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Niedersachsen (or "Lower Saxony" in English) belongs to Germany's 16 federal states. The state is located in the country's northwestern corner, acting as a border with the Netherlands. The North Sea's coast forms a natural boundary of Lower Saxony to the north. Within the country, the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg border Niedersachsen to the north, the states of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania to the northeast, Saxony-Anhalt to the east, Thuringia and Hessen to the south, and North Rhine–Westphalia to the southwest. Hannover, the capital city of Lower Saxony, is located in the southeastern part of the territory. Historically, the area belonged to the region of Saxony, which later disintegrated into smaller duchies and self-governing territories. Hannover then became the capital city of the Kingdom of Hannover. However, the kingdom soon became part of Prussia. Nowadays, a considerable number of landmarks from the imperial era can be found across the region. One such example is the castle Marienburg, which attracts a number of tourists annually. However, history and culture are not the only reasons tourists visit Lower Saxony. Protected areas and nature parks cover the land. Among the best known is Lüneburg Heath Nature Park, with fields of purple flowers that bloom every August and September. Generally, Niedersachsen is often regarded as one of Germany's naturally and geographically most diverse states, as the landscape is of highland character in the south. In contrast, the north is represented by coastal and maritime nature.
Lower Saxony, in German called Niedersachsen, is a federal state characterized by its history and diverse nature, contributing to its considerable touristic popularity. Descendants of the original Lower Saxon inhabitants often refer to themselves as Low Germans, with the local dialect-Plattdeutsch. With their national pride, the people of Lower Saxony take care of their historical and cultural heritage. Hannover, Niedersachsen's capital city, formerly the capital city of the Kingdom of Hannover, can be found in the southeastern part of the region. As the town used to be an imperial capital, a considerable number of historical landmarks can be seen scattered across the city. Among the most visited sites within Hannover's borders are the New Town Hall, the Opera House, the Old Town Hall, and Old Town itself. In terms of green areas, Herrenhausen Gardens is reportedly one of the most famous attractions in Hannover and are one of the most significant baroque gardens in Europe.
Located to the south of Hannover is Marienburg Castle, offering castle tours, a viewing tower, and a visit to the stables. The castle was built in the 19th century as a gift of the Hannoverian King for his wife, designed to have a "fairytale-like appearance." Nowadays, the castle is a center for music, art, and culture. Additionally, one of the highly visited destinations in the Lower Saxony territory is the Ducal Palace of Celle. The palace offers guided tours not only of the building but also of the Residence Museum, Palace Chapel, Palace Theatre, and the park.
Regarding historical landmarks, the town of Goslar, located on the eastern borders of the region, is one of the most visited towns in the region. Goslar used to be a free imperial city within Germany with over a millennium of history. The town's silver and copper deposits made it attractive for people to settle in; thus, the town grew and gained independence. Goslar used to be a government seat in northern Germany and also a center of Christianity. With over 47 churches, chapels, and monasteries, the town is currently nicknamed the "Rome of the North." For these reasons, Goslar's Old Town is protected by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Concerning Lower Saxony's natural attractions, one of the most visited green areas is part of the protected territory of the Lüneburg Heath Nature Park and Nature Reserve. Located in the eastern part of the territory, Lüneburg Heath Nature Park was Germany's first nature park and is presently one of the largest natural parks. The central part of the park is represented by the most extensive contiguous heathland in Central Europe, with little to no car access. Lüneburg Heath Nature Park protects nature, which is dominated by wetlands, deciduous forests, and heath streams, and the living heath villages with old thatched houses and courtyards. Reportedly, the most recommended time to visit the nature park is late summer, particularly August and September, since during that time, the heath is covered by a purple carpet of flowers. Beyond this, Lüneburg Heath Nature Park offers a network of footpaths and cycling trails.
Lower Saxony is located in the northwestern corner of Germany, sharing a state border with the Netherlands. The natural border of the state to the north is represented by the North Sea's coast, with the 12 East Frisian Islands belonging to Lower Saxony as well. Lower Saxony surrounds the independent city of Bremen, which forms its own federal state. Most of the territory is of flat landscape belonging to the great North German Plain, with only the southern part being of minor highland character. The northern segment of the territory is characterized by sandy lowlands of heath, bog, polder, and scattered forests. Reportedly, around 840 square kilometers of coastal area are below sea level. Thus, dikes similar to those in the Netherlands protect the land from inundation. Concerning the waters, among the predominant water flows within Niedersachsen's border are the Weser, Fulda, and Werra. The most significant lakes in Lower Saxony are Steinhuder Lake and Dümmer Lake. The Weser, Deister, and Harz mountains are located in the southern part of the region, providing a primarily highland landscape.
The nature of Niedersachsen is diverse, with coastal habitats to the north, through plain and lowland landscapes in the middle to the highlands of the south. Several protected landscape areas, nature parks, and preserves protect the diversity of the region's nature. The southern coastal area with the East Frisian Islands is protected by Lower Saxony's Wattenmeer National Park, which is part of the Wadden Sea tidal-flat region designated by UNESCO. The landscape is dominated by salt marshes and steep sandy dunes and is inhabited by a considerable number of bird species and seals. However, the area also serves as a popular destination among tourists seeking water recreation.
In terms of Niedersachens' climate, the region is located in the transition of the maritime environment of Western Europe and the continental climate of Eastern Europe, providing mild winters and moderately warm summers. Concerning the average temperatures in Lower Saxony's capital, Hanover, the warmest month is July, with an average daily temperature of 24°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 4°C. April tends to be the driest month in Hanover, with an average of 39 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during August, as it receives about 68 mm on average.
Niedersachsen, or Lower Saxony, is part of the historical region Saxony, which is nowadays divided into several self-governing federal states. The name Saxony is derived from the Germanic tribal people, called Saxons, who inhabited the territory since ancient times. In the eighth century, Saxons were governed by Duke Widukind and fought against Franks. However, the Saxons lost the fight, Lower Saxony's area became part of the Frankish empire, and the population was Christianized. The last duke to rule over Lower Saxony was Henry the Lion, who was in power in the 12th century. During his reign, the whole territory from the Alps to the North Sea was part of Saxony. However, Henry was later exiled, and the duchy of Saxony was divided into several principalities, frequently fighting about the territory and succession.
The term "Lower Saxony" was first used in the 1300s, yet the territory wasn't administratively defined until the beginning of the 16th century. Later, during the Napoleonic times of the 19th century, Lower Saxony belonged to the Confederation of the Rhine, better known as Napoleonic France, with several parts of the Niedersachsen belonging to the Kingdom of Holland. The Kingdom of Hannover formed, covering most of the Saxony region, with support from the UK. However, by the end of the century, the kingdom was subdued to Prussia and degraded to the status of Prussian Province. Several smaller territories, such as the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, the Duchy of Brunswick, and the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe, located within Saxony, retained their territorial autonomy within Germany until 1946. The Saxons' resistance against Prussia increased in the following years, yet the territory still did not unite.
Lower Saxony became a British occupation zone after World War II. The first official meeting of Lower Saxony's parliament took place in 1946. During that time, the region faced refugees coming to Lower Saxony from East Germany. Additionally, the territory was closest to West Berlin. Thus it became the main transportation artery to West Berlin and the busiest European border crossing point during the Cold War. Nowadays, Niedersachsen is Germany's second-largest federal state, home to several significant industrial towns, such as Hanover, Braunschweig, Osnabrück, Wolfsburg, and more.
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