Peine is located in Northern Germany in the Lower Saxony region. It is only 35 km (or 22 mi) from Hanover and is seated along the Fuhse River and the Mittellandkanal, the longest man-made waterway in the country.
Peine is particularly famous for its steel industry. In fact, the name “Peine” comes from a certain kind of steel beam. The industrial revolution took this town by storm as this former agricultural center saw a quick transformation into a manufacturing center.
In 1844, Peine’s first railroad was built, connecting it to the larger city of Hanover. The following years would see the completion of an iron ore works and rolling mill. The town only managed to enjoy a few years of industrial dominance before the world wars interrupted its prosperity.
However, the end of the wars would bring something else to Peine, for which it would become notable. In the 1950s, many Turkish immigrants began to arrive in Germany as a result of a rather bad economy in their home country. By the 1960s, these Turks were allowed the same rights as other European immigrants. In modern Peine about one-third of the population is actually Turkish!
Of course, there are many highlights in town to attract visitors and immigrants alike. Its ancient marketplace is a main attraction and the heart of the town with its restaurants, ice cream shops and social meeting points. The Jakobi Church is a Gothic masterpiece that offers its visitors beautiful ceiling frescoes.
Peine is also known as “The Owl City” for its many legends surrounding this nocturnal bird. The original story is that the townspeople grew fearful after an owl set up house in one of the local barns. No one was brave enough to approach the bird, so they set fire to the barn.
Neighboring towns used this anecdote to make fun of the Peiners, although the city eventually embraced the owl as their town mascot. ;-)