Hanover, Ger. Hannover, city (1994 pop. 524,820), capital of Lower Saxony, N Germany, on the Leine River and the Midland Canal. It is a major industrial, commercial, and transshipment center, also serving as a vital rail and road junction in northern Germany. Manufactures include iron and steel, tires, machinery, and motor vehicles. The city is the site of a noted annual industrial fair, the world's largest, held every April. Hanover was chartered in 1241 and in 1369 passed to Brunswick. In 1386 it joined the Hanseatic League. In 1692 it became the capital of the electorate (from 1815 kingdom; from 1866 province) of Hanover (see separate article). Hanover was badly damaged in World War II, but after 1945 numerous old buildings were reconstructed and many modern structures were erected. Points of interest include the Gothic former city hall (15th cent.); the Marktkirche (14th cent.), a red-brick church with a high (318 ft/97 m) tower; the Leineschloss (17th cent.), a château that now houses the parliament of Lower Saxony; and the remains of Herrenhausen castle (17th cent.). Hanover is the seat of technical, medical, and veterinary universities and several museums. The city has numerous parks and gardens, including the site of Expo 2000, Germany's first international exposition. Elector Ernest Augustus, his wife Sophia, and their son, George I of England, are buried in Hanover.