population figure of 1.7 million inhabitants turns Hamburg into
Germany’s second largest city which is located about 100 km from the
open North Sea on the River Elbe. Famous for its magnificent harbour
right in the centre, Hamburg is also the second largest port city in
Europe. The official name is Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
which refers to Hamburg's membership in the medieval Hanseatic
League and the fact that Hamburg is a City State and one of the
sixteen Federal States of Germany.
Founded by Charlemagne in the ninth century today Hamburg is an
international trade city and the commercial and cultural centre of
Northern Germany. Surprisingly pastoral for an industrial hot spot,
the city offers numerous retreat opportunities to parks and lakes in
the area. The city centre is beautifully set around two lakes,
“Binnenalster” (Inner Alster) and “Außenalster” (Outer Alster). With
regard to their close relationship to the element of water
Hamburgers will proudly point out that their city has even more
bridges than Venice!
Furthermore Hamburg is well-known for its musical heritage. Both
Mendelssohn and Brahms were born here and even the Beatles played in
a few of Hamburg's small pubs before striking it big.
WHAT TO SEE
Visitors should check out the imposing town hall, the seat of the
local government, as well as the old harbour, which is still a
bustling area. Binnenalster is the town's commercial hub, offering
shopping and dining. Famous waterfront market “Fischmarkt”, which
provides a lively spectacle each weekend. Museumgoers should visit
Kunsthalle, while architecture buffs should check out the gothic St.
Jakobi church and the Expressionist treasure, the Chilehaus. The
historical Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse complex on one
single site in the world – is one of Hamburg’s landmarks and
indisputably a sightseeing highlight.
Culturally Hamburg offers anything and everything starting at the
Great Hall of Art and the State Opera and continuing on to the music
clubs on world-famous street “Reeperbahn”.