The imposing building of Neues Rathaus, resembling an ancient castle, was erected by the architects Hermann Eggert and Gustav Halmhuber, piled on 6026 beeches on the banks of an artificial lake. Although named Neues Rathaus or New Town Hall, the building is more than a century old, built in Baroque style between 1901 and 1913 and was opened by Emperor Wilhelm II.
Built at 10 million, considered an extortionate amount at that time, the new building replaced the Old Town Hall as the main seat of administration, except the business and the registry office.
The majestic City Hall is equipped with a square in front of it, named Trammplatz in honour of the City Director, Heinrich Tramm.
The imposing building Neues Rathaus dominating the southern edge of the inner city of Hanover, served as the mayor's residence, the seat of the municipal government and also the venue for the permanent exhibitions depicting the history of Hannover. The magnificent building is adorned with numerous bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the history of the city.
The lobby of the building features four scale models of the City of Hannover as it was in the middle ages, before World War II, after the destruction of 1945, and how the city looks today.
The Conference Room contains a huge painting titled Unity, created by Ferdinand Hodler, one of the best-known Swiss painters of the nineteenth century, depicting the city's adoption of Protestantism in 1533. The new Citizen Hall is located in the eastern wing, where smaller meetings and exhibitions take place.
The massive building of Neues Rathaus is crowned with a grand dome, which stands around 320 feet (97 m) above ground, equipped with an observation deck offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city, even the Harz Mountains on clear days. However, the lift of the dome, erected in 1913 and moves in steam-bent oaken tracks is unique in Europe.
Following the shape of the dome, the lift cage fist climbs vertically and then follows a parabolic course of 160 feet (50 m) at an angle of 17-degree to the gallery of the dome. During the trip, when the cage goes up, the two weight-bearing cables wind up in the wall of the shaft, on three double rolls. There is a spiral staircase, which leads the visitors from the lift exit to the observation level.
Unfortunately, the lift remained idle for half of the year as it could not be used during the long period of harsh winter. Finally, the old lift was replaced, when a new lift was installed in its place during the winter of 2007–2008. The old lift made its last trip on 4 November 2007, with Lord Mayor Stephan Well as one of the passengers. During that weekend, around 1200 guests took the opportunity to ride the old lift for the last time.
Neues Rathaus is the mute witness of the historic moment when the new German state of Niedersachsen was proclaimed from its 125 feet (38 m) high hall in 1946. However, during World War II, it was heavily damaged by the American bomb raids in the inner city of Hanover, which was repaired subsequently after the end of the Great War.