The Speicherstadt and HafenCity

The Warehouse Quarter© Matthew Black / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.0]

The Speicherstadt and HafenCity

The Speicherstadt – the historic warehouse district – is the world’s largest contiguous warehouse complex and, with its neo-Gothic red brick structures, is one of the most beautiful and most impressive sightseeing attractions in Hamburg. Surrounded by a multitude of canals, in the past coffee, spices, tea, carpets and other goods from all around the world were stored here. Even today Hamburg’s free trade zone is used for storing various goods.

Beginning at dusk, the Speicherstadt’s nightly illumination – a tradition started in 2001 – increases the attractiveness of this already magnificent historic district. A launch tour by night through the narrow canals and under the innumerable bridges is a particularly special experience.

The Speicherstadt is also home to numerous attractions and museums. Certainly worth a visit are the spice museum “Spicy’s”, the Customs Museum and the Speicherstadt Museum, the Automobile Museum “Prototyp”, and the exhibition “Dialogue in the Dark.” In the Hamburg Dungeon, the Hanseatic City’s historical events are portrayed by amateur actors in a spine-chilling manner. However, the most frequented attraction in the Speicherstadt is Miniaturwunderland – Minature Wonderland – where the world’s largest model railway inspires awe in young and old.

Located directly adjacent to the Speicherstadt is HafenCity (Harbour City). Europe’s biggest urban development project began with the laying of the first foundations in 1997. The extraordinary state of the art architecture contrasts starkly with the Speicherstadt’s brick buildings. HafenCity’s sightseeing attractions include Unilever House, which in 2009 was declared to be one of the most technically and architecturally sophisticated buildings in the world; the Marco Polo Tower with Hamburg’s most expensive apartments; and above all the dominant Elbe Philharmonic, Hamburg’s gigantic new concert hall.

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