Historisches Museum Hannover

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Hanover Historical Museum
Historisches Museum Hannover
Historisches Museum Hannover.jpg
The museum, including remnants of the city's medieval city wall [de] and in particular the Beguine Tower, [de] is located at the High Bank [de] on the eastern side of the Leine river.
Established1903; 119 years ago (1903) Edit this at Wikidata
LocationHanover, Lower Saxony, Germany
Coordinates52°22′18″N 9°43′56″E / 52.371791°N 9.73224°E / 52.371791; 9.73224 (Hanover Historical Museum)Coordinates: 52°22′18″N 9°43′56″E / 52.371791°N 9.73224°E / 52.371791; 9.73224 (Hanover Historical Museum) Edit this at Wikidata
TypeHistorical museum
DirectorThomas Schwark
Websitewww.hannover.de/en/Tourism-Culture/Culture-Leisure/Museums-Galleries/The-Museum-of-History Edit this at Wikidata

Hanover Historical Museum (German: Historisches Museum Hannover) is an historical museum situated in Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony, Germany. The museum was founded in 1903 as the Homeland Museum of the City of Hanover (Vaterländisches Museum der Stadt Hannover). Its collections are related to the history of the city, the history of the governing House of Welf, and of the state of Lower Saxony.


Postcard from 1907 by Georg Alpers junior  [de] titled "Homeland Museum of the City of Hanover (Vaterländisches Museum der Stadt Hannover). Collection of Guild antiquities."

The museum, operated by the city of Hanover, opened on 26 April 1903 as Homeland Museum of the City of Hanover (Vaterländisches Museum der Stadt Hannover) in the Cumberland Gallery. [de ][1] The founding took place on the initiative of the Heritage Society of Lower Saxony. [de ][2] In 1937 the museum was renamed as Lower Saxon Folklore Museum (Niedersächsisches Volkstumsmuseum). Destroyed in 1943 during the aerial bombings of World War II, provisional reconstruction began in 1950, adopting the temporary name of Lower Saxon Homeland Museum (Niedersächsisches Heimatmuseum). In 1966 the museum opened with its present name in a new building designed by the architect Dieter Oesterlen. The Association of the Friends of the Historical Museum (Verein der Freunde des Historischen Museums) supports the work of the museum both materially and non-materially.[3]

In 2017, the museum's permanent exhibition, conceived in 1993, was redesigned.[4] In 2020 the museum closed for three years for renovation work.[5]


The museum from the city

The headquarters of the museum is located Am Hohen Ufer [de] on the Leine river, where the beginning of the medieval settlement of Hanover in the 11th century is assumed, near a Leine crossing of the road between Hildesheim and Bremen, which was secured here by a fiefdom. Even if the derivation of the city's name "Hanovere" or "Honovere" from the "high bank" should not be correct according to the latest scientific findings, the museum has a unique location in the area of the city's origin.

The Beginenturm integrated into the museum is the last completely preserved tower of the medieval fortifications of Hannover [de]. The museum building also incorporates a high stone wall of the ducal Zeughaus am Hohen Ufer [de], built between 1643 and 1649. The wall facing the Hohes Ufer is a section of the city wall. In 2013, when significant medieval finds were discovered in the area during construction work on a neighbouring plot, it led to a three-months archaeological investigation. Opposite of the museum is the historic old town of Hanover which was completely destroyed in World War II, with Burgstraße [de] featuring numerous half-timbered houses reconstructed in the 1960s, as well as the restored Leibniz House [de] on Holzmarkt.


Illuminated museum at night

The museum building was constructed as a new building from 1964 to 1967 according to the plans of the architect Dieter Oesterlen. The Beginenturm and the rest of the ducal arsenal were included on the site of a block of flats in the old town development destroyed in the war. The museum has a polygonal ground plan around a pentagonal inner courtyard. The striking façade has three storeys with alternating broad sandstone surfaces and narrow bands of windows and a staggered view from the northern Burgstrasse. In 1991 it was rebuilt and in 2002 the individual departments were redesigned. This concerned the department of regional history on the ground floor and a part of the city history on the first floor.

The text of the illuminated quotation by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz on the Leibnizufer – a light installation by the American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth[6] – reads:

There is no desert, nothing infertile, nothing dead in the world, no chaos, no confusion, except an apparent one, something like what you would see in a pond if you saw a confused movement and a swarm of fish from some distance, without distinguishing the fish themselves

— Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



The museum is divided in four departments:

  • Vom Fürstentum zum Königreich (From principality to kingdom), showing the development from the Principality of Calenberg around 1600 to the end of the Kingdom of Hanover in 1866
  • Vom Marktflecken zur Messestadt (From market village to trade fair city), showing how Hanover developed within 750 years from a settlement to den hogen overen (on the high banks) to a city
  • Leben auf dem Lande (Life in the country), showing how the rural population of Lower Saxony lived from the 17th to the 20th centuries
  • Museum Schloss Herrenhausen (Museum Herrenhausen Palace), located at Schloss Herrenhausen and opened in May 2013 as a new department

Photo archives[edit]

The museum has one of the largest photo archives in Germany of around one million historical photographs for consultation and acquisition of reproductions.[7] According to photo heritage, the museum has a stock of more than five million photos.[8]

Decorations and orders[edit]

The politician and banker August Basse [de] donated the so-called Finkam Collection of Orders and decorations to the Vaterländisches Museum.[9][10]


Hawa 40 Volt Elektro-Kleinwagen from 1921–1923

Some vintage vehicles are on display in the museum, such as a Hawa 40 Volt Elektro-Kleinwagen [de] from the Hannoversche Waggonfabrik.


Director Thomas Schwark [de] with the plates of the BDA-Preis Niedersachsen [de] and the Museumsregistrierung [de]

From 1928 to 1945, Wilhelm Peßler [de] was director of the Vaterländisches Museum in Hanover. Waldemar R. Röhrbein was director from 1976 to 1997, succeeded by Thomas Schwark [de].

Further reading[edit]

  • Historisches Museum Hannover. In Dieter Oesterlen: Bauten und Texte 1946–1991. Tübingen: Wasmuth 1992, pp. 138–147. ISBN 3-8030-0153-6.
  • Waldemar R. Röhrbein: Historisches Museum am Hohen Ufer 1903 – 1978.[11] In Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter [de], Neue Folge 32 (1978), pp. 3–60
  • Franz Rudolf Zankl: Ausstellung der Gildealtertümer im Vaterländischen Museum. Fotografie um 1910. In Hannover Archiv [de], Blatt K 12
  • Helmuth Plath: Stadtgeschichtliche Abteilung.[12] (Abteilungskataloge des Historischen Museums am Hohen Ufer, Hannover. 1). Hanover 1970.
  • Mit Geschichte in die Zukunft, Festschrift zum 25-jährigen Bestehen der Freunde des Historischen Museums, Hannover 2005
  • Helmut Knocke, Hugo Thielen: Pferdestraße 6. In Hannover Kunst- und Kultur-Lexikon [de], pp. 178–180
  • Thomas Schwark, Waldemar R. Röhrbein: Historisches Museum In Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein (ed.) among others: Stadtlexikon Hannover [de]. Von den Anfängen bis in die Gegenwart. Schlütersche, Hanover 2009, ISBN 978-3-89993-662-9, p. 299.


  1. ^ Schwark, Thomas (2009). "Historisches Museum". In Klaus Mlynek; Waldemar R. Röhrbein (eds.). Hannover City Lexicon. From the beginnings into the present (in German). Hanover: Schlütersche Verlagsgesellschaft. p. 299. ISBN 978-3-89993-662-9. OCLC 458691668. Wikidata Q2327579.
  2. ^ "Unsere Gemeinsame Geschichte". Heimatbund Bad Pyrmont e.V. 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Freunde des Historischen Museums". Freunde des Historischen Museums e.V. 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Der Heimatbund Niedersachsen – ein geschichtlicher Überblick" (in German). Heimatbund Niedersachsen e.V. 2012. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Suche nach Magazin: Wo sollen Hannovers Schätze lagern?". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  6. ^ Leibniz Universität Hannover: Leibniz und Hannover – dem Universalgenie auf der Spur, 2. geänd. Aufl.
  7. ^ "Online-Darstellung, Punkt 8". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  8. ^ Rohde-Enslin, Stefan. "Bestände aus Hannover". Fotoerbe. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  9. ^ Waldemar R. Röhrbein: BASSE, (1) Wilhelm. In Dirk Böttcher, Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein, Hugo Thielen: Hannoversches Biographisches Lexikon. Von den Anfängen bis in die Gegenwart. Schlütersche, Hannover 2002, ISBN 3-87706-706-9, p. 43; online on Google Books
  10. ^ Vergleiche August Finkam: Die an Braunschweiger und Hannoveraner verliehenen Ehrenzeichen für Krieg, Verdienst und Dienstalter, Lafaire, Hannover 1901
  11. ^ Fünfundsiebzig Jahre Historisches Museum am Hohen Ufer, Hannover : 1903–1978 on WorldCat
  12. ^ Plath, Helmut (1970). Stadtgeschichtliche Abteilung. Abteilungskataloge des Historischen Museums am Hohen Ufer, Hannover (in German). Hannover: Historischen Museums am Hohen Ufer. OCLC 72945254.

External links[edit]