The New Town Hall (German: Neues Rathaus) or New City Hall in Hanover, Germany, is a city hall and was opened on July 20, 1913, after having been under construction for 12 years. It is a magnificent, castle-like building of the era of Wilhelm II in eclectic style at the southern edge of the inner city (outside of the historic city centre of Hanover). The building is embedded in the 10 hectare Maschpark. The Old Town Hall is no longer used as the main seat of administration, but houses businesses and the registry office.
In its day, the building cost 10 million Marks. It was erected on 6026 beech piles by the architects, Hermann Eggert and Gustav Halmhuber. “Ten million Marks, Your Majesty – and all paid for in cash”, announced the City Director, Heinrich Tramm, when the New Town Hall was opened by Emperor Wilhelm II. The square in front of the City Hall was named Trammplatz in honour of Tramm. The New Town Hall replaced the Wangenheimpalais as the city hall from then on.
During World War II, the building was heavily damaged during American bomb raids on the inner city of Hanover. The German state of Niedersachsen was proclaimed in 1946 in the 38 m high hall of the New Town Hall.
The dome of the New Town Hall, with its observation platform, is nearly 100 m high. The dome’s lift is unique in Europe, with its arched course (parabolic, following the shape of the dome). It is often incorrectly described as a sloping lift up the dome and compared with the lifts in the Eiffel Tower, which actually only travel diagonally, without changing their angle of inclination. The lift climbs the 50 m shaft at an angle of up to 17° to the gallery of the dome, where the Harz mountain range can be seen when visibility is good. In the process, the lift moves over 10 m. During the trip, the two weight-bearing cables wind up on three double rolls in the wall of the shaft.
The lift was erected in 1913. The lift cage travelled in steam-bent oaken tracks. Because of the weather, the original lift was not usable in the colder half of the year. There is a spiral staircase, which leads from the lift exit to the observation level. In 2005, over 90,000 people visited the tower of the New Town Hall. A new lift was installed in winter of 2007–08. The last trip of the old lift took place with Lord Mayor Stephan Weil on November 4, 2007. On that weekend, 1200 guests took the last opportunity to ride in the old lift.
There are four city models of Hanover in the ground floor of the New Town Hall. They vividly portray the development of the city.