After the old town hall was destroyed in the fire of 1842, the city of Hamburg built the new town hall in 1897. After two architectural competitions were not realized due to political upheavals, an alliance of Hamburg architects, led by Martin Haller, took over the planning. A neo-renaissance building with a 112 m high tower was built. At the town hall tower you can see a phoenix under which there is a portrait of the old town hall destroyed in the fire. The magnificent facade is 111 meters long and is adorned by numerous figures. German emperors, professions and the patron saints of Hamburg's churches are depicted. The town hall houses the citizens and the senate of the city of Hamburg. The inner courtyard with the Hygieia fountain is also worth seeing. The fountain is dedicated to the goddess of purity hygiene, as around 8,500 inhabitants fell victim to the cholera epidemic of 1892.
The magnificent interiors and stairwells can be visited on a tour of the town hall. Dates and prices see link.
The luxury shopping arcade with its characteristic round arches facing the Kleine Alster were designed by Alexis de Chateauneuf in 1843. As well as the new City Hall´s, the Arcade´s predecessor buildings fell victim to the fire of 1842.
Hamburg's main railway station is Germany's busiest railway station with 500,000 passengers a day (including the U + S train). The station with 12 tracks was opened in 1906. Where the tracks extend today was formerly the city fortification. The station is located between the city center and the district of St. Georg.
By the connection of Hamburg to the German Reich in 1881, the city of Hamburg was integrated into the customs territory of the Germany and the port was separated from the city as a duty-free area. In order to build the Hamburg free port, two residential areas were demolished. Hamburg received 40 million gold marks from the Germany as compensation. With this money, the warehouses of the Speicherstadt were built in 1888. In 2003 the Speicherstadt was removed from the free trade zone because the freight transport shifted to containers and the Speicherstadt had lost its port function. The red brick buildings have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015. If you want to experience one of the warehouses from the inside, you should visit the Speicherstadtmuseum.
The "Elbphilharmonie" is the new landmark of Hamburg even if the exploded construction costs had brought the project into disrepute. After almost ten years of construction, the building was opened in 2016. In addition to 3 concert halls there is a hotel, a restaurants and 45 condominiums inside the striking building by Herzog & de Meuron.
The origins of the protestant St. Michaelis church trace back to the year 1649, when constructions for a church began at this site. This first church was destroyed in 1750 when it was struck by lightning. A second church was erected which was destroyed again by a fire in 1906. Then reconstructed until 1912, this building was destroyed during the bombing raids in 1944. Then again, a reconstruction took place and was completed in 1952.
The Hamburg tradesman Sloman, who gained his wealth in Chile, commissioned Fritz Höger in 1924 to build this brick complex. Due to its distinctive pointy shape it quickly became a landmark of of the city. The expressionist style also became a trademark of Fritz Höger, who designed famous edifices in other cities, like the Anzeiger highrise building in Hannover.
The St. Nikolai church was destroyed, only its 147m/482ft high steeple outlived the bomb war. The predecessing building burned down during the big fire in 1842. St. Nikolai was erected a Neo-Gothic church in 1863. Nowadays the sooted steeple houses a memorial site for the victims of war and persecution.
The trendy Schanzenviertel district regularly hits the headlines through riots and evictions of illegally occupied houses. Many fancy fashion shops, bars and restaurants make the district an urban neighborhood.
The probably most famous district of Hamburg, in St. Pauli one can find the legendary Reeperbahn with its nightclubs, sexshops, streetwalkers' patches, Herbertstrasse and theaters. The redlight district between Millerntor and Nobistor refers to itself as the "most sinful mile of the world".
This city hall was erected in 1898, when the district of Altona was still self-governed. Altona was incorporated by Hamburg in 1937.
The television tower was opened in 1968 and rises 292m/958ft high. It was designed by the architects Trautwein, Schlaich and Behn. Even though it´s not Germany´s highest tower, it is the country´s most elegant and beautiful in my eyes. The tower was named after the Hamburg physician Heinrich Hertz, who did research on electromagnetic waves. The observation deck is closed since 2011.
Situated on the Övelgönne banks of the river Elbe between Othmarschen and Ottensen the Strandperle (beach pearls) Bar is one of the Hanseatic city´s most beautiful spots. It´s a perfect place on a sunny day and Hamburg then appears to be located 1.000 km more southwards.