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From 1868 to 1946 Hanover was the capital of the Prussian Province of Hanover and afterwards of the Hanover administrative region until that was abolished in 2005. Since 2001 it has been part of the Hanover district (Region Hannover), which is a municipal body made up of the former district (Landkreis Hannover) and city of Hanover (note: although both Region and Landkreis are translated as district they are not the same).
With a population of 518,000, Hanover is a major centre of Northern Germany and the country's thirteenth largest city.
It was connected to the Hanseatic League city of Bremen by the Leine, and was situated near the southern edge of the wide North German Plain and north-west of the Harz mountains, so that east-west traffic such as mule trains passed through it.
Hanover was thus a gateway to the Rhine, Ruhr and Saar river valleys, their industrial areas which grew up to the southwest and the plains regions to the east and north, for overland traffic skirting the Harz between the Low Countries and Saxony or Thuringia.
Thus the principality was upgraded to the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover after Calenberg's capital (see also: House of Hanover).
The capital town Hanover expanded to the western bank of the Leine and since then has grown considerably.
Hanover is of national importance because of its universities and medical school, its international airport and its large zoo.
The city is also a major crossing point of railway lines and highways (Autobahnen), connecting European main lines in both the east-west (Berlin–Ruhr area) and north-south (Hamburg–Munich, etc.) directions. The German spelling (with a double n) is becoming more popular in English; recent editions of encyclopaedias prefer the German spelling, Hanover was founded in medieval times on the east bank of the River Leine.
Hanover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and the Ce BIT.
Every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest marksmen's festival, and the Oktoberfest Hannover, the second largest festival of its kind in Germany. The Hanover fairground, due to numerous extensions, especially for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world.
Her descendants, however, bore her husband's titular name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.