Hanover (German: Hannover) is the capital of Lower Saxony in Germany. Hanover built a huge exhibition complex for the World Expo in 2000 and has been host to several of the biggest exhibitions in the world. Consequently, it calls itself the "Expo City" or "Exhibition City" (Expo Stadt/Messestadt). Hanover also played host to the 2006 Association Football World Cup. The major language spoken is German. English is not common, except during major international events. Nevertheless most people understand English and will be able to help you find your way around.
Hanover was one of the hardest hit during World War II, leaving it with only a few historical landmarks. Don't expect to see beautiful centuries-old buildings; even the Old City (Altstadt) area is "new", as all the old houses left standing after the war (around 40) were taken from throughout the city and collected in one place. This area is surrounded by some 1950s and 1960s buildings that give a somewhat heavy atmosphere to the streets. However, there still are several residential neighborhoods consisting of late-19th-century housing stock with often elaborate historicist (Victorian) and Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) decorations just outside the downtown area, such as Oststadt, List or Linden.