Saxony (German: Niedersachsen) lies in north-western Germany
and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen Bundesländer
(states) of Germany.
In rural areas Low German is
still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.
Saxony Featured Self-Catering Accommodation
Saxony borders on (from north and clockwise) the North Sea, the states
of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg,
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Hesse
and North Rhine-Westphalia,
and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In total,
Lower Saxony borders more neighboring states than any other federal state.
The state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the
city of Bremen, the other its seaport
city of Bremerhaven. The state's principal cities include Hanover,
Braunschweig, Osnabrück, Oldenburg, and Göttingen.
The northwestern portion
of Lower Saxony is a part of Frisia; it is called Ostfriesland (East Frisia)
and lies on the coast of the North Sea. It includes seven islands, known
as the East Frisian Islands. In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the
Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated
by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony, also known as
the North German Plains, is almost invariably flat except for the gentle
hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie
the northern parts of the German Central Highlands, the Weserbergland (Weser
mountain range) and the Harz mountains. Between these two lies the Lower
Saxon Hill Country, a range of minor elevations. Lower Saxony's major cities
and economic centres are mainly situated in its central and southern parts,
namely Hanover, Hildesheim, Wolfsburg, Salzgitter and Braunschweig. Oldenburg,
near the northwestern coastline, is another economic center. The region
in the northeast is called Lüneburger Heide (Lüneburg Heath),
the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due
to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation
of its peat bogs up until about the 1960s. To the north, the Elbe river
separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg,
Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg. The
banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land (Old Country). Due
to its gentle local climate and fertile soil it is the state's largest
area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples.
/ Lower Saxony Featured Self-Catering Accommodation