You have to hand it to Lower Saxony on this one. Pattensen isn’t just your everyday “run of the mill” bedroom town that gets forgotten because of its larger neighbor (yes, it’s that close to Hanover).
In a town that obscurely dates back to the 9th century, it has a long and interesting history. Not to mention that sitting right on the Deister, doesn’t hurt either.
One of the most unique finds in Germany came from right here in Pattensen. An early Bronze Age gold necklace, known as a Goldlunula and thought to have come from Ireland on ancient trade routes. Only a few Goldlunulae are known to exist in the world and you’ll be able to see it at the State Museum of Lower Saxony.
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You’re also able to see quite a few castles (some in ruins) here in Pattensen. One of the most beautiful is Schloss Marienberg, once the 19th century summer residence of George and Marie, the last King and Queen of Hanover.
However, the ruins of a 13th century water castle known as Schloss Calenberg are quite beautiful and a bit unique. Its large underground cellars go on for so long that it’s quite easy to get lost.
You’ll also sure to find more castle ruins along the Deister, but that’s not its only claim to fame. Scattered throughout this chain of hills, that stretch for about 20 kilometers, is an abundance of cycling trails that take you past rare flora and fauna and grave hills from much earlier civilizations (called tumuli).
With hourly bus service from Hanover to Pattensen there’s no excuse for not taking a quick jaunt over. If not to eat the locally grown sugar beets (that are quite popular in the region), but for its rich history and natural beauty. Remember, this was a town fit for a queen.