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Hamburg Travel guide

Hamburg hotels, Hamburg vacation packages 2019

Hamburg is one of Germany's more northern cities it can attract you with a real Mediterranean flair.
There are a couple of cafes at the inner lake of the city, the so-called "Binnenalster", among them old motorboats that were restored and now used as swimming restaurants.

Some facts: Hamburg has some 2 million inhabitants, its harbour lies at the River Elbe, major industries are trade and media what can be noticed everywhere in the city. But there is a large university, too, and therefore Hamburg is full of students from everywhere in Germany and the world.
Whether you are interested in culture, sub-culture, music, theatre, shopping, water sports, architecture or history: You'll find everything in Hamburg and its surroundings.

Hamburg

Hamburg Travel information

Travel Guide

Hamburg - History

9th century
A fort-like archbishopric mission on the "Hammaburg" site is built. Even after the destruction of the fort by the Vikings in 845 A.D. a settlement of about 200 inhabitants with a small Elba harbour develops.

1188
Count Adolf III of Schauenburg founds the Hamburg Neustadt (new town) on the already dammed Alster next to the archiepiscopal Altstadt (old town). A year later is the official "hour of birth" of the Hamburg harbour as it is already entitled to duty-free status on the passage to the North Sea by rights granted to it by Kaiser Barbarossa.

1321
Hamburg's entry into the Hanseatic League, the most important economic organization of the early and later Middle Ages, unleashes a tremendous trading boom in the harbour city.
c. 1400
Piracy on the Elba and North Sea takes the upper hand so much so that Hamburg employs war ships to protect merchant vessels. Only after several sea battles is it possible to capture Klaus Störtebeker, probably the most famous of German pirates. He is executed in Hamburg. The traditional tale portrays the macabre release of his comrades in compliance with archaic law: already beheaded, Störtebeker makes a final inspection of his crew standing as a guard of honour.

1558
Germany's first stock exchange comes into being in the Hanseatic city. The economic competition between Hamburg and the then still Danish Altona intensifies in the period following. The "Gottroper Vergleich" (Gottrop Settlement) brings contractual reconciliation with Altona only first in 1768.

Up to 1840
seefaring continues to gain importance. Trans-continental trading routes via steamships and sailing ships strengthen Hamburg's position. Measured by loading capacity the Hamburg harbour gains a leading role in the world.

1842
a devastating fire destroys a third of all buildings in Hamburg. Nevertheless the economy grows substantially in the following years, not least thanks to better traffic routes, such as the Elbbrücken (Elba bridges) and train line to Berlin.

1888
Hamburg receives the Freihafen (free harbour) as a concession for the entry of the Free and Hanseatic City into the German Reich. With the building of the Speicherstadt the largest continuous warehouse complex in the world comes into existence.

Since 1911
a tunnel at the St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken connects both sides of the Elba. The construction with lifts for cars is today still in operation and can be counted among the oddest attractions in the city. The population exceeds the million mark for the first time in 1913, the harbour is the third largest in the world and is the most significant trading centre in Europe.

1937
the "Groß-Hamburg-Gesetzt" (Greater Hamburg Law) joins the previously independent cities of Altona, Wandsbek, Harburg, Wihelmsburg and other towns into the current municipal area.

1945
half of all flats and 80 per cent of the harbour are destroyed in air attacks. Streams of refugees and forced emigrants arrive in Hamburg. In 1950 there are 180,781 of them here.


1962
a storm tide takes sleeping Hamburgers by surprise. The catastrophe has serious consequences: 315 lives are lost and 20,000 people are evacuated.

1937
the "Groß-Hamburg-Gesetzt" (Greater Hamburg Law) joins the previously independent cities of Altona, Wandsbek, Harburg, Wihelmsburg and other towns into the current municipal area.


1945
half of all flats and 80 per cent of the harbour are destroyed in air attacks. Streams of refugees and forced emmigrants arrive in Hamburg. In 1950 there are 180,781 of them here.

In the 70s and 80s
there is a change in the employment structure: Due to rationalizations in freight traffic and the falling importance of of the German shipbuilding industry Hamburg's economy has a new focus. The Hanseatic city is developing into a modern media and services location with an efficient container port. With the addition of the Köhlbrandbröcke (Kohlbrand Bridge) and the new Elbtunnel in 1974 the traffic routes continue to be improved.

1997
As a former city republic and independent Bundesland the city is celebrating its splendid, Renaissance-style Rathaus (city hall). During the 100th anniversary of this building Hamburg is looking back on an independent political and cultural history. Citizens, whose view of themselves is shaped by independence, are proud of their city: Hamburg - the Gateway to the World..

Hamburg Sights, sightseeing, culture:

Travel Guide

And you get everywhere in Hamburg quite easily with Hamburg's public transport system "HVV" (no, I don't get referral fees :)
Hamburg lies about 100 km away from the open sea on the River Elbe. With 1,7 million inhabitants, it is the second largest city in the Federal Republic of Germany. In one respect, however, Hamburg takes first place: it is the greenest city in Germany. 13 % of the city are park and Greenland, 23 % protected countryside and 6% nature reserves.

Hamburg owes its economic prosperity to its long tradition as a commercial city and port.

Following the successful change in its structure over the last few decades, Hamburg is today the seat of numerous companies in the fields of media, insurance, banking and other services.

High quality of life and a well-developed transport network are of great importance to Hamburg� attractiveness as a centre for industry and commerce. Citizens of Hamburg and tourists can enjoy the many recreation and leisure areas in and around Hamburg: the Elbe, the Lüneburg Heath, the lakes in Holstein and Mecklenburg and the beaches of the North and Baltic Seas.
he cultural tradition of the Hanseatic City goes back to the Middle Ages. Poets such as Klopstock, Lessing and Heinrich Heine as well as world-famous composers, among them Händel and Mahler, have left their marks on Hanseatic cultural history. On the Elba Johannes Brahms unfurled musical Romanticism with his compositions. Gustav Gröndgens made theatrical history here with his legendary production of "Faust". And the Beatles celebrated their debut at the Star Club. Anything from Heidi Kabel to John Neumeier is possible on Hamburg's stages. With 3.3 million visitors in its 19 largest theatres the Hanseatic City can be counted among the leading music and theatre centres of the country.


Active Theatre Scene
While the high point of dramatic arts can be seen in the renowned Deutsche Schauspielhaus and in the only slightly less famous Thalia Theatre, numerous smaller theatres and presentation centres place a colourful and sometimes shrill accent on the multi-faceted theatre scene. On the other hand, there is comedy in the Ohnsorg Theater and in the Winterhuder Fährhaus, and the Theatre im Zimmer offers close contact with theatrical events. Private theatres, cabaret, children's theatre and variety show round off the diverse programme offerings.

Hamburg Music
The Hamburg State Opera - founded in 1678 - has a world-famous reputation. Mozart and Verdi as well as contemporary works are performed here. For years John Neumeier has repeatedly provided exciting ballet performances in the same location. Serious and less serious sounds are heard in the Hamburg Musikhalle, sometimes by one of the countless chamber music ensembles in the small hall, and other times by a full orchestra. Well-received here: the Hamburg Philharmonic, symphony orchestras or the NDR Symphony Orchestra. Of course Pop, Rock, Jazz and musicals come into their own, whether in dimly lit cellar pubs, in large sport arenas, or on the open-air stage in Hamburg's famous "Stadtpark" (city park).

Art: Valuable and the Curious
Major art collections, well-managed galleries, numerous exhibitions and an active artistic scene shape the Hamburg of painters and sculptors. The Hamburg Kunsthalle, expanded in 1996 with the new cube-shaped building designed by the architect Oswald Mathias Ungers, is counted among the most important art museums in the German-speaking areas of Europe. The cube houses a representative collection of contemporary art under the name "Gallerie der Gegenwart" ("Gallery of the Present"). Works from the middle Ages up into the 20th Century are on display in the older rooms of the Kunsthalle. The main focus of the show consists of German painters of the 19th Century and art from the early 20th Century. Famous works by Nolde, Beckmann, Kokoschka and Klee and especially Caspar David Friedrich's "Eismeer" contribute to the visitor's dιjΰ-vu experience.

Around the Alster life is good: 1.7 million people in an area of 755 square kilometers - lots of space for living attractively among greenery, parks, rivers and canals. Whoever takes it upon himself and can afford it chooses a domicile with a view of the Alster or the Elba. Life near the water sets the character of the Hanseatic city as in no other metropolis. An extensive network of waterways and other bodies of water shape the face of the city. And after work some Hamburgers put up the sail in the middle of the city for a tour on the Außenalster (the larger Alster).


Bridges and Canals

Many tourists feel although they have been transported to Venice or Amsterdam. Many places in this city are reachable via the waterways. Not "Grachten", but "Fleete" are the names of the countless canals, which lead through the entire city and flow into the Alster or the Elba. If there were gondolas on the narrow water lanes, gondoliers would have to duck at least as much as in the lagoon city: There are more bridges in Hamburg than in Venice! "Alsterschippern" (travelling on the Alster boots) on the larger Fleete is an excellent way to visit a large part of the city.

It's hardly less so in the Harbour. Small launches travel the narrow canals through the historic Speicherstadt during a "große Hafenrundfahrt" (big harbour tour). Merchant nostalgia from the turn of the century is guaranteed: odours of tee and spices drift into the nose of the visitor.

A Mirror of History: Hamburg's Cityscape
Post-modern glass and steel facades, upper class mansions from the previous century, baroque churches and historic residential districts shape the face of Hamburg. Along the Binnenalster (the smaller Alster) classic buildings, which are still important today, stand testament to the commercial magnificence of the 19th century. After the turn of the century the most probably succinct Hamburg architectural style in red brick came into being, a good example of which is the boldly designed Chile Haus. Former working-class areas from this period - which can be seen in compact form around the Stadtpark (city park) - are today preferred residential areas. In the city centre additionally representative government and commercial buildings draw a characteristic picture. The well-known Rathaus (city hall), built in Renaissance style, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 1997.

Although there is few traces left of the oldest core of the city, visitors on a city tour experience a time trip between the modern and historical ages. This is because the 1200-year-old Hanseatic city is a modern metropolis that equally offers room to both traditional and futuristic designs. These rich contrasts can be seen for example in the free harbour: Hamburg's newest office district is in the immediate vicinity.


Between the Scene and Striptease: the Reeperbahn
Seafaring romanticism, as once evoke by Hans Albers in his hits, belongs to Hamburg just as much as the story of the big fire of 1842. But in St. Pauli, where the blonde Hans once spent his time, an alternative cultural scene has in the meantime established itself among the strip shows and sex shops in the red-light district. When, for example, the curtains in the Schmidt Theatre rise, it's cult show time. Lloyd-Webber's long-running musical "Cats", in addition to other musicals, has found on the Reeperbahn a fitting location for performances.


St. Pauli's main pulse also offers up numerous clubs and discotheques. Just a few years ago the world-famous district has been revived: The "Söndenmeile" (mile-long street of sin) has for some time now no longer been the address for old-established erotic establishments, but for a melting pot of various influences, trends and styles. More and more young people with new ideas discover the "Kiez" (red-light district) as a place of pulsing urban life in the scene. Where once the Beatles had their first successes nightlife is blossoming in a variety of different ways. The "Große Freiheit" ("big freedom") can still be found in the St. Pauli district - and not just as the name for a street.

Although there is few traces left of the oldest core of the city, visitors on a city tour experience a time trip between the modern and historical ages. This is because the 1200-year-old Hanseatic city is a modern metropolis that equally offers room to both traditional and futuristic designs. These rich contrasts can be seen for example in the free harbour: Hamburg's newest office district is in the immediate vicinity.

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