To the south-west of Hanover in the state of Lower Saxony is the old mining town of Ronnenberg. Part of the historic region: Calenburger Country, this busy town has agricultural roots and is surrounded by great castles and churches.
The town’s own great church is that of Michaelis which was built in the 9th century and contains parts of St Bonifacious chapel — another great church which was built the century before but is no longer standing. Its tower can be seen above the houses as you approach by road past the rolling farmland.
Many visitors come to Ronnenberg as a great base to explore Hanover and the surrounding countryside, and it is easy to see why. Many of the buildings here and in nearby villages are little medieval half-timbered structures which always look so cute.
In fact neighboring Ihme-Roloven has been named as one of the most beautiful villages in Lower Saxony because of this — and is certainly worth a long visit.
The geology of this region includes a rich supply of Potash — a type of salt. This salt has been used for centuries to make soap, glass and as a soil fertiliser which explains the miles and miles of farmland in this part of the country. It also was mined for profit, and the town became rich from its mining.
This was a short-lived exploitation and nearly all the mines around here have been abandoned. However, due to regeneration and land improvement projects, old mines and tailing’s heaps have been transformed into outdoor areas for walking, hiking and cycling, or just for a great picnic!
Another popular outdoor destination around Ronnenberg is the Benthem Berg — a forested outcrop to the west of the town — popular with city-dwellers on a day out! The tourist influx completely reverses during the Oktoberfest; as Hanover holds the second largest celebration in the country after Munich. ;-)