Hamburg (English: //; German: [ˈhambʊɐ̯k] ( listen); locally: [ˈhambʊɪ̯ç] ( listen)), Low German/Low Saxon: Hamborg [ˈhambɔːç] ( listen), officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (German: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg), is the second-largest city of Germany as well as one of the country's 16 constituent states, with a population of roughly 1.8 million people. The city lies at the core of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region which spreads across four German federal states and is home to more than 5 million people.
The official name reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, a city-state and one of the 16 states of Germany. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a fully sovereign state. Prior to the constitutional changes in 1919 it formed a civic republic headed constitutionally by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. The city has repeatedly been beset by disasters such as the Great Fire of Hamburg, exceptional coastal flooding and military conflicts including WW II bombing raids. Historians remark that the city has managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe.
Situated on the river Elbe, Hamburg is home to Europe's second-largest port and a broad corporate base. In media, the major regional broadcasting firm NDR, the printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city. Hamburg remains an important financial center, the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Media, commercial, logistical, and industrial firms with significant locations in the city include multinationals Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis, Beiersdorf, and Unilever.
The city is a forum for and has specialists in world economics and international law with such consular and diplomatic missions as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the EU-LAC Foundation, and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. In recent years, the city has played host to multipartite international political conferences and summits such as Europe and China and the G20. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who governed Germany for eight years, came from Hamburg.
The city is a major international and domestic tourist destination. It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016. The Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel were declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO in 2015.
Hamburg is a major European science, research, and education hub, with several universities and institutions. Among its most notable cultural venues are the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle concert halls. It gave birth to movements like Hamburger Schule and paved the way for bands including The Beatles. Hamburg is also known for several theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is among the best-known European entertainment districts.
Hamburg is at a sheltered natural harbour on the southern fanning-out of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the northeast. It is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Alster and Bille. The city centre is around the Binnenalster ("Inner Alster") and Außenalster ("Outer Alster"), both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes. The islands of Neuwerk, Scharhörn, and Nigehörn, 100 kilometres (60 mi) away in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are also part of the city of Hamburg.
The neighborhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz, Francop and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land (old land) region, the largest contiguous fruit-producing region in Central Europe. Neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburg's highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres (381 ft) AMSL. Hamburg borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.
Hamburg has an oceanic climate (Cfb), influenced by its proximity to the coast and marine air masses that originate over the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby wetlands also enjoy a maritime temperate climate. The amount of snowfall has differed a lot during the past decades: while in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at times heavy snowfall occurred, the winters of recent years have been less cold, with snowfall only on a few days per year.
The warmest months are June, July, and August, with high temperatures of 20.1 to 22.5 °C (68.2 to 72.5 °F). The coldest are December, January, and February, with low temperatures of −0.3 to 1.0 °C (31.5 to 33.8 °F).
|Climate data for Hamburg|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.4
|Average high °C (°F)||3.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−22.8
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||67.8
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||12.1||9.2||11.3||8.9||9.6||11.3||11.4||10.2||10.8||10.5||11.7||12.4||129.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||46.9||69.0||108.8||171.6||223.4||198.7||217.5||203.1||144.6||107.9||53.0||37.4||1,581.9|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)|
|Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst|
The name Hamburg comes from the first permanent building on the site, a castle which the Emperor Charlemagne ordered constructed in AD 808. It rose on rocky terrain in a marsh between the River Alster and the River Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion, and acquired the name Hammaburg, burg meaning castle or fort. The origin of the Hamma term remains uncertain, as does the exact location of the castle.
In 834, Hamburg was designated as the seat of a bishopric. The first bishop, Ansgar, became known as the Apostle of the North. Two years later, Hamburg was united with Bremen as the Bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen.
Hamburg was destroyed and occupied several times. In 845, 600 Viking ships sailed up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. In 1030, King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland burned down the city. Valdemar II of Denmark raided and occupied Hamburg in 1201 and in 1214. The Black Death killed at least 60% of the population in 1350. Hamburg experienced several great fires in the medieval period.
In 1189, by imperial charter, Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of an Imperial Free City and tax-free access (or free-trade zone) up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. In 1265, an allegedly forged letter was presented to or by the Rath of Hamburg. This charter, along with Hamburg's proximity to the main trade routes of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, quickly made it a major port in Northern Europe. Its trade alliance with Lübeck in 1241 marks the origin and core of the powerful Hanseatic League of trading cities. On 8 November 1266, a contract between Henry III and Hamburg's traders allowed them to establish a hanse in London. This was the first time in history that the word hanse was used for the trading guild of the Hanseatic League. In 1270, the solicitor of the senate of Hamburg, Jordan von Boitzenburg, wrote the first description of civil, criminal and procedural law for a city in Germany in the German language, the Ordeelbook (Ordeel: sentence). On 10 August 1410, civil unrest forced a compromise (German: Rezeß, literally meaning: withdrawal). This is considered the first constitution of Hamburg. In 1529, the city embraced Lutheranism, and it received Reformed refugees from the Netherlands and France.
When Jan van Valckenborgh introduced a second layer to the fortifications to protect against the Thirty Years War in the seventeenth century, he extended Hamburg and created a "New Town" (Neustadt) whose street names still date from the grid system of roads he introduced.
Upon the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Free Imperial City of Hamburg was not incorporated into a larger administrative area while retaining special privileges (mediatised), but became a sovereign state with the official title of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Hamburg was briefly annexed by Napoleon I to the First French Empire (1804–1814/1815). Russian forces under General Bennigsen finally freed the city in 1814. Hamburg re-assumed its pre-1811 status as a city-state in 1814. The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Hamburg's independence and it became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederation (1815–1866).
In 1842, about a quarter of the inner city was destroyed in the "Great Fire". The fire started on the night of 4 May and was not extinguished until 8 May. It destroyed three churches, the town hall, and many other buildings, killing 51 people and leaving an estimated 20,000 homeless. Reconstruction took more than 40 years.
After periodic political unrest, particularly in 1848, Hamburg adopted in 1860 a democratic constitution that provided for the election of the Senate, the governing body of the city-state, by adult taxpaying males. Other innovations included the separation of powers, the separation of Church and State, freedom of the press, of assembly and association. Hamburg became a member of the North German Confederation (1866–1871) and of the German Empire (1871–1918), and maintained its self-ruling status during the Weimar Republic (1919–1933). Hamburg acceded to the German Customs Union or Zollverein in 1888, the last (along with Bremen) of the German states to join. The city experienced its fastest growth during the second half of the 19th century, when its population more than quadrupled to 800,000 as the growth of the city's Atlantic trade helped make it Europe's second-largest port. The Hamburg-America Line, with Albert Ballin as its director, became the world's largest transatlantic shipping company around the start of the 20th century. Shipping companies sailing to South America, Africa, India and East Asia were based in the city. Hamburg was the departure port for many Germans and Eastern Europeans to emigrate to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Trading communities from all over the world established themselves there.
A major outbreak of cholera in 1892 was badly handled by the city government, which retained an unusual degree of independence for a German city. About 8,600 died in the largest German epidemic of the late 19th century, and the last major cholera epidemic in a major city of the Western world.
In the Third Reich (1933–1945), Hamburg was a Gau from 1934 until 1945. During the Second World War, Hamburg suffered a series of Allied air raids which devastated much of the city and the harbour. On 23 July 1943, Royal Air Force (RAF) firebombing created a firestorm which spread from the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) and quickly moved south-east, completely destroying entire boroughs such as Hammerbrook, Billbrook and Hamm South. Thousands of people perished in these densely populated working class boroughs. While some of the boroughs destroyed were rebuilt as residential districts after the war, others such as Hammerbrook were entirely developed into office, retail and limited residential or industrial districts. The raids, codenamed Operation Gomorrah by the RAF, killed at least 42,600 civilians; the precise number is not known. About one million civilians were evacuated in the aftermath of the raids.
The Hamburg Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery is in the greater Ohlsdorf Cemetery in the north of Hamburg.
At least 42,900 people are thought to have perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp (about 25 km (16 mi) outside the city in the marshlands), mostly from epidemics and in the bombing of Kriegsmarine evacuation vessels by the RAF at the end of the war.
Hamburg had the greatest concentration of Jews in Germany. Systematic deportations of Jewish Germans and Gentile Germans of Jewish descent started on 18 October 1941. These were all directed to Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe or to concentration camps. Most deported persons perished in the Holocaust. By the end of 1942 the Jüdischer Religionsverband in Hamburg was dissolved as an independent legal entity and its remaining assets and staff were assumed by the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland (District Northwest). On 10 June 1943 the Reichssicherheitshauptamt dissolved the Reichsvereinigung by a decree. The few remaining employees not somewhat protected by a mixed marriage were deported from Hamburg on 23 June to Theresienstadt, where most of them perished.
Hamburg surrendered without a fight to British Forces on 3 May 1945. After the Second World War, Hamburg formed part of the British Zone of Occupation; it became a state of the then Federal Republic of Germany in 1949.
From 1960 to 1962, the Beatles launched their career by playing in various music clubs in the city.
On 16 February 1962, a North Sea flood caused the Elbe to rise to an all-time high, inundating one-fifth of Hamburg and killing more than 300 people.
The Inner German border – only 50 kilometres (30 mi) east of Hamburg – separated the city from most of its hinterland and reduced Hamburg's global trade. Since German reunification in 1990, and the accession of several Central European and Baltic states into the European Union in 2004, the Port of Hamburg has restarted ambitions for regaining its position as the region's largest deep-sea port for container shipping and its major commercial and trading centre.
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On 31 December 2016, there were 1,860,759 people registered as living in Hamburg in an area of 755.3 km2 (291.6 sq mi). The population density was 2,464/km2 (6,380/sq mi). The metropolitan area of the Hamburg region (Hamburg Metropolitan Region) is home to 5,107,429 living on 196/km2 (510/sq mi).
There were 915,319 women and 945,440 men in Hamburg. For every 1,000 males, there were 1,033 females. In 2015, there were 19,768 births in Hamburg (of which 38.3% were to unmarried women); 6422 marriages and 3190 divorces, and 17,565 deaths. In the city, the population was spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, and 18.3% were 65 years of age or older. 356 People in Hamburg were over the age of 100.
According to the Statistical Office for Hamburg and Schleswig Holstein, the number of people with a migrant background is at 34% (631,246). Immigrants come from 180 different countries. 5,891 people have acquired German cititzenship in 2016.
In 2016, there were 1,021,666 households, of which 17.8% had children under the age of 18; 54.4% of all households were made up of singles. 25.6% of all households were single parent households. The average household size was 1.8.
Hamburg residents with a foreign citizenship as of 31 December 2016 is as follows
|Australian and Oceanian||1,234||0.4%|
Like elsewhere in Germany, Standard German is spoken in Hamburg, but as typical for northern Germany, the original language of Hamburg is Low German, usually referred to as Hamborger Platt (German Hamburger Platt) or Hamborgsch. Since large-scale standardization of the German language beginning in earnest in the 18th century, various Low German-colored dialects have developed (contact-varieties of German on Low Saxon substrates). Originally, there was a range of such Missingsch varieties, the best-known being the low-prestige ones of the working classes and the somewhat more bourgeois Hanseatendeutsch (Hanseatic German), although the term is used in appreciation. All of these are now moribund due to the influences of Standard German used by education and media. However, the former importance of Low German is indicated by several songs, such as the famous sea shanty Hamborger Veermaster, written in the 19th century when Low German was used more frequently. Many toponyms and street names reflect Low Saxon vocabulary, partially even in Low Saxon spelling, which is not standardised, and to some part in forms adapted to Standard German.
Less than half of the residents of Hamburg are members of a religion. In late 2015, 27.0% of the population belonged to the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the largest religious body, and 10.7% to the Roman Catholic Church. An additional 55% stated they had no religion.
According to the publication "Muslimisches Leben in Deutschland" estimated 141,900 Muslim migrants (counting in nearly 50 countries of origin) lived in Hamburg in 2008. About three years later (May 2011) calculations based on census data for 21 countries of origin resulted in the number of about 143,200 Muslim migrants in Hamburg, making up 8.4% percent of the population.
Hamburg is seat of one of the three bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hamburg. There are several mosques, including the Ahmadiyya run Fazle Omar Mosque, which is the oldest in the city, the Islamic Centre Hamburg, and a Jewish community.
The city of Hamburg is one of 16 German states, therefore the Mayor of Hamburg's office corresponds more to the role of a minister-president than to the one of a city mayor. As a German state government, it is responsible for public education, correctional institutions and public safety; as a municipality, it is additionally responsible for libraries, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services.
Since 1897, the seat of the government has been the Hamburg Rathaus (Hamburg City Hall), with the office of the mayor, the meeting room for the Senate and the floor for the Hamburg Parliament. From 2001 until 2010, the mayor of Hamburg was Ole von Beust, who governed in Germany's first statewide "black-green" coalition, consisting of the conservative CDU and the alternative GAL, which are Hamburg's regional wing of the Alliance 90/The Greens party. Von Beust was briefly succeeded by Christoph Ahlhaus in 2010, but the coalition broke apart on November, 28. 2010. On 7 March 2011 Olaf Scholz (SPD) became mayor. After the 2015 election the SPD and the Alliance 90/The Greens formed a coalition.
Hamburg is made up of seven boroughs (German: Bezirke) and subdivided into 104 quarters (German: Stadtteile). There are 181 localities (German: Ortsteile). The urban organization is regulated by the Constitution of Hamburg and several laws. Most of the quarters were former independent cities, towns or villages annexed into Hamburg proper. The last large annexation was done through the Greater Hamburg Act of 1937, when the cities Altona, Harburg and Wandsbek were merged into the state of Hamburg. The Act of the Constitution and Administration of Hanseatic city of Hamburg established Hamburg as a state and a municipality. Some of the boroughs and quarters have been rearranged several times.
Each borough is governed by a Borough Council (German: Bezirksversammlung) and administered by a Municipal Administrator (German: Bezirksamtsleiter). The boroughs are not independent municipalities: their power is limited and subordinate to the Senate of Hamburg. The borough administrator is elected by the Borough Council and thereafter requires confirmation and appointment by Hamburg's Senate. The quarters have no governing bodies of their own.
Hamburg-Mitte ("Hamburg Centre") covers mostly the urban centre of the city and consists of the quarters Billbrook, Billstedt, Borgfelde, Finkenwerder, HafenCity, Hamm, Hammerbrook, Horn, Kleiner Grasbrook, Neuwerk, Rothenburgsort, St. Georg, St. Pauli, Steinwerder, Veddel, Waltershof and Wilhelmsburg. The quarters Hamburg-Altstadt ("old town") and Neustadt ("new town") are the historical origin of Hamburg.
Altona is the westernmost urban borough, on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864, Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent city until 1937. Politically, the following quarters are part of Altona: Altona-Altstadt, Altona-Nord, Bahrenfeld, Ottensen, Othmarschen, Groß Flottbek, Osdorf, Lurup, Nienstedten, Blankenese, Iserbrook, Sülldorf, Rissen, Sternschanze.
Bergedorf consists of the quarters Allermöhe, Altengamme, Bergedorf—the centre of the former independent town, Billwerder, Curslack, Kirchwerder, Lohbrügge, Moorfleet, Neuengamme, Neuallermöhe, Ochsenwerder, Reitbrook, Spadenland and Tatenberg.
Eimsbüttel is split into nine quarters: Eidelstedt, Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude, Hoheluft-West, Lokstedt, Niendorf, Rotherbaum, Schnelsen and Stellingen. Located within this borough is former Jewish neighbourhood Grindel.
Hamburg-Nord contains the quarters Alsterdorf, Barmbek-Nord, Barmbek-Süd, Dulsberg, Eppendorf, Fuhlsbüttel, Groß Borstel, Hoheluft-Ost, Hohenfelde, Langenhorn, Ohlsdorf with Ohlsdorf cemetery, Uhlenhorst and Winterhude.
Harburg lies on the southern shores of the river Elbe and covers parts of the port of Hamburg, residential and rural areas, and some research institutes. The quarters are Altenwerder, Cranz, Eißendorf, Francop, Gut Moor, Harburg, Hausbruch, Heimfeld, Langenbek, Marmstorf, Moorburg, Neuenfelde, Neugraben-Fischbek, Neuland, Rönneburg, Sinstorf and Wilstorf.
Wandsbek is divided into the quarters Bergstedt, Bramfeld, Duvenstedt, Eilbek, Farmsen-Berne, Hummelsbüttel, Jenfeld, Lemsahl-Mellingstedt, Marienthal, Poppenbüttel, Rahlstedt, Sasel, Steilshoop, Tonndorf, Volksdorf, Wandsbek, Wellingsbüttel and Wohldorf-Ohlstedt.
Hamburg has architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles and only a few skyscrapers. Churches are important landmarks, such as St Nicholas', which for a short time in the 19th century was the world's tallest building. The skyline features the tall spires of the most important churches (Hauptkirchen) St Michael's (nicknamed "Michel"), St Peter's, St James's (St. Jacobi) and St. Catherine's covered with copper plates, and the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm, the radio and television tower (no longer publicly accessible).
The many streams, rivers and canals are crossed by some 2,500 bridges, more than London, Amsterdam and Venice put together. Hamburg has more bridges inside its city limits than any other city in the world. The Köhlbrandbrücke, Freihafen Elbbrücken, and Lombardsbrücke and Kennedybrücke dividing Binnenalster from Aussenalster are important roadways.
The town hall is a richly decorated Neo-Renaissance building finished in 1897. The tower is 112 metres (367 ft) high. Its façade, 111 m (364 ft) long, depicts the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, since Hamburg was, as a Free Imperial City, only under the sovereignty of the emperor. The Chilehaus, a brick expressionist office building built in 1922 and designed by architect Fritz Höger, is shaped like an ocean liner.
Europe's largest urban development since 2008, the HafenCity, will house about 10,000 inhabitants and 15,000 workers. The plan includes designs by Rem Koolhaas and Renzo Piano. The Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall), opened in January 2017, houses concerts in a sail-shaped building on top of an old warehouse, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron.
The many parks are distributed over the whole city, which makes Hamburg a very verdant city. The biggest parks are the Stadtpark, the Ohlsdorf Cemetery and Planten un Blomen. The Stadtpark, Hamburg's "Central Park", has a great lawn and a huge water tower, which houses one of Europe's biggest planetaria. The park and its buildings were designed by Fritz Schumacher in the 1910s.
The lavish and spacious Planten un Blomen park (Low German dialect for "plants and flowers") located in the centre of Hamburg is the green heart of the city. Within the park you can find various thematic gardens, the biggest Japanese garden in Germany and The Alter Botanischer Garten Hamburg which is a historic botanical garden, that now consists primarily of greenhouses.
The Botanischer Garten Hamburg is a modern botanical garden maintained by the University of Hamburg. Besides these, there are many more big and small parks. In 2014 Hamburg celebrated a birthday of park culture, where many parks were reconstructed and cleaned up. Moreover, every year there are the famous water-light-concerts in the Planten un Blomen park from May to early October.
Hamburg has more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs. In 2005, more than 18 million people visited concerts, exhibitions, theatres, cinemas, museums, and cultural events. More than 8,552 taxable companies (average size 3.16 employees) were engaged in the culture sector, which includes music, performing arts and literature. There are five companies in the creative sector per thousand residents (as compared to three in Berlin and 37 in London). Hamburg has entered the European Green Capital Award scheme, and was awarded the title of European Green Capital for 2011.
The English Theatre of Hamburg near U3 Mundsburg station was established in 1976 and is the oldest professional English-speaking theatre in Germany, and has exclusively English native-speaking actors in its company.
Hamburg has several large museums and galleries showing classical and contemporary art, for example the Kunsthalle Hamburg with its contemporary art gallery (Galerie der Gegenwart), the Museum for Art and Industry (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) and the Deichtorhallen/House of Photography. The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg opened in the HafenCity quarter in 2008. There are various specialised museums in Hamburg, such as the Archaeological Museum Hamburg (Archäologisches Museum Hamburg) in Hamburg-Harburg, the Hamburg Museum of Work (Museum der Arbeit), and several museums of local history, for example the Kiekeberg Open Air Museum (Freilichtmuseum am Kiekeberg). Two museum ships near Landungsbrücken bear witness to the freight ship (Cap San Diego) and cargo sailing ship era (Rickmer Rickmers). The world's largest model railway museum Miniatur Wunderland with 15.4 km (9.57 mi) total railway length is also situated near Landungsbrücken in a former warehouse.
BallinStadt (Emigration City) is dedicated to the millions of Europeans who emigrated to North and South America between 1850 and 1939. Visitors descending from those overseas emigrants may search for their ancestors at computer terminals.
Hamburg State Opera is a leading opera company. Its orchestra is the Philharmoniker Hamburg. The city's other well-known orchestra is the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. The main concert venue is the new concert hall Elbphilharmonie. Before it was the Laeiszhalle, Musikhalle Hamburg. The Laeiszhalle also houses a third orchestra, the Hamburger Symphoniker. György Ligeti and Alfred Schnittke taught at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.
Since the German premiere of Cats in 1986, there have always been musicals running, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Dirty Dancing and Dance of the Vampires. This density, the highest in Germany, is partly due to the major musical production company Stage Entertainment being based in the city.
Hamburg is the birthplace of Johannes Brahms, who spent his formative early years in the city, and the birthplace and home of the famous waltz composer Oscar Fetrás, who wrote the well-known "Mondnacht auf der Alster" waltz.
Prior to the group's initial recording and widespread fame, Hamburg provided residency and performing venues for the Beatles from 1960 to 1962. Hamburg has nurtured a number of pop musicians. Identical twins Bill Kaulitz and Tom Kaulitz from the rock band Tokio Hotel live and maintain a recording studio in Hamburg, where they recorded their second and third albums, Zimmer 483 and Humanoid. Singer Nena also lives in Hamburg. There are German hip hop acts, such as Fünf Sterne deluxe, Samy Deluxe, Beginner and Fettes Brot. There is a substantial alternative and punk scene, which gathers around the Rote Flora, a squatted former theatre located in the Sternschanze. Hamburg is famous for an original kind of German alternative music called Hamburger Schule ("Hamburg School"), a term used for bands like Tocotronic, Blumfeld, Tomte or Kante.
The city was a major centre for heavy metal music in the 1980s. Helloween, Gamma Ray, Running Wild and Grave Digger started in Hamburg. The industrial rock band KMFDM was also formed in Hamburg, initially as a performance art project. The influences of these and other bands from the area helped establish the subgenre of power metal.
Hamburg is noted for several festivals and regular events. Some of them are street festivals, such as the gay pride Hamburg Pride festival or the Alster fair (German: Alstervergnügen), held at the Binnenalster. The Hamburger DOM is northern Germany's biggest funfair, held three times a year. Hafengeburtstag is a funfair to honour the birthday of the port of Hamburg with a party and a ship parade. The annual biker's service in Saint Michael's Church attracts tens of thousands of bikers. Christmas markets in December are held at the Hamburg Rathaus square, among other places. The long night of museums (German: Lange Nacht der Museen) offers one entrance fee for about 40 museums until midnight. The sixth Festival of Cultures was held in September 2008, celebrating multi-cultural life. The Filmfest Hamburg — a film festival originating from the 1950s Film Days (German: Film Tage) — presents a wide range of films. The Hamburg Messe and Congress offers a venue for trade shows, such hanseboot, an international boat show, or Du und deine Welt, a large consumer products show. Regular sports events—some open to pro and amateur participants—are the cycling competition EuroEyes Cyclassics, the Hamburg Marathon, the biggest marathon in Germany after Berlin, the tennis tournament Hamburg Masters and equestrian events like the Deutsches Derby. Since 2007, Hamburg has the Dockville music and art festival. It takes place every year in summer in Wilhelmsburg.
Original Hamburg dishes are Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (green beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe (Hamburgisch Oolsupp) is often mistaken to be German for "eel soup" (Aal/Ool translated ‘eel’), but the name probably comes from the Low Saxon allns [aˑlns], meaning "all", "everything and the kitchen sink", not necessarily eel. Today eel is often included to meet the expectations of unsuspecting diners. There is Bratkartoffeln (pan-fried potato slices), Finkenwerder Scholle (Low Saxon Finkwarder Scholl, pan-fried plaice), Pannfisch (pan-fried fish with mustard sauce), Rote Grütze (Low Saxon Rode Grütt, related to Danish rødgrød, a type of summer pudding made mostly from berries and usually served with cream, like Danish rødgrød med fløde) and Labskaus (a mixture of corned beef, mashed potatoes and beetroot, a cousin of the Norwegian lapskaus and Liverpool's lobscouse, all offshoots off an old-time one-pot meal that used to be the main component of the common sailor's humdrum diet on the high seas).
Alsterwasser (in reference to the city's river, the Alster) is the local name for a type of shandy, a concoction of equal parts of beer and carbonated lemonade (Zitronenlimonade), the lemonade being added to the beer.
There is the curious regional dessert pastry called Franzbrötchen. Looking rather like a flattened croissant, it is similar in preparation but includes a cinnamon and sugar filling, often with raisins or brown sugar streusel. The name may also reflect to the roll's croissant-like appearance – franz appears to be a shortening of französisch, meaning "French", which would make a Franzbrötchen a "French roll." Ordinary bread rolls tend to be oval-shaped and of the French bread variety. The local name is Schrippe (scored lengthways) for the oval kind and, for the round kind, Rundstück ("round piece" rather than mainstream German Brötchen, diminutive form of Brot "bread"), a relative of Denmark's rundstykke. In fact, while by no means identical, the cuisines of Hamburg and Denmark, especially of Copenhagen, have a lot in common. This also includes a predilection for open-faced sandwiches of all sorts, especially topped with cold-smoked or pickled fish.
The American hamburger may have developed from Hamburg's Frikadeller: a pan-fried patty (usually larger and thicker than its American counterpart) made from a mixture of ground beef, soaked stale bread, egg, chopped onion, salt and pepper, usually served with potatoes and vegetables like any other piece of meat, not usually on a bun. The Oxford Dictionary defined a Hamburger steak in 1802: a sometimes-smoked and -salted piece of meat, that, according to some sources, came from Hamburg to America. The name and food, "hamburger", has entered all English-speaking countries, and derivative words in non-English speaking countries.
There are restaurants which offer most of these dishes, especially in the HafenCity.
Speicherstadt (Warehouse district)
Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall)
St. Michael's Church ("Michel")
Große Freiheit ("Great Freedom")
Planten un Blomen park
Hills and mansions in Blankenese
Laeiszhalle concert venue
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, busiest railway station in Germany
Highrises in St. Pauli ("Hafenkrone")
View over Hamburg and the Alster
Hamburg has long been a centre of alternative music and counter culture movements. The boroughs of St. Pauli, Sternschanze and Altona are known for being home to many radical left-wing and anarchist groups, culminating every year during the traditional May Day demonstrations.
The Rote Flora is a former theatre, which was squatted in 1989 in the wake of re-development plans for that area. Since then, the Rote Flora has become one of the most well-known strongholds against gentrification and a place for radical culture throughout Germany and Europe. Especially during the 33rd G8 summit in nearby Heiligendamm, the Rote Flora served as an important venue for organising the counter-protests that were taking place back then.
During the 2017 G20 summit, which took place in Hamburg from 7–8 July that year, protestors clashed violently with the police in the Sternschanze area and particularly around the Rote Flora. On 7 July, several cars were set on fire and street barricades were erected to prevent the police from entering the area. In response to that, the police made heavy use of water cannons and tear gas in order to scatter the protestors. However, this was met with strong resistance by protestors, resulting in a total of 160 injured police and 75 arrested participants in the protests.
After the summit, however, the Rote Flora issued a statement, in which it condemns the arbitrary acts of violence that were committed by some of the protestors whilst generally defending the right to use violence as a means of self-defence against police oppression. In particular, the spokesperson of the Rote Flora said that the autonomous cultural centre had a traditionally good relationship with its neighbours and local residents, since they were united in their fight against gentrification in that neighbourhood.
There are several English-speaking communities, such as Caledonian Society of Hamburg, The British Club Hamburg, British and Commonwealth Luncheon Club, Anglo-German Club e.V., Professional Women's Forum, The British Decorative and Fine Arts Society, The English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth, The Scottish Country Dancers of Hamburg. There is also a thriving 400-year-old Anglican church community worshiping at St Thomas Becket Church. Further The Hamburg Players e. V. English Language Theatre Group, The Hamburg Exiles Rugby Club, Several cricket clubs, The Morris Minor Register of Hamburg. Furthermore, the Anglo-Hanseatic Lodge No. 850 within the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons of Germany under the United Grand Lodges of Germany works in Hamburg, and has a diverse expat membership.
American and international English-speaking organisations are The American Club of Hamburg e.V., the American Women's Club of Hamburg, the English Speaking Union, and the German-American Women's Club., The International Women's Club of Hamburg e. V.. Business themes are dealt with by The American Chamber of Commerce. The International School of Hamburg serves school children.
A Hamburg saying, referring to its anglophile nature, is: "Wenn es in London anfängt zu regnen, spannen die Hamburger den Schirm auf." ... "When it starts raining in London, people in Hamburg open their umbrellas.".
A tribute to the British is that for German's extremely popular 18 minutes short intimate play "Dinner For One - The 90th Birthday". It was cast in 1963 as a live act for TV in English language at NDR-Hamburg studios with Freddie Frinton and May Warden. The funny story is about a wealthy British lady, her butler and four pretended guests celebrating her 90th birthday.
A memorial for successful English engineer William Lindley, who reorganized, beginning in 1842, the drinking water and sewage system and thus helped to fight against cholera, is near Baumwall train station in Vorsetzen street.
In 2009, more than 2,500 "stumbling blocks" (Stolpersteine) were laid, engraved with the names of deported and murdered citizens. Inserted into the pavement in front of their former houses, the blocks draw attention to the victims of Nazi persecution.
The 2016 gross domestic product (GDP) totaled €110.7 billion. The city has a relatively high employment rate, at 88 percent of the working-age population, employed in over 160,000 businesses. The average income in 2016 of employees was €49,332.
Hamburg has for centuries been a commercial centre of Northern Europe, and is the most important banking city of Northern Germany. The city is the seat of Germany's oldest bank, the Berenberg Bank, M.M.Warburg & CO and HSH Nordbank. The Hamburg Stock Exchange is the oldest of its kind in Germany.
The most significant economic unit is the Port of Hamburg, which ranks third to Rotterdam and Antwerpen in Europe and 17th-largest worldwide with transshipments of 8.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo and 138.2 million tons of goods in 2016. International trade is also the reason for the large number of consulates in the city. Although situated 68 miles (110 km) up the Elbe, it is considered a sea port due to its ability to handle large ocean-going vessels.
The HafenCity is Europe's largest urban development project and is located in the Hamburg-Mitte district. It consists of the area of the Great Grasbrook, the northern part of the former Elbe island Grasbrook, and the warehouse district on the former Elbe island Kehrwieder and Wandrahm. It is bordered to the north, separated by the customs channel to Hamburg's city center, west and south by the Elbe and to the east, bounded by the upper harbor, Rothenburgsort. The district is full of rivers and streams and is surrounded by channels, and has a total area of about 2.2 square-kilometers.
HafenCity has 155 hectares in the area formerly belonging to the free port north of the Great Grasbrook. Residential units for up to 12,000 people are planned to be built on the site by around the mid-2020s, and jobs for up to 40,000 people, mainly in the office sector, should be created. It is the largest ongoing urban development project in Hamburg.
Construction work started in 2003, and in 2009 the first part of the urban development project was finished with the completion of the Dalmannkai / Sandtorkai neighborhood – which is the first stage of the HafenCity project. According to the person responsible for the development and commercialization of HafenCity, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, half of the master plan underlying structural construction is already completed, whereas the other half is either under construction or is in the construction preparation stages.
Many companies operating in E-Commerce have moved into HafenCity or started there. In addition to cruise agents such as the CaptainTravel GmbH many start-up companies that have no direct connection to the port or ships can be found in HafenCity.
In 2016, more than 6,566,071 visitors with 13,331,001 overnight stays visited the city. The tourism sector employs more than 175,000 people full-time and brings in revenue of almost €9 billion, making the tourism industry a major economic force in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Hamburg has one of the fastest-growing tourism industries in Germany. From 2001 to 2007, the overnight stays in the city increased by 55.2% (Berlin +52.7%, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern +33%).
A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaelis (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbour promenade (Landungsbrücken). Sightseeing buses connect these points of interest. As Hamburg is one of the world's largest harbours many visitors take one of the harbour and/or canal boat tours (Große Hafenrundfahrt, Fleetfahrt) which start from the Landungsbrücken. Major destinations also include museums.
The area of Reeperbahn in the quarter St. Pauli is Europe's largest red light district and home of strip clubs, brothels, bars and nightclubs. The singer and actor Hans Albers is strongly associated with St. Pauli, and wrote the neighbourhood's unofficial anthem, "Auf der Reeperbahn Nachts um Halb Eins" ("On the Reeperbahn at Half Past Midnight") in the 1940s. The Beatles had stints on the Reeperbahn early in their careers. Others prefer the laid-back neighbourhood Schanze with its street cafés, or a barbecue on one of the beaches along the river Elbe. Hamburg's famous zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeck, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck as the first zoo with moated, barless enclosures.
In 2016, the average visitor spent two nights in Hamburg. The majority of visitors come from Germany. Most foreigners are European, especially from Denmark (395,681 overnight stays), the United Kingdom (301,000 overnight stays), Switzerland (340,156 overnight stays), Austria (about 252,397 overnight stays) and the Netherlands (about 182,610 overnight stays). The largest group from outside Europe comes from the United States (206,614 overnight stays).
Media businesses employ over 70,000 people. The Norddeutscher Rundfunk which includes the television station NDR Fernsehen is based in Hamburg, as are the commercial television station Hamburg 1, the Christian television station Bibel TV and the civil media outlet Tide TV. There are regional radio stations such as Radio Hamburg. Some of Germany's largest publishing companies, Axel Springer AG, Gruner + Jahr, Bauer Media Group are located in the city. Many national newspapers and magazines such as Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are produced in Hamburg, as well as some special-interest newspapers such as Financial Times Deutschland. Hamburger Abendblatt and Hamburger Morgenpost are daily regional newspapers with a large circulation. There are music publishers, such as Warner Bros. Records Germany, and ICT firms such as Adobe Systems and Google Germany.
Hamburg was one of the locations for the James Bond series film Tomorrow Never Dies. The Reeperbahn has been the location for many scenes, including the 1994 Beatles film Backbeat. The film A Most Wanted Man was set in and filmed in Hamburg. Hamburg was also shown in An American Tail where Fievel Mousekewitz and his family immigrate to America in the hopes to escape cats.
Hamburg has 54 hospitals. The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, with about 1,736 beds, houses a large medical school. There are also smaller private hospitals. On 1 January 2011 there were about 12,507 hospital beds. The city had 5,663 physicians in private practice and 456 pharmacies in 2010.
Hamburg is a major transportation hub, connected to four Autobahnen (motorways) and the most important railway junction on the route to Scandinavia.
Bridges and tunnels connect the northern and southern parts of the city, such as the old Elbe Tunnel (Alter Elbtunnel) or St. Pauli Elbtunnel (official name) which opened in 1911, now is major tourist sight, and the Elbe Tunnel (Elbtunnel) the crossing of a motorway.
Hamburg Airport is the oldest airport in Germany still in operation. There is also the smaller Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, used only as a company airport for Airbus. Some airlines market Lübeck Airport in Lübeck as serving Hamburg.
Hamburg's licence plate prefix was "HH" (Hansestadt Hamburg; English: Hanseatic City of Hamburg) between 1906 and 1945 and from 1956 onwards, rather than the single letter normally used for large cities since the federal registration reform in 1956, such as B for Berlin or M for Munich. "H" was Hamburg's prefix in the years between 1945 and 1947 (used by Hanover since 1956);
Public transport by rail, bus and ship is organised by the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund ("Hamburg transit authority") (HVV). Tickets sold by one company are valid on all other HVV companies' services. The HVV was the first organisation of this kind worldwide.
33 mass transit rail lines across the city are the backbone of public transport. The S-Bahn (heavy railway system) comprises six lines and the U-Bahn four lines – U-Bahn is short for Untergrundbahn (underground railway). Approximately 41 km (25 mi) of 101 km (63 mi) of the U-Bahn is underground; most is on embankments or viaduct or at ground level. Older residents still speak of the system as Hochbahn (elevated railway), also because the operating company of the subway is the Hamburger Hochbahn. The AKN railway connects satellite towns in Schleswig-Holstein to the city. On some routes regional trains of Germany's major railway company Deutsche Bahn AG and the regional metronom trains may be used with an HVV ticket. Except at the four bigger stations of the city, Hauptbahnhof, Dammtor, Altona and Harburg regional trains do not stop inside the city. The tram system was opened in 1866 and shut down in 1978.
Gaps in the rail network are filled by more than 669 bus routes, operated by single-deck two-, three- and four-axle diesel buses. Hamburg has no trams or trolleybuses, but has hydrogen-fueled buses. The buses run frequently during working hours, with buses on some so-called MetroBus routes as often as every 2 minutes. On special weekday night lines the intervals can be 30 minutes or longer, on normal days (Monday-Friday) the normal buses stop running at night. (MetroBuses run all around the clock, every day at the year at least every half-hour.)
There are eight ferry lines along the River Elbe, operated by HADAG, that fall under the aegis of the HVV. While mainly used by citizens and dock workers, they can also be used for sightseeing tours.
The international airport at Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel, official name Hamburg Airport „Helmut Schmidt“ (IATA: HAM, ICAO: EDDH) is the fifth biggest and oldest airport in Germany, having been established in 1912 and located about 5 miles (8 kilometres) from the city centre. About 60 airlines provide service to 125 destination airports, including some long distance destinations like Newark, New Jersey on United Airlines, Dubai on Emirates, and Tehran on Iran Air; Lufthansa is the hub carrier, with the most flights and operates one of its biggest maintenance facilities at the Hamburg airport (Lufthansa Technik). The second airport is located in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, official name Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (IATA: XFW, ICAO: EDHI). It is about 10 km (6 mi) from the city centre and is a nonpublic airport for the Airbus plant. It is the second biggest Airbus plant, after Toulouse, and the third biggest aviation manufacturing plant after Seattle and Toulouse; the plant houses the final assembly lines for A318, A319, A320, A321 and A380 aircraft.
The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Hamburg, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 58 min. 16% of public transit riders, ride for more than two hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 11 min, while 11% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 8.9 km, while 21% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.
Electricity for Hamburg and Northern Germany is largely provided by Vattenfall Europe, formerly the state-owned Hamburgische Electricitäts-Werke. Vattenfall Europe used to operate the Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plant and Krümmel Nuclear Power Plant, both taken out of service as part of the nuclear power phase-out. In addition, E.ON operates the Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plant near Hamburg. There are also the coal-fired Wedel, Tiefstack and Moorburg CHP Plant, and the fuel-cell power plant in the HafenCity quarter. VERA Klärschlammverbrennung uses the biosolids of the Hamburg wastewater treatment plant; the Pumpspeicherwerk Geesthacht is a pump storage power plant and a solid waste combustion power station is Müllverwertung Borsigstraße.
Hamburg is sometimes called Germany's capital of sport since no other city has more first-league teams and international sports events.
Hamburger SV is a football team in the Bundesliga. The HSV is the oldest team of the Bundesliga, playing in the league since its beginning in 1963. HSV is a six-time German champion, a three-time German cup winner and triumphed in the European Cup in 1983, and has played in the group stages of the Champions League twice: in 2000–01 and in 2006–07. They play at the Volksparkstadion (average attendance in the 12–13 season was 52,916). In addition, FC St. Pauli was a second division football club that came in second place in the 2009–10 season and qualified to play alongside Hamburger SV in the first division for the first time since the 2001–02 season. St. Pauli's home games take place at the Millerntor-Stadion.
HSV Handball represented Hamburg until 2016 in the German handball league. In 2007, HSV Handball won the European Cupwinners Cup. The Club won the league in the 2010–11 season and had an average attendance of 10.690 in the O2 World Hamburg the same year. The most recent success for the team was the EHF Champions League win in 2013. Since 2014, the club has suffered from economic problems and was almost not allowed the playing licence for the 2014–15 season. But due to economic support from the former club president/sponsor Andreas Rudolf the club was allowed the licence in the last minute. On 20 January 2016 however, their licence was removed due to violations following the continued economic struggles. In 2016–17, they are not allowed to play in the first or second league. The team lives on through their former second team (now their main team) in the third division.
The BCJ Hamburg played in the Basketball Bundesliga from 1999 to 2001. Since then, teams from Hamburg have attempted to return to Germany's elite league. The recently founded Hamburg Towers have already established themselves as one of the main teams in Germany's second division ProA and aim to take on the heritage of the BCJ Hamburg. The Towers play their home games at the Inselparkhalle in Wilhelmsburg.
Hamburg is the nation's field hockey capital and dominates the men's as well as the women's Bundesliga. Hamburg hosts many top teams such as Uhlenhorster Hockey Club, Harvesterhuder Hockey Club and Club An Der Alster.
The Hamburg Warriors are one of Germany's top lacrosse clubs. The club has grown immensely in the last several years and includes at least one youth team, three men's, and two women's teams. The team participates in the Deutsch Lacrosse Verein. The Hamburg Warriors are part of the Harvestehuder Tennis- und Hockey-Club e.V (HTHC).
There are also the Hamburg Dockers, an Australian rules football club. The FC St. Pauli team dominates women's rugby in Germany. Other first-league teams include VT Aurubis Hamburg (Volleyball), Hamburger Polo Club, and Hamburg Blue Devils (American Football). There are also several minority sports clubs, including four cricket clubs.
Hamburg also hosts equestrian events at Reitstadion Klein Flottbek (Deutsches Derby in jumping and dressage) and Horner Rennbahn (Deutsches Derby flat racing). Besides Hamburg owns the famous harness racing track "Trabrennbahn Bahrenfeld". The Hamburg Marathon is the biggest marathon in Germany after Berlin's. In 2008 23,230 participants were registered. World Cup events in cycling, the UCI ProTour competition EuroEyes Cyclassics, and the triathlon ITU World Cup event Hamburg City Man are also held in here.
Hamburg was applying for 2024 Olympic Games. However 51.7 percent of those participating in the referendum (only Hamburg's residents) in November 2015 had decided against continuing Hamburg's bid to host the 2024 Olympics. Meanwhile, Hamburg's partner city Kiel voted in favour of hosting the event, with almost 66 percent of all participants supporting the bid. Opponents of the bid had argued that hosting the 33rd Olympic Games would cost the city too much in public funds.
The school system is managed by the Ministry of Schools and Vocational Training (Behörde für Schule und Berufsbildung). The system had approximately 191,148 students in 221 primary schools and 188 secondary schools in 2016. There are 32 public libraries in Hamburg.
Nineteen universities are located in Hamburg, with about 100,589 university students in total, including 9,000 resident aliens. Six universities are public, including the largest, the University of Hamburg (Universität Hamburg) with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the University of Music and Theatre, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, the HafenCity University Hamburg and the Hamburg University of Technology. Seven universities are private, like the Bucerius Law School and the Hamburg School of Business Administration. The city has also smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as the Helmut Schmidt University (formerly the University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg). Hamburg is home to one of the oldest international schools in Germany, the International School of Hamburg.
In Hamburg it's hard to find a native Hamburger. A hurried and superficial search turns up only crayfish, people from Pinneberg, and those from Bergedorf. One accompanies the contented little kippers of a striving society; mackerels from Stade, sole from Finkenwerder, herrings from Cuxhaven swim in expectant throngs through the streets of my city and lobsters patrol the stock exchange with open claws.... The first so-called unguarded glance always lands on the bottom of the sea and falls into twilight of the aquarium. Heinrich Heine must have had the same experience when he tried, with his cultivated scorn and gifted melancholy, to find the people of Hamburg.