Hannover is the capital of Lower Saxony. Located at the Leine, Hannover has around 520,000 inhabitants. It belongs to the region of Hanover, a local government association, a special kind, and is part of the Metropolitan Region Hannover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg. Hanover was the capital of the kingdom of Hanover, and after its annexation by Prussia 1866-1946 capital of the Prussian province of Hanover. The city is now a worldwide major trade fair city. The development of the city has benefited from its location at the intersection of important national and European roads.
Hannover is home to different worldwide known industrial companies have her seat which have developed from traditional companies resulted in the 19th century. Among others, important industrial companies are the Automobilzulieferer Continental AG, the Volkswagen commercial vehicles, the vehicle system manufacturer WABCO, the construction machine manufacturer Komatsu Hanomag, the Varta-battery plant (today Johnson Controls) and the abrasive manufacturer VSM. The company MTU in the north of Hannover in Langenhagen is the worldwide leading company in the area of servicing for commercial airplane engines. The food industry is also represented with Bahlsen, Harry's bread and the breweries Gilde Brauerei and Herrenhäuser. The cement industry near Hannover is focused on the production of building material cement.
Hannover is an important fair city with the biggest exhibition site of the world. Every spring Hannover hosts the world-biggest computer fair, the Cebit and the world-biggest industrial exhibition Hannover Messe. In 2000 the world exhibition Expo took place in Hannover. More than 60 national and international fairs which take place regularly on the exhibition site in the south of the town. Those are attended in total by about two million people. Other fairs are, for example, the Domotex, the Ligna +, the CeMAT, the Infa, the EMO, the euroanimal, the IdeenExpo, the Altenpflege+ProPflege, the Cosmetica and the IAA Commercial Vehicles. The exhibition site disposes a big event centre for congresses of all kind, and important aides, like ATMs, car-rentals a church and more. Within the Hannover Congress centrum more than 500 congresses and smaller fairs are organised yearly.
The Hanover Schützenfest with its ten acre funfair area is considered the largest shooting match in the world. The tradition dates back to the 15th Century. The ten-day event is visited by over 1.5 million visitors (2009: 1.6 million) every year . The traditional drink is â€œLüttje Lageâ€ .About 250 performers will be represented at the festival.The first document mentioned of the hannoverschen Schützenwesens being dervied from a letter of Herzog Wilhelm the victorious to the city council in 1468. He complained about the military-sporty exercises of the Hanoverians. He received words, that the Hanoverians in the area of the polished castle Lauenrode shoot with crossbows at a colored wooden parrot fastened to a pole if they lay in feud with her sovereign. At that time crossbows and guns were defensive weapons for the protection of the town.