90 independent theaters as well as other amateur theaters, open-air and Low German theaters.

    The Lower Saxony State Theater Hanover in Hanover, the Oldenburg State Theater in Oldenburg and the State Theater Braunschweig in Braunschweig are financed with the help of state funds. The Staatstheater Hannover GmbH is a 100 percent state subsidiary, three quarters of the Oldenburg State Theater and two thirds of the Braunschweig State Theater are supported by state funds.

    Municipal Theater are the Castle Theater Celle in Celle , the German Theater in Göttingen , consisting of the City Theater of Hildesheim and the State Theater Hannover merged Theater for Lower Saxony , based in Hildesheim , the Theater Lüneburg in Lüneburg , the Municipal Theater in Osnabrück , the country Niedersachsen Nord in Wilhelmshaven and the Wolfsburg Theater in Wolfsburg . You receive state subsidies.

    With the regional association of independent theaters in Lower Saxony e. V. , an interest group for professional independent theaters in Lower Saxony was founded in 1991, which is regularly funded by the state of Lower Saxony.

    Museums and art institutions

    Lower Saxony State Museum
    Horst Janssen Museum in Oldenburg
    Felix Nussbaum House in Osnabrück

    In Lower Saxony there are around 650 different museums and local parlors that collect and exhibit cultural and historical evidence and art from all eras. Over 50% of these museums were founded after 1965. The oldest museum was the Kunst- und Naturalienkabinett in Braunschweig , opened by Duke Carl I in 1754 , which is a forerunner of the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum and the State Natural History Museum .

    The state runs three state museums with six museums in Hanover , Braunschweig and Oldenburg as state institutions. In Braunschweig these are the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum , the Herzog-Anton-Ulrich-Museum and the Staatlich Naturhistorisches Museum. In Oldenburg it consists of the State Museum for Art and Cultural History and the State Museum for Nature and Man . The Lower Saxony State Museum Hanover is located in Hanover .

    Most of the museums in Lower Saxony are owned by municipalities, districts or privately owned by associations. Many of them are run on a voluntary basis, and some are institutionally funded by the state of Lower Saxony. Over 50% of the museums belong to the category of local museums and local parlors.

    The Museum Association for Lower Saxony and Bremen e. V. represents the interests of the museums. It advises and supports its members with the aim of preserving and conveying the natural and cultural heritage in the museums. In doing so, he takes on the information of the members and promotes the exchange of experiences and the further education of the museums in terms of museum technology and science.


    Due to its history, Lower Saxony has several traditional historical libraries. Three libraries are of particular importance as state libraries and have become internationally sought-after research institutions due to their rich old holdings of unique manuscripts and early prints. The three state libraries are the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel , the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library - Lower Saxony State Library in Hanover and the Oldenburg State Library in Oldenburg .

    The Herzog August Library has made an international name for itself as a research and study center for the Middle Ages and the early modern period . The Gospels of the Guelph Duke Heinrich the Lion , created between 1174 and 1189, have been kept in the library since 1989 . It is considered one of the most expensive books in the world.

    The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library houses the estate of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , who headed the library as prefect from 1676 to 1716. The correspondence kept in his estate comprises around 15,000 letters with 1,100 different correspondents. The correspondence was in autumn 2007 to UNESCO - World Soundtrack Awards (Memory of the World) explains.

    The Technical Information Library in Hanover is one of the world's largest specialist libraries for technology and natural sciences as well as one of three central specialist libraries in Germany.



    Erich Maria Remarque , who was born on June 22nd, 1898 in Osnabrück , was born in Osnabrück on June 22nd, 1898, in the novel Nothing New in the West (1929) . He dealt critically with German history in his works and is one of the most widely read German authors of the 20th century. He died on September 25, 1970 in Locarno . Remarque never overcame the bitterness over his expatriation from Germany.

    From 1900 to 1902, the important Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke lived in the Worpswede artists' colony, where he married the sculptor Clara Westhoff , with whom he had a daughter in 1901. The expressionist author then moved to Paris.

    Besides Rilke, the most important modern writer in Lower Saxony is Arno Schmidt . The avant-garde writer lived in Bargfeld from 1958 until his death in 1979 . In addition to experimental novels such as his main work Zettel's Traum , Schmidt also wrote translations, for example by James Joyce , Edgar Allan Poe or James Fenimore Cooper .

    One of the most important German poets of the 1970s is the writer Rolf Dieter Brinkmann , who was born in Vechta in 1940 and died in a car accident in London in 1975 . His works are influenced by the Nouveau Roman and the American beat generation , for whose publication in Germany he has made a name for himself.

    Walter Kempowski lived in Nartum , district of Rotenburg (Wümme) from 1965 until his death in 2007. He was best known for his strongly autobiographical novels of the Deutsche Chronik as well as for his project Das Echolot , in which he wrote diaries, letters and other everyday testimonies of various kinds Origin processed into collage-like contemporary paintings.

    Literary offices

    Literature offices (also literature houses) of the state of Lower Saxony are in Braunschweig , Göttingen , Hanover , Lüneburg , Oldenburg and Osnabrück .


    More than 60  memorials and history initiatives in Lower Saxony remember the victims of National Socialism . The memorials include historical sites such as concentration, prisoner of war and labor camps, prisons, synagogues and deportation sites. History initiatives to commemorate the Nazi crimes support this culture of remembrance with the help of various activities such as memorial and cultural events as well as permanent and traveling exhibitions . In 1990, Lower Saxony was the first German state to commit to support regional memorials for the victims of National Socialism with regular funding from state funds. In 2004 the state parliament passed the law on the foundation of Lower Saxony memorials . The foundation under public law , based in Celle , has since performed various tasks on behalf of the state to promote memorial work. Among other things, she is responsible for the Bergen-Belsen and Wolfenbüttel memorials maintained by the state . Further examples of foundations for memorials in Lower Saxony are the Esterwegen Memorial Foundation and the Sandbostel Camp Foundation .

    In January 2000, the non-governmental memorials and history initiatives joined the community of interests of Lower Saxony memorials and initiatives to commemorate the Nazi crimes. V. merged. The interest group advises its members on funding opportunities, coordinates research projects, events and traveling exhibitions and organizes various seminars on the main topics of memorial work.

    Garden shows

    Logo of the Lower Saxony State Horticultural Show in Bad Essen, 2010

    The 1951 Federal Horticultural Show took place in Hanover , and is today the first Federal Horticultural Show in Germany. It was the first and to date the only federal horticultural show in Lower Saxony.

    At the beginning of 2000, the state followed the example of other federal states and designed its own state horticultural show . The first Lower Saxony State Garden Show took place in 2002 in Bad Zwischenahn ( Park of Gardens ). In 2004, the state horticultural show was organized by the city of Wolfsburg , followed by the city of Winsen in 2006 , the municipality of Bad Essen in 2010 and the city of Papenburg in 2014 .

    The last state horticultural show to date was organized by the city of Bad Iburg in 2018 .


    Kale dish with piss , smoked pork and bacon
    House Tenge with the former restaurant " la vie " (Osnabrück)

    The Lower Saxon cuisine consists of a large number of regional, North German cuisines, which are, however, in large parts very similar, e.g. B. the Oldenburg, Brunswick or the East Frisian. It is usually very hearty. A popular and typical vegetable in winter is kale , which is especially consumed as part of traditional kale meals. The East Frisian tea culture in East Frisia is just as well known and typical .

    In addition to the diverse regional cuisine, there are several restaurants in Lower Saxony that are among the top gastronomy in Germany. In its 2012 edition, the Michelin gastronomy guide awarded 14 restaurants in Lower Saxony with its well-known stars , two of which received the highest award of three stars. The excellent three-star restaurants are the La Vie by Thomas Bühner in Osnabrück (closed now) and the Aqua by Sven Elverfeld in Wolfsburg . The Sterneck in Cuxhaven and Keilings Restaurant in Bad Bentheim are two-star restaurants in Lower Saxony. The restaurants Apicus in Bad Zwischenahn , Perior in Leer , Seesteg on Norderney , Marco Polo in Wilhelmshaven , Schlosshotel Münchhausen in Aerzen , Ole Deele in Burgwedel , Endtenfang in Celle , Zum Heidkrug in Lüneburg , La Forge in Bad Nenndorf and La Fontaine in Wolfsburg each received a Michelin star.

    public holidays

    In Lower Saxony, the nine national holidays are New Year, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labor Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Day of German Unity, Christmas Day and Christmas Day and, since 2017, Reformation Day are public holidays.

    Folk festivals

    The state festival of the state of Lower Saxony is the day of Lower Saxony , a three-day cultural festival that has been organized annually by another Lower Saxony city since 1981. The TdN is intended to show the cultural diversity of the State of Lower Saxony and is organized by the implementing city and the program advisory board for the Day of Lower Saxony . The Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport and various regional associations are represented on the program advisory board.

    Some events with the highest visitor numbers in Lower Saxony take place in the state capital Hanover. The biggest event in Hanover is the Maschsee Festival , which takes place in August and attracted around 2.3 million visitors in three weeks in 2012. The Hanover shooting festival on Schützenplatz is considered the largest shooting festival in the world. The ten-day event is attended by up to 1.5 million guests every July. The Hanover Spring Festival and the Hanover Oktoberfest will also be held at Schützenplatz . Both folk festivals are organized by the "Working Group for Folk Festivals Hanover". The Spring Festival attracts up to a million visitors. After the Oktoberfest in Munich, the Oktoberfest Hannover is the largest Oktoberfest in Germany. The 17-day event has up to 900,000 visitors.

    In Oldenburg , the traditional Oldenburg Kramermarkt is held every autumn . The ten-day event has up to 1.5 million visitors. In the district town of Vechta , the Stoppelmarkt is one of the oldest annual markets in Germany. With up to 800,000 visitors, the six-day festival is one of the largest folk festivals in Lower Saxony. The Gallimarkt in Leer has been around since 1508. With up to 500,000 visitors, it is the largest festival in East Frisia . Another traditional festival is the Roonkarker Mart in the Wesermarsch , which was officially held in 2012 as the 879th Roonkarker Mart . In the North Sea city of Wilhelmshaven , the weekend at the Jade 1999 celebrated the previous visitor record with 385,000 visitors. Other folk festivals are the Broks marriage market , the Osnabrück May week and numerous Christmas markets .

    World views and religions

    According to the 2011 census , 48.6% of the population were predominantly Protestant , 17.4% Roman Catholic and 34.0% were non-denominational , belonged to another religious community or did not provide any information. The number of Protestants and Catholics has fallen since then. At the end of 2018, the Protestant Church had a share of 43.0% of the population, the Roman Catholic Church 16.8% and around 40.2% of the population did not admit to either of these two religious communities.

    Religious communities


    St. Andreas Church in Hildesheim with the highest church tower in Lower Saxony (114.5 meters)

    Most of Lower Saxony was shaped by the Evangelical Lutheran churches after the Reformation . Lutheran regional churches exist as the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Hanover , Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church Schaumburg-Lippe , Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church in Braunschweig and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg . In addition to the Lutheran regional churches, there is the old confessional independent Evangelical Lutheran Church , which has one of its main areas of distribution in Lower Saxony.

    Some regions, especially in the west of the country, are traditionally evangelical reformed. These are above all the west of East Frisia and the county of Bentheim . They are the center of the Evangelical Reformed Church in northwest Germany ; this has its own regional church organization, while in most of the rest of Germany the Reformed and Lutheran churches have been linked in a church union since the 19th century. In the same region there are also Protestant old reformed churches.

    The Protestant regional churches have been linked in the Confederation of Protestant Churches in Lower Saxony since 1971 .

    In addition to the Protestant regional churches, there are also many Protestant free churches in the area of ​​Lower Saxony. The oldest among them is the Mennonite Church . Its roots go back to the Reformation and here in the Anabaptist movement . The Federation of Evangelical Free Churches ( Baptist and Brethren Congregations ) has three regional associations in Lower Saxony: the Lower Saxony-East Westphalia-Saxony-Anhalt State Association , Baptists in the Northwest and the Northern Germany State Association . Other free churches in Lower Saxony include the Methodist Church , the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Federation of Free Evangelical Congregations .


    Michaeliskirche Hildesheim (UNESCO World Heritage)
    Hildesheim Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage)

    The Emsland , the Oldenburger Münsterland , the city of Twistringen , the Untereichsfeld and the so-called Stiftsdörfer of the Hochstift Hildesheim are traditionally Roman Catholic ; the cities of Hildesheim and Osnabrück as well as the villages of the former bishopric of Osnabrück are about half Roman Catholic; there are also numerous parishes among the latter that are traditionally mixed denominational. The Roman Catholic parishes belong to the dioceses of Hildesheim and Osnabrück (both suffragan dioceses of the Archdiocese of Hamburg ) and to the diocese of Münster (suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Cologne ). The Roman Catholic parish of Bad Pyrmont belongs to the Archdiocese of Paderborn . Due to the settlement of displaced persons after the Second World War - especially Catholics from Upper Silesia , Warmia and German Bohemia and German Moravians in formerly purely Protestant regions - and the influx of ethnic German repatriates, large communities of the other major Christian denominations now exist almost entirely in the past - Denominational regions. The only significant saint in Lower Saxony is Jordan of Saxony .

    Hanover is the seat of a deanery of the Old Catholic Church. The area of ​​this Dean's Office North includes Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.


    From the 1960s onwards, Islamic communities were formed, primarily for residents of Turkish origin. Most mosque communities belong to DİTİB or IGMG . There are other communities, including Shiite communities and mosque associations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community .


    The Alevis and numerous local parishes also form a larger denominational minority in Lower Saxony, which are also made up of residents with roots in Turkey. The Alevi local congregations are united in the Alevi Congregation of Germany (Turkish: Almanya Alevi Birlikleri Federasyonu, abbr .: AABF). The AABF in Lower Saxony has been the official provider of Alevi religious instruction since the 2011/2012 school year.


    Memorial and information center Synagoge Dornum , East Frisia

    From Jewish Life in Lower Saxony before the Shoa some extant testify historic synagogues . After the Second World War, a few new Jewish communities emerged. With the influx of many Jewish people from the former Soviet Union , the Jewish communities have recorded increased growth since 1990. The largest Jewish community in Lower Saxony is the Jewish community Hannover K. d. Usually with about 4500 members.

    The Jewish communities are organized in the more traditional regional association of the Jewish communities of Lower Saxony and in the liberal regional association of the Israelite religious communities of Lower Saxony . Both regional associations are members of the Central Council of Jews in Germany .

    Other religious and ideological communities

    Around 40,000 Yazidis live in Lower Saxony,  and they often form larger communities here. The largest Yazidi community in Lower Saxony is in Celle . It is also the largest community in Germany. Other important communities are in Bad Zwischenahn , Hanover and Oldenburg . In 2007, the Central Council of the Yezidi in Germany was founded in Oldenburg , which has set itself the goal of “promoting and maintaining religious and cultural tasks in the Yezidi communities” and “representing the common political interests of the Yezidi community”.

    The New Apostolic Christians living in Lower Saxony are cared for by four apostle areas, i. H. from Bremen, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and a separate small area of ​​Lower Saxony.

    There are around 13,000 active Jehovah's Witnesses in Lower Saxony, who make up 187 congregations. There are so-called Kingdom Halls, as the church buildings of Jehovah's Witnesses are called, in 124 congregations.

    Humanists are organized in the Humanist Association of Germany , among others . The seat of the Lower Saxony Association is Hanover. It comprises two district and 17 local associations, and a state treaty has existed with the state since 1970.


    Hannover 96 is the largest sports club in Lower Saxony

    The Landessportbund Niedersachsen is the umbrella organization of around 9,600 sports clubs in Lower Saxony with around 2.70 million memberships. Around 57% of the members are male. The number of members under the age of 18 is 33.1%. In this age group, too, more boys than girls are active in sports clubs.

    The state sports federation is divided into 48 regional sports federations, which are based on the districts or urban districts. The Sportjugend Lower Saxony is the youth organization of the Sports Federation.

    The clubs have also organized themselves into regional professional associations. The state association with the most members is the Lower Saxony Gymnastics Association with 776,122 members, followed by the Lower Saxony Football Association with 632,939 and the Lower Saxony / Northwest German Schützenbund with 209,569 members. The Lower Saxony Equestrian Association with 129,420 members and the Lower Saxony Tennis Association with 128,184 follow in the other ranks . Handball, table tennis, athletics, swimming, DLRG and disabled sports occupy the other places.

    The largest sports clubs are Hannover 96 with 20,385 members, ASC 1846 Göttingen with 9,596, Osnabrücker Sportclub / MTV 1849 with 7,767, Todtglüsinger SV v. 1930 with 7,517 and Eintracht Hildesheim with 7,007 members.

    In terms of organization, the sports institutions and clubs in Lower Saxony are closely interlinked with those in the state of Bremen . In 1980, Lower Saxony was the first German state to specifically deal with its sports history. In close connection with the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , a sponsorship group became sports history in Hoya , chaired by Wilhelm Henze and the head of science. Advisory board of Arnd Krüger the Lower Saxony Institute for Sports History e. V. founded. Here the traditional sports games such as Boßeln and Klootschießen were researched and the historical-political background to the history of sport in Northern Germany was developed. There is also a gallery of honor with important people in Lower Saxony's sport.


    Bundesliga game between VfL Wolfsburg and Hannover 96 on February 27, 2008 in the Volkswagen Arena

    The football club VfL Wolfsburg will play in the Bundesliga in the 2019/20 season , while the clubs Hannover 96 and VfL Osnabrück will play in the 2nd Bundesliga . Eintracht Braunschweig and SV Meppen compete in the third division . Also popular are the SV Werder Bremen in the Bremen area and the Hamburger SV and FC St. Pauli in the Hamburg area .

    The Lower Saxony Football Association also organizes the Lower Saxony Football League, the highest national league, and the Lower Saxony Cup .

    In women's football also plays VfL Wolfsburg notch . BV Cloppenburg , SV Meppen and the second team from VfL Wolfsburg also play in the second women's Bundesliga .


    With TSV Hannover-Burgdorf and HSG Nordhorn-Lingen, Lower Saxony is home to two handball clubs in the 1st Bundesliga . The Wilhelmshaven HV plays in the 2nd handball league . Eight clubs from Lower Saxony play in the 3rd Northern League (as of the 2019/20 season).

    In the first Handball Bundesliga Women of are VfL Oldenburg (EHFChallenge Cup winner in 2008, dt. Cup winner in 2009 and 2012) and the Buxtehuder SV home.


    Lower Saxony is represented in the first basketball league by EWE Baskets Oldenburg (German champions 2009, Champions Cup winners 2009, cup winners 2015), BG Göttingen , Basketball Löwen Braunschweig and SC Rasta Vechta .

    The Artland Dragons from Quakenbrück play in the second-class ProA . The BAWE Oldenburger TB and the Dukes Wolfenbüttel are based in the ProB .

    ice Hockey

    Hannover Scorpions match against Eisbären Berlin , 2007

    The Grizzlys Wolfsburg play in the highest German ice hockey league, the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) . The former DEL team of the Hanover Scorpions (German champions of the 2009/10 season ; now based in Langenhagen ) as well as the Hanover Indians and the Harzer Falken from Braunlage also play in the league .

    water sports

    On the coast as well as on the great lakes and rivers, water sports are just as popular as fishing . Due to its location, Cuxhaven is a traditional sailing site ; so it was already the port of call for the Tall Ships' Race .

    The 2006 German Winter Swimming Championships were held in Hanover.

    Water polo

    Thanks to the teams from the Hanover region, Lower Saxony has been a water polo stronghold for decades . Wasserfreunde 98 Hanover was eight times German champion between 1921 and 1948 and had four players in the 1928 Olympic gold medal . Water sports Hannover-Linden became German champions in 1993, and German cup winners in 1998 and 2003. Both traditional clubs merged in 2012 to form the new major club Waspo 98 Hannover , which was the first club from Lower Saxony to play in the Champions League in 2012/2013 . In addition to the two clubs, Eintracht Braunschweig , Hellas 1899 Hildesheim , Freie Schwimmer Hannover , WSV 21 Wolfenbüttel and SpVg Laatzen also played in the water polo league for a time . Most recently, the new club White Sharks Hannover rose to the top division in 2012 .

    Equestrian sport

    The Verden (Aller) area , the Vechta area , the Osnabrücker Land (here in particular Hagen a. T. W. and Ankum ), the Oldenburger Land , the Celler Land and southern Lower Saxony are known as centers of equestrian sports . In addition, the breeding and keeping of Hanoverians and other horses are an economic and leisure factor in many regions, so that Lower Saxony is considered a horse country.

    The 2011 European Eventing Championships were held in Luhmühlen , the center of eventing in Lower Saxony . From 1999 to 2013, in Lingen (Ems) , the International Dressage Festival Lingen organized. The international horse show Horses & Dreams takes place every year in Hagen am Teutoburg Forest .

    American football

    In American football , the New Yorker Lions (until 2010 Braunschweig Lions ) have been playing in the German Football League without interruption since the 1994 season and are German record champions with twelve German Bowl victories. The Hildesheim Invaders have also played in the highest German league since 2016 .


    The Hannover Regents baseball club plays in the Bundesliga baseball . Braunschweig is represented in the 2nd Bundesliga baseball with the Spot Up 89ers .


    Hanover is a stronghold of the German rugby sport. The record champions are TSV Victoria Linden with 20 championship titles, eight of them in the rugby Bundesliga , which has existed since 1971 . From 1909 to 2005 - with the exception of 1913 - a Hanover club competed in every final for the German championship. Hannover 78 , SC Germania List and the syndicate VfR Döhren / SV Odin play in the 1st Bundesliga, and TSV Victoria Linden, Deutscher Rugby Club Hannover and Hannover 78's second team play in the 2nd Bundesliga .

    Dragon boat

    Hanover is home to the All Sports Team Hanover, a top team in dragon boat sports . Since it was founded in 2000, the team has won over 100 medals at national and international championships, including ten German championship titles in 2012 alone. It also formed the core of the German premier mixed national team for several years. The team is affiliated with the Hanoverian Canoe Club (HKC) from 1921 and trains on the Maschsee . The All Sports Team was voted “Team of the Year 2013” ​​in Lower Saxony, ahead of the Bundesliga handball players from Burgdorf and the women's football championship winner VfL Wolfsburg.

    Other sports

    Lower Saxony is ideal for hiking and cycling . In addition, traditional sports are still practiced in some places. Thus, in East Friesland in, Emsland and Ammerland the Boßeln and klootschieten popular. Kloatscheeten is also practiced in Emsland and the county of Bentheim .

    In the Harz there are many options for practicing various winter sports . The Ossiloop takes place annually in East Frisia . The Lower Saxony Tour took place annually between 1977 and 2007 . Since 1968, the Osnabrück hill climb, the only hill climb in Lower Saxony , has been held annually in Osnabrück .

    In the municipality of Half Moon ( Samtgemeinde Hage in the district of Aurich , Ostfriesland ) is the Motodrom Half Moon , in the motorcycle - Speedway races are held. The stadium holds 34,000 spectators with 30,000 standing and 4,000 seats. After the Hanoverian HDI Arena, it is the second largest stadium in Lower Saxony and the largest pure speedway stadium in Europe. In 1983, Egon Müller from Kiel became Speedway World Champion here.

    In Scheeßel there is a sand track for motorcycle races, the so-called Eichenring . National and international sand track races have been held here since the 1960s, for example finals for the European sand track championships, long-course championships and German championships.

    See also

    Portal: Lower Saxony  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Lower Saxony


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    Coordinates: 52 ° 45 '  N , 9 ° 24'  E