Han'over (Ger. Hanno'ver), formerly a kingdom of northern Germany, but since 1866 incorporated with Prussia. Area, 14,833 sq. m., or nearly twice the size of Wales ; pop. (1871) 1,963,080; (1900) 2,590,340. Except in the south, where the Harz Mountains (q.v.) attain 3037 feet, the surface belongs to the great North German plain, with great stretches of moor and heath, the largest the Lune-burg. It is watered by the Elbe, Weser, Ems, and their tributaries. Norderney and Borkum (islands) are seaside resorts. Gottingen is the seat of a university, and the capital is Hanover. The people of the north-eastern and central provinces are mostly Saxons; those on the coast are of Frisian origin ; those on the west of the Ems, Dutch; and those in the southern provinces, Thuringians and Franconians. Platt-Deutsch, or Low German, is commonly spoken in the rural districts; but High German is the language of the educated classes, and is spoken with more purity than in any other part of the empire. The second elector of Hanover became in 1714 George I. of England, and the connection lasted until Queen Victoria's accession to the British crown in 1837, Hanover then passing to her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland. His son, the blind George V. (1819-78), succeeded in 1851, and in 1866 sided with Austria, and was dethroned, Hanover (which in 1815 had been constituted a kingdom) being annexed to Prussia.
Hanover, the capital, is situated on a sub-tributary of the Weser, 78 miles SE. of Bremen and 158 W. of Berlin. It consists of the old town, with narrow streets and mediaeval houses, and the handsome modern town, lying N., E., and SE. of the older portion. The most interesting buildings are the town-hall (1439), with antique sculpture and fine frescoes; the royal library (200,000 vols, and 4000 MSS.); the theatre, one of the largest in Germany; the palaces; the museum, with natural history and art collections ; the Kestner Museum, with antiquities and a collection of engravings (120,000); the polytechnic school, formerly a ducal castle; the castle church; the 14th-century 'market' church ; and the 'new town' church, with the tomb of Leibnitz; and the magnificent railway station. Close by is the royal palace of Herrenhausen, whose beautiful grounds are open to the public. Hanover is a centre of the North German railway system, and amongst its industries are railway repair shops, iron-founding, typefounding, the manufacture of pianofortes, india-rubber goods, tobacco, linen, sugar, chocolate, hardware, brewing, and distilling. Pop. (1871) 87,641; (1900)235,650. Hanover is the birthplace of the brothers Schlegel; Louisa, queen of Prussia ; and Sir William Herschel.