EXPO 2000
The site
The nations' pavilions
Pavilions East
Central Area
Pavilions West
The visitors

This page rested almost two years on a web server, lonely and forgotten I had removed it from my local PC long ago and I had decided not to incorporate something about EXPO 2000 in my website.

But when I recently tidied up my web space I have discovered the corresponding pictures, too (on another server) and decided to finally finish the page about the EXPO. I enjoyed it very much when I was studying my EXPO guide again.

I have restructured the site, added some new information and filled the gaps with lots of memories of a fascinating spectacle. This is my intention: Those who visited EXPO 2000 shall remember a great event. For the others this is to show some excerpts of what they've missed.

EXPO 2000 in Hanover
01st June till 31st October

In Paris you can see many buildings that have been constructed for former world expositions: The Eiffel Tower (1889), the Alexandre III bridge (1900) and the Chaillot Palace (1937) are the most important among them.

For that reason I was curious to see Germany's first world exhibition. I wanted to see which problems the world faces in our times and visions for the future that's what was shown in Hanover's exhibition centre. Advertising spots invited everyone and I was curious to see more.

But when the EXPO had been opened I was deterred by the high prices: If you had bought your ticket in advance an adult would have paid DM 69.00 for a one day ticket which did not include the fee for the parking lot. If you came spontaneously to Hanover you would have even paid DM 79.00!

But two reasons led to the decision that I didn't stay at home: The DM 10.00 surcharge and the parking fee had been abolished and when I returned from my trip to England I went past the EXPO site which seemed to be sleeping that morning but was attractive.

When I finally entered the motorway together with a colleague the 23rd August at 08:30 am I didn't know that it would not be my only visit. In the end I've seen the EXPO four times and learned a lot about foreign cultures.

The site

The exhibition centre south of Hanover has been visibly enlarged. Nations that didn't create pavilions of their own, a lot of different events as well as the exhibition "The Discovery Of A New World" took place in the existing halls.

In the additional area and in an entirely new location on the other side of the motorway you can find the nations' pavilions as well as service installations. The Pavilions West will vanish after the EXPO's end. Some of the buildings in the eastern area will be kept for other purposes; the French pavilion will be a department store for example.

An art project called "In Between" has been installed in different locations all over the western area (Pavilions West and Main Area). Some are visible, some you have to search for.

In the Main Area between the halls 12, 25 and 26 there are the Hermes Tower and the wooden EXPO roof. If you get closer to these objects, you can see the EXPO pond's surface. Each day's final event, the so-called Flambée, a spectacle in fire and water takes place there.

The best way to discover this world exhibition is on foot but it's the most strenuous way, too. The electric vehicles you can rent for a day are a more comfortable way. If you prefer the bird's-eye view use the EXPO Skyliner that spans all over the EXPO in two stages and saves a lot of time.

the Exponale
Pavilions East
the Flambée
The nations' pavilions

Many countries (and organisations) took the opportunity of building a pavilion of their own for the EXPO. There were no limits and hence you can find everything from multi media presentations to life in a city. Architects and designers were able to realize their fantasies almost without any limits.

The materials have been combined in almost every way that was possible to do. Switzerland has built a labyrinth made of blocks of wood, the Japanese construction is a wooden skeleton covered with special paper sheets.

I do not talk about every single presentation, as this would overtax your attention. Nevertheless I'd like to write down some thoughts on some of the pavilions. I will not talk about any presentation that hasn't been created by a country.

Here and there you had the possibility to take a photo of yourself with a web cam and send it to your friends by e-mail. This picture of Mö and me has been taken in the Brazilian pavilion and is quite nice compared to those I have taken in the Australian pavilion.

Burkina Faso
the English pavilion
Pavilions East
Pavilions East

Our tour begins in the pavilions of the two countries I enjoy most (and whose pavilions cover the largest parts of ground), Germany and France. Both nations show a lot of their cultural, technical and economical achievements. But both pavilions appear to me cold and impersonal as if visitors should pass them in very short time.

The United Kingdom surprises me with a chart that shows the Anglo German town twinnings; the pair Melsungen and Evesham is in the centre of the top row! The exhibition itself is divided into four parts. They represent life in the future, ways of saving natural resources and biodiversity as well as a multi media show about Britain's social life in our days.

I'm sure that the Dutch pavilion is the most remarkable one. This flat country left most of the available ground untouched and built the pavilion into the air. On five floors you can find different landscapes, a cinema and green houses; on the ground floor you can sit down and relax in the restaurant.

Beside you can find one of the pavilions with the longest waiting periods: Finland. Its nature is shown by multimedia as well as by natural materials. Between both wings of the building some birches have been planted.

Another two pack: Spain and Italy have almost similar surface at their disposal but they use them in completely different ways. Common idea is to install a grocer's and restaurants in ground floor while the presentation is in first floor. Even though I visited the Spanish pavilion at the evening of a long day with so many video presentations, I prefer the Spanish one to the Italian "museum". The Italian designers translated many good ideas about Leonardo or Ferrari into action but there is no logical way to follow in the exhibition it's only a zigzag across the room.

If you want to learn about everyday life in Arabia I propose to visit two of the most picturesque pavilions, built by the United Arabian Emirates and the Yemen. Both countries installed little villages with studios and market places. Snack bars invite you to try some specialities of the local kitchens. Maybe it's the orient's flair that attracts these masses of visitors, maybe it's just verbal propaganda. Even late in the evening the Yemeni pavilion is overcrowded and the Emirates' pavilion is one of the highlights in the eastern area besides the Netherlands and Finland. Only short before the time of the last admission you don't have to wait for long in the queue.

the Netherlands
United Arabian Emirates
Main Area

In my opinion Canada has the best pavilion out of all leading industrialized nations. Nature and the history of the colonization by European immigrants are among the many Canadian subjects in hall 22.

Nations from all continents present themselves in seven halls. Next to the Canadian pavilion is the hall of the Americas (South America, Central America and the Caribbean). As soon as you enter this hall you can hear Latino American and Caribbean rhythms. The little plazas where you are invited to party and dance are everywhere.

The dominating exhibition subject is the use of natural energies many of the referring projects are shown here. As well as the African hall, this one has a very special flair that is why I don't emphasize any particular country.

The African hall is situated on the other end of the exhibition centre. All African countries that take part in Hanover present themselves in this hall except the Mediterranean countries.

There is no other place where you can feel as much joy and warmth as you can do here. A common bazaar invites you to browse and to shop. Africa's main subjects are agriculture and cattle breeding, generation of energy and treatment of water.

It was almost two years ago when I visited the EXPO and if you asked me what was the most outstanding country in the other halls, I am not able to do so. I've always found delicious food in the Asia-Pacific hall. It's notably Austria that I should emphasize out of the countries represented in the Europe/Mediterranean halls. They have installed an oasis where I used to relax in the cushions.

South Pacific Forum
Pavilions West

Thirteen pavilions. Two of them Japan and Mexico I have never seen due to long waiting periods. Among the others, five pavilions remain that I liked very much.

Even though not everybody liked it, I enjoyed the Australian pavilion's atmosphere a lot despite the masses that have always been there.

Nepal and Bhutan both Himalayan countries shipped entire Buddhist temples to Hanover and both show their nature and their everyday life. If you are in need of some time and silence to meditate you can find it here.

Icelandic architects have constructed the blue cube in the extreme west of the area. In the cube you climb a spiral while a geyser is boiling in the centre. Every buyer of a numbered CD-ROM takes part in a competition whose prize is a trip to Iceland. But I am not the lucky one.

In the end I admire the blossom, which is the roof of the Venezuelan pavilion. In my opinion this is the most outstanding architecture of any EXPO building. It is possible to open or close the petals, which depends on the weather. The way leads from the Caribbean to the Andes and back and is following the course of the Orinoco. Plants and animals from the respective area underline the exact whereabouts.

The visitors

In the beginning, in the summertime, there were only few visitors (the prices have been only one reason). In the end, the area was overcrowded in cold and wet October. That's a short review on the attendance.

I'm glad that less the 50 % of the 40,000,000 visitors that have been expected in advance wanted to see the EXPO. Even in August when it was calm the EXPO was very frequented. The closer the end the bigger the mass.

Created on: 02/09/2000, 12/07/2002
Last update: 13/08/2004