Many visitors are quite astonished to hear that the magnificent building they are standing in front of is, actually, the "new" town hall. Its size and grand architectural style make it look more "historical", like a relict from more majestic times, when Hannover used to be a kingdom. The town hall itself was, however, ceremonially opened on 20 June 1913, after twelve years building time. "And it is all paid in cash, your Majesty", as the then Mayor of Hannover, Heinrich Tramm , proudly announced to the emperor Wilhelm II, present at the opening ceremony. The proud figure of ten million Mark was the amount the municipality was willing to pay for its new splendid building, erected upon 6026 beech-tree piles. It was designed by the architects Eggert and Halmhuber.
The top of the dome of the New Town Hall reaches 97,73 m (320 ft.). The diagonal lift in the town hall's dome is unique in the world. At a 17-degree angle it covers the 43 metres up to the gallery at the top of the dome. From this vantage point one can enjoy a marvellous view of the whole city, even as far as the Harz Mountains when visibility is good.