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Buildings and Structures

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Hamburg Harbour

Hamburg Harbour – also lovingly referred to as the „Gateway tot he World“ – is the most important harbour in Germany and can look back at a more than 800 years of history and tradition. It was used already an important shipping and cargo centre in the middle ages and colonial period, and is today used regularly by container and passenger ships, including the largest cruise ship in the world, the Queen Mary 2.

From the “Landungsbrücken”, or “Landing Bridges”, visitors will have a great overview of the harbour. A leisurely walk along the water or a harbour boat tour will enable you to get a different view “behind the scenes” of Hamburg’s industrial centre.

An annual highlight is the Harbour Birthday, which attracts over a million visitors every May. The Fish Market is particularly popular with early birds and party-goers: every Sunday morning, Reeperbahn patrons flock here to seek a hangover breakfast with fresh fish or sour herring.
              

Elbphilharmonie© Raphael Schuster / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Elbphilharmonie

The Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall that is still in construction. Work began in 2007 and was originally meant to be finished after about three years. But due to erroneous planning, the opening was postponed indefinitely. However, it is still work taking a look at this impressive building. Situated directly at the harbour, it is visible from far away due to its height of over 100 metres and its unique architectural style, with many curved glass elements.

Once it is finished, there will be several concert halls and a public centre at a height of over 40 m etres. At the same, the Elbphilharmonie is intended to become the international symbol of Hambur,g which is why it is being used for marketing purposes even before its completion.

Elbphilharmonie
Am Kaiserkai
20457 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-35766666

             

Hamburg Speicherstadt© Zacke82 / Wikimedia Commons [gemeinfrei]

Speicherstadt

Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, translating roughly as “warehouse town”, is just as famous as the neighbouring harbour. In the 19th century, a warehouse complex was erected around the canals on oak piles, the largest of its kind in the world. The reason for its construction was Hamburg’s inclusion in the German Tariff Union in 1881. In order not to compromise the workings of the harbour, the Speicherstadt was declared a free port area, where merchants could store and treat their wares duty-free. For this reason, the buildings were constructed in such a way that they could be accessed directly from the canal, with the street on the other side. In order to transport cargo to the upper storage areas of the buildings, cable winches were installed, that were fastened onto the exterior wooden gables. Today you will find, amongst other things a number of museums in the old Speicherstadt, including the Spice Museum, the Speicherstadt Museum and Miniature Wonderland. The new complex built here, called the HafenCity, has been built in stark contrast to the historic charm of the Speicherstadt, with interesting architecture designed by architects from all over the world.            

Hamburg City Hall© Rami Tarawneh / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.5]

Hamburg Town Hall

One of the most magnificent, most impressive buildings in Hamburg ist he Town Hall. It was constructed between 1886 and 1897, right next door to the Hamburg Stock Exchange, and reflects the prosperity of Hamburg’s merchants at the time, above all by way of its innumerable facade decorations and elaborate interiors with columns, monuments and wall paintings. The inner courtyard has a Renaissance charm, and is one of the most beautiful squares in the city. A foundation and the arched gateway convey the feeling of historic Italy.

Today the Town Hall is the seat of Hamburg’s senate. If you would like to visit the magnificent Town Hall rooms, you can take part in one of the daily guided tours.

Hamburg Town Hall
Rathausmarkt 1
20095 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-428312010

          

St. Michaelis Church

St. Michaelis Church – lovingly referred to by locals as "Michel" – is one of Hamburg’s five main churches and simultaneously the symbol of Hamburg. Many visitors to Hamburg make it their first stop to ascend the 132-metre-high church tower and enjoy the wonderful views of the Hamburg Harbour, inner city, Alster, Town Hall and the rest of Hamburg below. But the church hall is also worth a visit. The large, bright room with its golden decorations makes a very friendly impression. With seating for up to 2500 guests, this hall is often used for concerts and other events.

St. Michaeliskirche
Englische Planke 1
20459 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-376780

         

The Old Elbe Tunnel

The “Alte Elbtunnel” or “Old Elbe Tunnel” is situated directly at the Landungsbrücken. In contrast to the New Elbe Tunnel, which is used as a main traffic artery underneath the river, the Old Elbe Tunnel is only used by cars occasionally. The special feature of the Old Elbe Tunnel is its entrances and exits, and the 420-metre thoroughfare: space had to be saved due to its central location, so that instead of the usual access roads, elevators take cars and pedestrians underground.

Today the tunnel is predominantly used by pedestrians and cyclists, and has been a protected site since 2003; in 2011 it was declared a “historic landmark of the German art of engineering” by the Hamburg and Federal Chambers of Engineers.

Alter Elbtunnel
Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken 7
20359 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-30051300

        

Köhlbrand Bridge

Those arriving in Hamburg by car via the Elbe Tunnel south will suddenly surface next tot he Autobahn and the Köhlbrand Bridge. This 3.5km long cable-stayed bridge construction connects the Elbe island of Wilhelmsburg with the Autobahn A7 and crosses one arm of the southern Elbe, the “Köhlbrand”. Thousands of vehicles cross the bridge every day, bringing goods and wares to the harbour area to be shipped onwards. With the large harbour cranes and containers behind it, the bridge – which is closed off to pedestrians and cyclists – makes a particularly awe-inspiring impression.        

Jungfernstieg and the Alster Arcades

Jungfernstieg is a promenade to the south of the Inner Alster. It was the first street in Germany to be asphalted in the first half of the 19th century. Up until 2005 the Jungfernstieg made an boulevard-like impression with its many trees, but in 2005 the street was narrowed and the footpaths widened, and the light pavement completely redesigned. Many people cavort here in the summer months, enjoying the views over the Inner Alster to the Lombard Bridge, or going on shopping tours. The annual Alstervergnügen celebrations take place here every year, with live bands, innumerable stands and wonderful fireworks. Just a few metres away from Jungfernstieg is the Hamburg Town Hall. On the way there you will pass the Alster Arcades, a pathway under Italian styled arches, at the edge of the water. It was construction in the middle of the 19th century by the architect Alexis de Chateauneuf after a great fire, during the redesign of the Town Hall Square.       

Fernsehturm Hamburg© Gunnar Ries / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.5]

Television Tower

One of the most famous Hamburg landmarks is the Heinrich Hertz Tower, usually referred to as the “Fernsehturm” or “Television Tower”. It is situated in the district of St. Pauli, at the north-east entrance to the park Planten un Blomen, and – at 272 metres – is the tallest building in Hamburg. It was named after the physicist Heinrich Hertz, who researched the distribution of electromagnetic waves in the 19th century. Due to its height the television tower is recognisable from many corners of the inner city.

Fernsehturm Hamburg
Lagerstr. 2
20357 Hamburg

     

Chilehaus

The Chilehaus is a protected building and modern office complex at the same time. It was built by the Hamburg merchant Henry Braren in 1922, in a brick impressionist style, and – due to the sharp angles of the curved facade – is reminiscent of a ship. Although it accommodates a number of offices, it has become a popular sightseeing attraction. The artistic facade, impressive lighting at night, the artistic details in the interior of the Chilhaus and the large inner courtyard attract both locals and tourists.

Chilehaus
Fischertwiete 2
20095 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-349194247

    

Colonnades

The designation “Colonnades” refers to a street in Hamburg’s inner city that connects Jungfernstieg with the Esplanade and Stephansplatz near Dammtor station. In the 19th century it was a private street, characterised by Wilhelminian buildings and a long arcade passage. In 1974 the street became a pedestrian area, which still delights visitors with its impressive historic, protected buildings and is more than just a shopping street.    

Bismarck Memorial Hamburg© Janet Hartl / Wikimedia Commons [gemeinfrei]

Bismarck Memorial

Hamburg is home to the largest Bismarck memorial in the world. A 35-metre-high monument was created here at the beginning of the 20th century in honour of Otto von Bismarck, the first Imperial Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. The height of the actual Bismarck figure is only 15 metres high; the other 20 metres make up a granite base. The Bismark Memorial was inaugurated in 1906 and after much discussion the old Elbe Park near the Landungsbrücken was chosen to be its home. The memorial has been designed in such a way that Bismarck, holding his sword, looks out over the water.

Bismarck Denkmal
Seewartenstraße
20459 Hamburg

  

Altona Town Hall© WHell / Wikimedia Commons [gemeinfrei]

Altona Town Hall

The 19th centeury Altona Town Hall was originally built as a train station in a neo-Classicist style. When another train station was later planned at another site, the building was converted into a town Hall.

Altona was originally founded as a fishing village in the 16th century. It first belonged to the Duchy of Holstein, then the Danish King, and, after being conferred with its own town charter in 1664, it became the second largest Danish town. Today the Town Hall is the third in Altona. At the end of the 19th century a statue of Kaiser William I was erected on its north side.

Altona Rathaus
Ottenser Marktplatz 10
22765 Hamburg

 

Hamburg’s Main Churches

You will find churches all over Hamburg, the towers of which are often visible from far away. However, only five of them are allowed to call themselves the “Main Churches”: the famous St. Michaelis Church, better known as “Michel”, St. Petri, St. Kahtarinen, St. Jacobi and St. Nikolai.

St. Michaelis Church
Englische Planke 1
20459 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-376780


St. Petri Church
Bei der Petrikirche 2
20095 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-1888866


St. Katharinen Church
Katharinenkirchhof 1
20457 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-30374730


St. Jacobi Church
Jacobikirchhof 22
20095 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-3037370


St. Nikolai Church
Harvestehuder Weg 118
20149 Hamburg
Tel.: 040-4411340