A long history left monuments of the epochs witnessed by Hamburg. You should see all of them when you are traveling by car in Germany, in order to understand the country better. Fires and wars, especially World War II, caused great damage to the historical places. Local residents, however, managed to restore everything which was destroyed and add new highlights to city attractions.
Founded in 808, the city-port of Hamburg occupies a rightful place in the top ten cities in Germany and Europe for various reasons:
Hamburg is one of the three city-states of Germany;
the largest sea port and the fourth largest river port of the country;
the first place among European cities by the number of citizens if you do not take into account some of the capital cities; the second place in Germany (after Berlin); and the seventh in the EU, if you count the capital cities;
located on the Elbe River, is a unique river and sea port at the same time;
the first place in Europe by the number of bridges (more than 2000);
Hamburg is the cultural capital of Germany, it has the third place (after London and New York) by the number of theatre performances (the city has more than 40 theaters and concert halls).
Architectural symbols of the city
The Cathedral of St. Michael and its 132-meter high watch tower. The church is located so that it can be seen from ships coming to the port. The shape of this Protestant church creates a maritime facade of Hamburg. The gold gilded clock on the tower is the largest in Germany. There is an observation deck at the height of 106 meters, where you can get by the lift or on foot. The cathedral is depicted on the reverse side of a two-euro coin.
City Hall It is the pride of the citizens who claim that this is the biggest city hall in Germany with more rooms than in Buckingham Palace. In fact, the number of rooms is a bit smaller - only 647 against 775, but city enthusiasts do not pay attentions to this. You can only get into the lobby of the city hall. By the way, one of Avis car rental stations is located just two blocks from the city hall.
Church of St. Jacob The tower of the Church of St. Jacob is 125 meters high and is visible from anywhere in the center of Hamburg. This church has the largest organ of the Baroque style in Europe. It was created in 1693, and the great Bach himself played it before he moved to Leipzig. 4000 pipes make the sound of the organ unique. Nowadays the organ is used for organ music concerts.
Old tunnel under the Elbe It was built in 1911, and until 1970 it was an important object that cuts down the distance from one shore to another. In 1970, they opened a new, modern tunnel, reducing the burden on the historic one. And if you are traveling by car, you will not miss it.
Church of St. Nicholas Until 1876, the 147-meter high bell tower of this church was the highest in the world. During the war, the church was destroyed; the miraculously preserved bell tower was fortified and not renovated as a memory of the war. Now there is a museum in the basement of the bell tower, the bells are installed on the bell tower, and there is an observation deck at the height of 75 meters.
Bergedorf Castle Hamburg has always been a city of sailors and merchants, which is why there were no noble family estates. Bergedorf is the only castle in the city.
When you get a bit tired of a car trip, park the car and feel why Hamburg is called the ‘green capital of Europe’ - just go for a walk around the city.
Lake and park Alster A huge artificial lake in the center of the city, surrounded by a park, has 160 acres of water and a seven-kilometer ‘path of health’ along the coast. Created seven centuries ago, the lake has always been well cared for, and modern urbanization has not destroyed the charm of this place. In 2014, a 4-meter sculpture of a bather was installed in the center of the lake, which immediately became a favorite shooting place for tourists.
Miniatures of Wonderland Miniature railway (13 kilometers) passes through models of countries and continents. Every 15 minutes day is replaced by night, some mini people go to work, others have fun, trains carry passengers, airports and city services work.
Bismarck Monument This granite monument to the Grand Chancellor was installed in the Elbe Park at the beginning of the 20th century. The idea to put up the monument caused some controversy at the time, but eventually a compromise was found - the monument should represent not only the person, but Germany as well. In the basement of the monument there used to be a museum with Chancellor’s quotes and paintings. During the war, the monument suffered from bombing, it was restored later, but the museum was closed, as they couldn’t fortify the basement in a proper way.
Fish market The market operates only once a week on Sundays, and only until 10am. At this time, the market atmosphere of the past centuries is being revived. Next to the market there is a modern sculpture of a fisherman and a merchant. Also you can see here an ancient 18th century fountain with the sculpture of Minerva.
Huge, interesting, unique and different from other cities, it is impossible to describe Hamburg in a short article or to see and feel it on a short tour, even if you rented a car. This is the city you should visit many times. Do not forget to throw a coin when leaving Hamburg so that it would be lying on top of a pile sticking out from water near the port. This will definitely bring you back to Hamburg again to explore the new routes.