In 2022, the Spring Symposium takes place in Hannover, the capital of Lower-Saxony in northern Germany. With about 540,000 citizens it is one of the 15 most populated cities in Germany.
One of the most green cities due to its extensive city forest 'Eilenriede', many parks and short ways into recreational landscapes such as the city lake 'Maschsee' and following along the rivers 'Leine' and 'Ihme'. Moreover, Hannover has also been named as city of music by UNESCO in 2014. This is due to its diverse cultural scene with international festivals and street art all over the town. The most famous festival is the Maschsee festival, taking place annually for three weeks in the summer evolving around the lake in the southern part of the city.
Even the so-called 'new city hall' is accompanied by its own small park and is located right between the Maschsee and the city center. This castle-like building was finished in 1913 and its dome can be visited by a special elevator with an arcuate driving path. Even though there might be a queue, the beautiful view over the city from above is totally worth it.
A internationally well known part of Hannover might be the fair grounds, which is the largest exhibition ground of the world and even held the EXPO 2000. Every year, international fairs, like the industrially focussed Hannover Messe in April, are hosted on these grounds. Up to this day the fairly large area is host to large events, concerts and conventions.
When arriving in Hanover at the central station, you might have the pleasure to pass the Niki de Saint Phalle promenade that connects the station and the city center. It is a semi underground shopping street named after the French artist and Hanoverian honorary citizen Niki de Saint Phalle. Among others, she the designer of the famous Nanas. The sculptures represent colorful and voluminous female bodies, which are a symbol for femininity and the beauty of all body shapes. Three of them – Sophie, Charlotte and Caroline – can be found at the Leibniz shore of the Leine.
At the end of the promenade, the Kröpke clock can be found in the city center. This landmark is not only a clock but also a showcase for small art exhibitions or announcements and a popular meeting point for citizens as well. It was built in 1885 from donations of the citizens as a multifunctional weather column. During the second world war, there was a ban on meteorological equipment, thus the column was more and more used for advertisement and propaganda. After a restoration in 1977, the clock celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2015.
Hannover is also known for its universities. The Hannover medical school 'MHH' for example is one of the leading medical schools in Germany. In 1983, it was the first clinic to receive an MRI scanner for human bodies in Europe and is today internationally recognized for its expertise in transplantation, neurology and cardiology amongst aothers. On the other side of the city, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University, hosting the FJS 2022, is located in the northern part of Hannover. Its department buildings are spread across the district. Yet, the center of every student’s life is the Guelph Castle, which is the main building. The university is named after the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He was a mathematician, philosopher, scientist, and a diplomat and had great impact on natural science, linguistics and geology, as well as psychology, law and even computer science until long after his death.
The Herrenhausen Gardens are stretched out around the university. The park consists of four separate English gardens, which are the 'Großer Garten', the 'Berggarten', the 'Georgengarten' and the 'Welfengarten' in which the Guelph Castle is located. They were all built in the 17th and 18th century and the Großer Garten is also one of the most famous baroque gardens in Europe. In 2015, the gardens were even awarded with the European garden prize for the best development of a historic park. Moreover, annually, between May and September, the international fireworks competition takes place above the stunning scenery. Several destinations in an around the parks host art exhibitions, such as the 'Orangerie' and the Wilhelm-Busch museum. While admission must be paid in the Großer Garten and the Berggarten, the Welfen- and Georgengarten are free to enter by everyone and often used by students as recreational area.