Lower Saxony

Lower Saxony

Land Niedersachsen (German)
Land Neddersassen (Low Saxon)
Lound Läichsaksen (Saterland Frisian)
Flag of Lower Saxony
Flag
Coat of arms of Lower Saxony
Coat of arms
Deutschland Lage von Niedersachsen.svg
Coordinates: 52°45′22″N 9°23′35″E / 52°45′22″N 9°23′35″E / 52.75611; 9.39306
CountryGermany
CapitalHanover
Government
 • BodyLandtag of Lower Saxony
 • Minister PresidentStephan Weil (SPD)
 • Governing partiesSPD / CDU
 • Bundesrat votes6 (of 69)
Area
 • Total47,614.07 km2 (18,383.90 sq mi)
Population
(2017-12-31)[1]
 • Total7,962,775
 • Density170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeDE-NI
GDP (nominal)€247 billion (2013)[2]
GDP per capita€31,100 (2013)
www.niedersachsen.de

Lower Saxony (German: Niedersachsen [ˈniːdɐzaksn̩]; Low German: Neddersassen; Dutch: Nedersaksen) is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population (7.9 million) among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon (a dialect of Low German) and Saterland Frisian (a variety of the Frisian language) are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.

Lower Saxony borders on (from north and clockwise) the North Sea, the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Netherlands. Furthermore, the state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the city of Bremen, the other, its seaport city of Bremerhaven. In fact, Lower Saxony borders more neighbours than any other single Bundesland. The state's principal cities include the state capital Hanover, Braunschweig (Brunswick), Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Oldenburg, Hildesheim, Wolfenbüttel, Wolfsburg, and Göttingen.

The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called East Frisia and the seven East Frisian Islands offshore are popular with tourists. In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony, also known as the North German Plains, is almost invariably flat except for the gentle hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie the northern parts of the German Central Uplands: the Weser Uplands and the Harz mountains. Between these two lie the Lower Saxon Hills, a range of low ridges. Thus, Lower Saxony is the only Bundesland that encompasses both maritime and mountainous areas.

Lower Saxony's major cities and economic centres are mainly situated in its central and southern parts, namely Hanover, Braunschweig, Osnabrück, Wolfsburg, Salzgitter, Hildesheim, and Göttingen. Oldenburg, near the northwestern coastline, is another economic centre. The region in the northeast is called the Lüneburg Heath (Lüneburger Heide), the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation of its peat bogs until about the 1960s. To the north, the Elbe River separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Brandenburg. The banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land (Old Country). Due to its gentle local climate and fertile soil, it is the state's largest area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples.

Most of the state's territory was part of the historic Kingdom of Hanover; the state of Lower Saxony has adopted the coat of arms and other symbols of the former kingdom. It was created by the merger of the State of Hanover with three smaller states on 1 November 1946.

Geography

Location

Lower Saxony has a natural boundary in the north in the North Sea and the lower and middle reaches of the River Elbe, although parts of the city of Hamburg lie south of the Elbe. The state and city of Bremen is an enclave entirely surrounded by Lower Saxony. The Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region is a cooperative body for the enclave area. To the southeast, the state border runs through the Harz, low mountains that are part of the German Central Uplands. The northeast and west of the state, which form roughly three-quarters of its land area, belong to the North German Plain, while the south is in the Lower Saxon Hills, including the Weser Uplands, Leine Uplands, Schaumburg Land, Brunswick Land, Untereichsfeld, Elm, and Lappwald. In northeast, Lower Saxony is Lüneburg Heath. The heath is dominated by the poor, sandy soils of the geest, whilst in the central east and southeast in the loess börde zone, productive soils with high natural fertility occur. Under these conditions—with loam and sand-containing soils—the land is well-developed agriculturally. In the west lie the County of Bentheim, Osnabrück Land, Emsland, Oldenburg Land, Ammerland, Oldenburg Münsterland, and on the coast East Frisia.

The state is dominated by several large rivers running northwards through the state: the Ems, Weser, Aller, and Elbe.

The highest mountain in Lower Saxony is the Wurmberg (971 m) in the Harz. For other significant elevations see: List of mountains and hills in Lower Saxony. Most of the mountains and hills are found in the southeastern part of the state. The lowest point in the state, at about 2.5 m below sea level, is a depression near Freepsum in East Frisia.

The state's economy, population, and infrastructure are centred on the cities and towns of Hanover, Stadthagen, Celle, Braunschweig, Wolfsburg, Hildesheim, and Salzgitter. Together with Göttingen in southern Lower Saxony, they form the core of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region.

Regions

General

Lower Saxony has clear regional divisions that manifest themselves geographically, as well as historically and culturally. In the regions that used to be independent, especially the heartlands of the former states of Brunswick, Hanover, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe, a marked local regional awareness exists. By contrast, the areas surrounding the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg are much more oriented towards those centres.

List of regions

Sometimes, overlaps and transition areas happen between the various regions of Lower Saxony. Several of the regions listed here are part of other, larger regions, that are also included in the list.

Just under 20% of the land area of Lower Saxony is designated as nature parks, i.e.: Dümmer, Elbhöhen-Wendland, Elm-Lappwald, Harz, Lüneburger Heide, Münden, Terra.vita, Solling-Vogler, Lake Steinhude, Südheide, Weser Uplands, Wildeshausen Geest, Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen.[4]

Climate

Lower Saxony falls climatically into the north temperate zone of central Europe that is affected by prevailing Westerlies and is located in a transition zone between the maritime climate of Western Europe and the continental climate of Eastern Europe. This transition is clearly noticeable within the state: whilst the northwest experiences an Atlantic (North Sea coastal) to Sub-Atlantic climate, with comparatively low variations in temperature during the course of the year and a surplus water budget, the climate towards the southeast is increasingly affected by the Continent. This is clearly shown by greater temperature variations between the summer and winter halves of the year and in lower and more variable amounts of precipitation across the year. This sub-continental effect is most sharply seen in the Wendland, in the Weser Uplands (Hamelin to Göttingen) and in the area of Helmstedt. The highest levels of precipitation are experienced in the Harz because the Lower Saxon part forms the windward side of this mountain range against which orographic rain falls. The average annual temperature is 8 °C (7.5 °C in the Altes Land and 8.5 °C in the district of Cloppenburg).

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Nedersakse
Alemannisch: Niedersachsen
አማርኛ: ኒደርዛክስን
Ænglisc: Niðerseaxland
aragonés: Baixa Saxonia
asturianu: Baxa Saxonia
Avañe'ẽ: Guy Sahoña
azərbaycanca: Aşağı Saksoniya
تۆرکجه: نیدرزاکسن
Bân-lâm-gú: Niedersachsen
беларуская: Ніжняя Саксонія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ніжняя Саксонія
български: Долна Саксония
Boarisch: Niedasaxn
bosanski: Donja Saksonija
brezhoneg: Saks-Izel
Cebuano: Lower Saxony
čeština: Dolní Sasko
Cymraeg: Niedersachsen
davvisámegiella: Niedersachsen
Deutsch: Niedersachsen
dolnoserbski: Dolnosakska
eesti: Alam-Saksi
Ελληνικά: Κάτω Σαξονία
español: Baja Sajonia
Esperanto: Malsupra Saksio
فارسی: نیدرزاکسن
français: Basse-Saxe
Gàidhlig: Sagsainn Ìosail
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hâ Saxony
한국어: 니더작센주
hornjoserbsce: Delnja Sakska
hrvatski: Donja Saska
Bahasa Indonesia: Niedersachsen
interlingua: Basse Saxonia
Interlingue: Infra Saxonia
íslenska: Neðra-Saxland
italiano: Bassa Sassonia
Basa Jawa: Niedersachsen
Kapampangan: Lower Saxony
kernowek: Niedersachsen
Kiswahili: Saksonia Chini
latviešu: Lejassaksija
Lëtzebuergesch: Niddersachsen
Limburgs: Nedersakse
lingála: Saxí-ya-Nsé
lumbaart: Bàsa Sasònia
македонски: Долна Саксонија
Bahasa Melayu: Sachsen Hilir
монгол: Доор Саксон
Nederlands: Nedersaksen
Nedersaksies: Nedersaksen
нохчийн: Лаха Саксони
Nordfriisk: Niidersaksen
norsk nynorsk: Niedersachsen
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Quyi Saksoniya
Pälzisch: Niedersachsen
Papiamentu: Niedersachsen
Piemontèis: Bassa Sassònia
Plattdüütsch: Neddersassen
português: Baixa Saxônia
Runa Simi: Niedersachsen
Seeltersk: Läichsaksen
Simple English: Lower Saxony
slovenčina: Dolné Sasko
slovenščina: Spodnja Saška
Soomaaliga: Niedersachsen
српски / srpski: Доња Саксонија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Donja Saska
suomi: Ala-Saksi
svenska: Niedersachsen
татарча/tatarça: Түбән Саксония
українська: Нижня Саксонія
Tiếng Việt: Niedersachsen
Volapük: Dona-Saxän
文言: 下薩克森
West-Vlams: Nedersaksen
Winaray: Niedersachsen
Yorùbá: Lower Saxony
粵語: 下薩克遜
中文: 下萨克森