The elevated station

What Berlin, New York and Co. copied from Hannover

Not the magnificent opera house and not the elaborately designed Herrenhausen Gardens: reveals why, of all places, Hannover's central station served as a model for many a metropolis.

Hannover Main Station

One of the first through stations

While in the middle of the 19th century other cities had a representative stub-end station, the station in Hannover was designed as a through station from the outset. In 1843, however, it resembled more a stop-gap solution than a prestigious station. But the completion of a through station with its accompanying station building in 1847 furthered Hannover's development as a transport hub. In front of the station, architect, urban planner and master builder Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves (1788-1864) created a representative forecourt, from which radiating streets led to the most magnificent buildings of the city. With this and other edifices, Laves fulfilled his mission to lend Hannover the splendour worthy of a royal seat. The station is still located at its original site.

Elevated tracks as an innovation of the 1870s

The increase in traffic, which went hand in hand with the growth of the city of Hannover, led to a reconstruction a few years later. The railway tracks were raised to allow cars and pedestrians to pass underneath. An embankment, four and a half metres high and running through the entire city, was completed in 1873. The elevation of the tracks necessitated an adjustment of the station building: a neo-Renaissance complex with a main hall and two wings was completed in 1879. Its design with elevated tracks and platforms was dubbed "the Hannover System" and became a model for numerous railway stations all over the world.

Historical underpasses

Many of the traffic underpasses built at the time are listed as historical monuments. At the Bismarck railway station, for example, the passage to the former horse race track is still adorned by a relief with magnificent stone eagles. And at the passageway of the Lindemannallee, ancient horse troughs have been preserved at both entrances.