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With a stallion adorning its coat of arms, Lower Saxony is perhaps best known for packing horsepower into the cars it produces, but this federal state is also galloping ahead in other spheres. Before reunification, 550 kilometres of the inner German border, the longest stretch in any of the federal states, were to be found in Lower Saxony. It is the second largest of the German federal states and nurtures close relations with its only foreign neighbour, the Netherlands. Lower Saxony boasts the Wolfsburg-Hanover-Braunschweig area, one of Europe’s largest clusters of the automotive industry. Lower Saxony’s seaports serve as a gateway to the Far East, America and the rest of the world. Hanover is the capital of Lower Saxony and hosts the world’s top industrial trade fairs. But Lower Saxony also plays an important role as an energy-provider: more than 90% of Germany’s crude oil and a third of its natural gas come from here. The federal state is also a key player in Germany’s renewable energy sector, in particular when it comes to wind power and biomass.
It has a rich tradition in research as exemplified by the venerable yet modern universities in Braunschweig and Göttingen, the Hanover Medical School and many other institutions outside the university context. Turning to culture, Lower Saxony is know as the Land of Music and thus attaches great importance to supporting a wide range of musical activities. As a sparsely populated federal state, it offers enchanting landscapes with the peaks of the Harz Mountains, the bracing maritime climate at the North Sea and the Lüneburger Heath. The seven East Frisian Islands are also popular holiday destinations.
With kind permission of the Bundesrat (January 2013)