For a city of its importance and stature, Hanover only came into being quite recently. It was created as a new duchy in the early 17th century, from parts of two former territories. It was then given its name after the region's principal market town.
Placed in the hands of a capable ruling family, the duchy - and of course its growing main city - continued to prosper. This culminated in the Hanoverians ascending to the throne of the United Kingdom in 1714.
With a great wealth and many eminent courtiers, this ushered in a new age of even greater prosperity. Hanover was soon decorated with ornate Baroque buildings, and was recognised as one of Germany's most beautiful and elegant cities. Today it is still fondly regarded as one of the finest destinations in the country.
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The city was unfortunately a natural target for bomb damage in the Second World War, and parts of the attractive centre were flattened. But Hanover quickly recovered, and today it boasts its core historic Old Town, along with a modern and stylish centre filled with ideal shopping opportunities and a fine array of dining options.
Hanover is still best known for its series of decorated gardens - which are not only amongst the most celebrated and impressive in all of Europe, but are also perhaps the city's oldest attraction. The incredible gardens spread out across the city, with many Baroque features dating back to their creation in the early 18th century.