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Hamburg ( ; , local pronunciation Low German/Low Saxon: Hamborg ) is the second-largest city in Germanymarker (after Berlinmarker) and the sixth-largest city in the European Union. The city is home to approximately 1.8 million people, while the Hamburg Metropolitan Regionmarker (including parts of the neighboring Federal States of Lower Saxonymarker and Schleswig-Holsteinmarker) has more than 4.3 million inhabitants. The port of Hamburg is the second-largest port in Europe (after that of Rotterdam), and the ninth-largest in the world.

Hamburg's official name is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (German: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg). It makes reference to Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, and also to the fact that Hamburg is a city-state and one of the sixteen States of Germany.

Hamburg is a major transportation hub in Northern Germany. It has become a media and industrial center, with factories such as Airbus, Blohm + Voss and Norddeutsche Affinerie. The radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk and publishers such as Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel-Verlag represent the important media industry in Hamburg. In total there are more than 120,000 enterprises. The city is a major tourist destination both for domestic and overseas visitors, receiving about 7.4 million overnight stays in 2007.


Hamburg in 1800.
The city takes its name from the first permanent building on the site, a castle ordered built by Emperor Charlemagne in 808 AD. The castle was built on rocky ground in a marsh between the River Alster and the River Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion. The castle was named Hammaburg, where burg means castle. The Hamma element remains uncertain, as does the location of this castle.

In 834, Hamburg was designated the seat of a Roman Catholic bishopric, whose 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. In 1529, the city embraced Lutheranism, and Hamburg subsequently received Protestant refugees from the Netherlandsmarker and Francemarker and, in the 17th century, Sephardi Jews from Portugalmarker.

Hamburg was destroyed and occupied several times. In 845, a fleet of 600 Viking ships came up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. In 1030, the city was burned down by King Mieszko II Lambert of Polandmarker. Valdemar II of Denmark raided and occupied Hamburg in 1201 and in 1214. The Black Death killed at least 60% of Hamburg's population in 1350. Hamburg had several great fires, the most notable ones in 1284 and 1842. In 1842, about a quarter of the inner city was destroyed in the "Great Fire". This fire started on the night of the 4 May, 1842 and was extinguished on May 8. It destroyed three churches, the town hall, and many other buildings, killed 51 people, and left an estimated 20,000 homeless. Reconstruction took more than 40 years.

Seal of 1245.
The charter in 1189 by Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of an Imperial Free City and tax-free access up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. In 1265, a putative 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 Seamarker and Baltic Seamarker, quickly made it a major port in Northern Europe. Its trade alliance with Lübeckmarker in 1241 marks the origin and core of the powerful Hanseatic League of trading cities. On November 8, 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 the word hanse was mentioned for the trading guild Hanseatic League. The first description of civil, criminal and procedural law for a city in Germany in German language, the Ordeelbook (Ordeel: sentence) was written by the solicitor of the senate Jordan von Boitzenburg in 1270. On August 10, 1410 civil commotion caused a compromise (German:Rezeß, literally meaning: withdrawal). It is considered the first constitution of Hamburg.

At the unwinding of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Free Imperial City of Hamburg was not mediatised but became a sovereign state officially titled Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Hamburg was briefly annexed by Napoleon I to the First French Empire (1810–14). Russian forces under General Bennigsen finally freed the city in 1814. Hamburg reassumed its pre-1811 status as city-state in 1814. The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Hamburg's independence and it became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederationmarker (1815–66).

In 1860, the state of Hamburg established a republican constitution. Hamburg became a city-state in the North German Confederationmarker (1866–71), the German Empiremarker (1871–1918) and during the period of the Weimar Republicmarker (1919–33). Hamburg 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 Atlanticmarker trade helped make it Europe's third-largest port. With Albert Ballin as its director, the Hamburg-America Line became the world's largest transatlantic shipping company at the turn of the century. Hamburg was also home to shipping companies to South America, Africa, Indiamarker and East Asia. Hamburg was the departure port for most Germans and Eastern Europeans to emigrate to the United Statesmarker in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It became home to trading communities from all over the world.

In Nazi Germany Hamburg was a Gau from 1934 until 1945. During World War II Hamburg suffered a series of air raids, which killed 42,000 civilians and devastated much of the inhabited city as well as harbour areas. At least 55,000 people were murdered in the Neuengammemarker Nazi concentration camp within the city.

Hamburg surrendered without a fight to British Forces on May 3, 1945. After the Second World War, Hamburg was in the British Zone of Occupation and became a state of the then still West German Federal Republic of Germanymarker in 1949. On February 16, 1962 the North Sea flood of that year 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 east of Hamburg—separated the city from most of its hinterland and further reduced Hamburg's global trade. After German reunification in 1990, and the accession of some Eastern European and Baltic States into the EU in 2004, Hamburg Harbour and Hamburg have ambitions for regaining their positions as the region's largest deep-sea port for container shipping and its major commercial and trading centre.


Hamburg is located on the southern point of the Jutland Peninsulamarker, directly between Continental Europe to its south, Scandinavia to its north, the North Seamarker to its west, and the Baltic Seamarker to its east. Hamburg is located on the River Elbe at the confluence with the Alster and Billemarker. The central city area is situated around the Binnenalstermarker ("Inner Alster") and the Außenalstermarker ("Outer Alster") both of which are originally the river Alster but retained as lakes. The island of Neuwerkmarker and two other islands in the North Seamarker are also part of Hamburg, located in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Parkmarker.

The Altes Land region (old land) is the biggest contiguous fruit orchard in Central Europe. It extends over . 76.8% of the trees are apples, 12.7% are cherries. It includes the quarters of Neuenfeldemarker, Cranzmarker, Francop and Finkenwerdermarker and parts of the state of Lower Saxonymarker. In the quarter Neugraben-Fischbekmarker is the highest rise of Hamburg, the Hasselbrack is AMSL.


The warmest months in Hamburg are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of . The coldest are December, January, and February, with mean temperatures of .



St. Michaelis Church on the €2 coin 2008
Hamburg has architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles. There are only a few skyscrapers. Churches like St. Nicholas's churchmarker, the world's tallest building in the 19th century, are important landmarks.The skyline of Hamburg features the high spires of the principal churches (Hauptkirchen) Saint Michael's Churchmarker (nicknamed “Michel"), Saint Peter's Churchmarker, Saint James's Churchmarker and Saint Catherine's Churchmarker covered with copper plates.

The many canals in Hamburg are crossed by over 2300 bridges, more than those of Amsterdammarker and Venicemarker combined.Hamburg has more bridges inside its city limits than any other city in the world. The Köhlbrandbrückemarker, Freihafen Elbbrücken, and Lombardsbrücke and Kennedybrücke dividing Binnenalster from Aussenalster are important traffic structures.

The townhallmarker is a richly decorated Neo-Renaissance building finished in 1897.The tower is high. Its facade, 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 Chilehausmarker, a brick stone office building built in 1922 and designed by architect Fritz Höger is spectacularly shaped like an ocean liner.

To be completed around 2015, Europe's largest inner city development as of 2008, the quarter HafenCitymarker, will house about 10,000 inhabitants and 15,000 workers.Its ambitious planning and architecture (among other designs by Rem Kolhaas and Renzo Piano will be realized) are slowly coming into shape. By the end of 2010, the Elbe Philharmonic Hallmarker (Elbphilharmonie) is scheduled to house its first concerts in a spectacular building designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron on top of an old warehouse.

The many parks of Hamburg are distributed over the whole city, which makes Hamburg a very green city. The biggest parks are the Stadtpark, the Ohlsdorf Cemeterymarker and Planten un Blomenmarker.The Stadtpark, Hamburg's "Central Park", has a great lawn and a huge watertower, which houses one of Europe's biggest Planetariums. The park and its buildings were also designed by Fritz Schumacherin the 1910s.


Hamburg is made up of 7 boroughs (German: Bezirke) and subdivided into 105 quarters (German: Stadtteile). There are also 180 localities (German: Ortsteile). As of 2008, the areal organization is regulated by the Constitution of Hamburg and several laws. In the constitution is determined that an area could be created by law for administrative purposes. Most of the quarters were former independent cities, towns or villages annexed into Hamburg proper. In 1938, the last large incorporation was done through the Greater Hamburg Act of 1937, when the cities Altonamarker, Harburgmarker and Wandsbekmarker were merged into the state of Hamburg.The Reich Act of the Constitution and Administration of Hanseatic city of Hamburgestablished Hamburg as a state and a municipality. Some of the boroughs and quarters have been rearranged several times over the years.

Each borough is governed by a Borough Council (German: Bezirksamt), administrated by the Municipal Councilor (German: Bezirksamtsleiter). The boroughs of Hamburg are not independent municipalities. The power of borough governments is limited and subordinate to the Senate of Hamburg. The municipal councilors is elected by the Diet of the Borough and thereafter his admission needs to get appointed by Hamburgs's senate. The quarters have no government bodies of their own.

In 2008 the boroughs of Hamburg were Altona, Bergedorf, Eimsbüttel, Hamburg-Mitte, Hamburg-Nord, Harburg and Wandsbek.

Boroughs of Hamburg
Altonamarker 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 subject to the Altona borough: Altona-Altstadt, Altona-Nordmarker, Bahrenfeldmarker, Ottensenmarker, Othmarschenmarker, Groß Flottbek, Osdorfmarker, Lurupmarker, Nienstedtenmarker, Blankenesemarker, Iserbrookmarker, Sülldorfmarker, Rissenmarker, Sternschanze.In 2006 the population was 243,972.

In 2006 Bergedorfmarker was the largest of the seven boroughs and a quarter within this borough.As of 2006 the population was 118,942. The borough Bergedorf consists of the quarters Allermöhemarker, Altengammemarker, Bergedorfmarker—the city center of the former independent city, Billwerder, Curslack, Kirchwerder, Lohbrüggemarker, Moorfleet, Neuengammemarker, Ochsenwerder, Reitbrook, Spadenland and Tatenberg.

In 2006 the population of Eimsbüttelmarker was 246,087.The borough Eimsbüttel is split into nine quarters: Eidelstedt, Eimsbüttelmarker, Harvestehude, Hoheluft-West, Lokstedt, Niendorfmarker, Rotherbaummarker, Schnelsen and Stellingen.Located within this borough is former Jewish neighbourhood Grindel.

Hamburg-Mittemarker (Rough translation: Central Hamburg) covers mostly the urban center of the city of Hamburg.In 2006 the population was 233,144. It consits of the quarters Billbrook, Billstedt, Borgfelde, Finkenwerdermarker, HafenCitymarker, Hamm-Nord, Hamm-Mitte, Hamm-Süd, Hammerbrookmarker, Hornmarker, Kleiner Grasbrookmarker, Neuwerkmarker, Rothenburgsortmarker, St. Georgmarker, St. Paulimarker, Steinwerder, Veddelmarker, Waltershof and Wilhelmsburgmarker.The quarters Hamburg-Alstadt (Rough translation: Hamburg old city) and Neustadt (Rough translation: new city) are the historical origin of Hamburg.

In 2006, the population of Hamburg-Nordmarker (Rough translation: Northern Hamburg) was 280,229 in an area of .Hamburg-Nord consists of the quarters Alsterdorfmarker, Barmbek-Nord, Barmbek-Süd, Dulsberg, Eppendorf, Fuhlsbüttelmarker, Groß Borstel, Hoheluft-Ost, Hohenfelde, Langenhornmarker, Ohlsdorf, Uhlenhorst and Winterhudemarker.

Harburgmarker is a borough of the city and a quarter in this borough.The borough 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. In 2006 the population of the borough was 201,119, including the quarter with 21,193. In the borough Harburg are the quarters Altenwerdermarker, Cranzmarker, Eißendorf, Francop, Gut Moor, Harburgmarker, Hausbruch, Heimfeld, Langenbek, Marmstorf, Moorburg, Neuenfeldemarker, Neugraben-Fischbekmarker, Neuland, Rönneburg, Sinstorf and Wilstorf.

In 2006, Wandsbekmarker was the second-largest of seven boroughs that make up the city of Hamburg.The quarter Wandsbek, which was the former independent city, is urban and, with the quarters Eilbek and Marienthal, part of the city's economic and cultural core. Like the other boroughs of Hamburg, Wandsbek is divided into quarters. They are Bergstedt, Bramfeld, Duvenstedt, Eilbekmarker, Farmsen-Berne, Hummelsbüttel, Jenfeld, Lemsahl-Mellingstedt, Marienthal, Poppenbüttelmarker, Rahlstedt, Sasel, Steilshoop, Tonndorf, Volksdorf, Wandsbekmarker, Wellingsbüttel and Wohldorf-Ohlstedt.In 2006 the population was 409,771.

Culture and contemporary life

Hamburg offers 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 other performances of cultural achievement. More than 8,552 taxable companies – the average size was 3.16 employees – were engaged in culture like music, performing arts and literature. There are 5 companies in the creative sector per thousand residents (Berlin 3, London 37).


The state-owned Deutsches Schauspielhausmarker, the Thalia Theatermarker, and the Kampnagel are well-known theatres in Germany and abroad.The English Theatrenear U3 Mundsburg station was established in 1976 and is the oldest professional English speaking theatre in Germany having exclusively English native speaking actors in its staff.


Art Gallery and Gallery of Contemporary Arts marker is located near central station.In 2008 the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburgmarker opened in the HafenCity quarter.Two museum ships near Landungsbrücken bear witness to freight ship (Cap San Diego) and cargo sailing ship (Rickmer Rickmersmarker) time.

Museum BallinStadt Emigration Cityreminds of the vast streams of European people emigrating from those mass accommodation halls between 1850 and 1939 to North and South America. Those people from overseas stemming from emigrants may search in data banks for their ancestors.


Hamburg State Operamarker is a leading opera company.Its orchestra is the Philharmoniker Hamburg. The city's other well-known orchestra is the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. The main concert venue is the Laeiszhallemarker, Musikhalle Hamburg, pending completion of the new Elbe Philharmonic Hallmarker.The Laeiszhalle is also home to a third orchestra, the Hamburger Symphoniker. György Ligeti and Alfred Schnittke taught at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburgmarker.

Since the German premiere of Catsin 1985, there have always been musicalsrunning in the city. Among them have been 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 Entertainmentbeing based in the city.

Hamburg is home to German hip hop acts, such as Fünf Sterne deluxe, Samy Deluxe, Beginnerand Fettes Brot. There is also a quite big alternative and punk scene, which gathers around the Rote Floramarker, a squatted former theatre located in the quarter Sternschanze.Hamburg is also famous for an original kind of German alternative musiccalled Hamburger Schule("Hamburg School"), a term used for bands like Tocotronic, Blumfeld, and Tomte.
The Lion King theatre in Hamburg's harbour.

The city was a major center of the heavy metal music world in the 1980s. Bands such as Helloween, Running Wildand Grave Diggerstarted their careers in Hamburg. The influences of these and other bands from the area were critical to establishing the subgenre of power metal.

Hamburg is also a global center for psychedelic trance music. It is home to record labels such as Spirit Zone, mushroom magazine, the world's best known and longest running psy-trancemagazine, as well as parties and club nights.

Parks and gardens

The Alter Botanischer Garten Hamburgmarker is a historic botanical garden, located in the Planten un Blomenmarker park, which now exists primarily in greenhouses.The Botanischer Garten Hamburgmarker is a modern botanical garden maintained by the University of Hamburgmarker.


Tourists play a significant role in the city's economy. In 2007, Hamburg attracted more than 3,985,105 visitors (+3.7% to 2006) with 7,402,423 overnight accommodations (+3.1%). More than 700,000 people from abroad were visiting for an average duration of stay of 2.1 days. More than 175,000 full-time employees and a revenueof €9.3 billion make the tourism industry a major economic factor 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 grew about 55.2% (Berlin +52.7%, Mecklenburg-Western Pomeraniamarker +33%).

A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaelismarker (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadtmarker) and the harbour promenademarker (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.

Many visitors take a walk in the evening around the area of Reeperbahnmarker in the quarter St. Paulimarker, considered Europe's largest red light district and home of strip clubs, brothels, bars and nightclubs.The singer and actor Hans Albersis strongly associated with St. Pauli, providing in the 1940s the neighborhood's unofficial anthem, "Auf der Reeperbahn Nachts um Halb Eins." The song explains in a polite way how a sailor enjoys his last day with a trollop before going aboard. It was in the Reeperbahn that The Beatles began their career with a 48-night residency at the Indra Club, followed by another 58 nights at the Kaiserkellermarker, in 1960; the Top Ten Club (1961); and the Star-Clubmarker (1962).Others prefer the laidback neighborhood Schanzewith its street cafés or a barbecue on one of the beaches along the river Elbe. Hamburg's famous zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeckmarker, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck as the first zoo with moated, barless enclosures.

People may visit Hamburg because of a specific interest, notably one of the musicals, a sports event, a congress or fair. In 2005 the average visitor spent two nights in Hamburg.

From a total of 8 million overnight stays the majority of visitors (6 Million overnight stays) came from Germany. Most foreigners are European, especially from the United Kingdommarker (171000 overnight stays), Switzerlandmarker (about 143000 overnight stays) and Austriamarker (about 137000 overnight stays), and the largest group from outside Europe comes from the United Statesmarker (129000 overnight stays).Concerning the number of visitors Hamburg holds the third position in Europe after Viennamarker and Munichmarker.

In addition about 111 million daily visitors pour in to visit fairs, exhibitions, performances, meetings, congresses and last but not least to buy extraordinary and luxury goods. Further daily visitors use the Cruise Terminal. Ship Queen Mary 2e.g. visits Hamburgs' harbour regularly and at least once a year.

Festivals and regular events

Hamburg is noted for several festivals and regular events. Some of them are street festivals, such as the gay pride Christopher Street Day festival or the Alster fair, held at the Binnenalstermarker.The Hamburger DOMmarker is a northern Germany's biggest fun fair held three times a year.Hafengeburtstagis a funfair to honour the birthday of the port of Hamburg with a party and a ship parade. The biker's divine service in Saint Michael's Churchmarker attracts tens of thousands of bikers.Christmas markets in December were held among other locations at the Hamburg Rathausmarker square.For art and culture the long night of museumsoffers one entrance fee for about 40 museums until midnight. In 2008 the 6th festival of cultureswas held in September, to celebrate the multi cultural life. The Filmfest Hamburg—a film festival originated from the 1950s film days(German: Film Tage) and others—presents a wide range of films. The Hamburg Messe and Congressoffers a location for several trade fairs, such hanseboot, an international boat show, or Du und deine Welt, a large consumer exhibition. Regular sports events—some open to pro and amateur participants—are the cycling competition Vattenfall Cyclassics, Hamburg Marathon, the biggest marathon in Germany after Berlin, the tennis tournament Hamburg Mastersmarker and equestrian events like Deutsches Derby.Since 2007 Hamburg has a music and art festival called Dockville. It takes place every year in summer in the district Wilhelmsburgmarker.


German Labskaus
Original Hamburg dishes are Birnen, Bohnen und Speck(Low Saxon Birn, Bohn un Speck, green runner beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe(Low Saxon Oolsupp, often mistaken to be German for “eel soup“ (Aal/Ooltranslated ‘eel’), however the name probably comes from the Low Saxon allns[ʔaˑlns], meaning “all”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, not necessarily eel. Today eel is often included to meet the expectations of unsuspecting diners.), Bratkartoffeln (Low Saxon Brootkartüffeln, pan-fried potato slices), Finkenwerder Scholle (Low Saxon Finkwarder Scholl, pan-fried plaice), Pannfisch (pan-fried fish), 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 Liverpoolmarker'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).

Munichmarker is the birthplace of Radler, which is called Alsterwasser in Hamburg (a reference to the city's river Alster with two lake-like bodies in the city center thanks to damming), both a type of shandy, a concoction of equal parts of beer and carbonated lemonade (Zitronenlimonade), the lemonade being added to the beer.Hamburg is also home to a curious regional dessert pastry called Franzbrötchen. Looking rather like a flattened croissant, the Franzbrötchenis somewhat 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.” Being a Hamburg regional food, the Franzbrötchen becomes quite scarce outside the borders of the city; as near as Lunenburgmarker (Lüneburgmarker) it can only be found as a Hamburger and is not available in Bremenmarker at all.

Ordinary bread rolls tend to be oval-shaped and of the French bread variety. The local name is 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 hamburgerseems to have developed from Hamburg's Frikadelle: a pan-fried patty (usually larger and thicker than the 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. Many Hamburgers consider their Frikadelleand the American hamburger different, virtually unrelated. The Oxford Dictionary defined a Hamburger steakin 1802: a sometimes-smoked and -salted piece of meat, that, according to some sources, came from Hamburg to America.


Hamburg is sometimes called Germany's capital of sport since no other city is home to more first league teams and international sports events.

Hamburger SV, one of the most successful teams in Germany, is a footballteam 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 Leaguetwice: in 2000/2001 and in 2006/2007. They play at the HSH Nordbank Arenamarker (average attendance in the 06/07 season was 56 100).In addition, FC St. Pauliis a second divisionfootball club. In the past the team was several times in the Bundesliga. They play at the Millerntor-Stadionmarker.

The Hamburg Freezersrepresent Hamburg in the DEL, the highest ice hockeyleague in Germany. The HSV Handballrepresents Hamburg in the German handball league. In 2007, HSV Handball won the European Cupwinners Cup. Both teams play in the ultra-modern Color Line Arenamarker.

Hamburg City Man 2007 at the Binnenalster
Hamburg is the nation's field hockeycapital and dominates the men's as well as the women's Bundesliga. There are also several minority sports clubs; Hamburg has four cricketclubs and also the lacrosseteam Hamburg Warriorsat the Harvestehuder Tennis- und Hockey-Club e.V.(HTHC). Hamburg is also home to the Hamburg Dockers, an Australian rules footballclub. The FC St.Paulidominates women's Rugby in Germany. Other first league teams include VT Aurubis Hamburg(Volleyball), Hamburger Polo Club, Blue Devils (American Football).

The Center Court of the Tennis Am Rothenbaummarker venue with a capacity of 13,200 people is the largest in Germany.In 2008 the German Tennis Federation and the ATP were divided about the status of the Hamburg Mastersmarker tournament as event of the ATP Masters Series.

Hamburg also hosts equestrian events at Reitstadion Klein Flottbek (Deutsches Derby in jumping and dressage) and Horner Rennbahnmarker (Deutsches Derby flat racing).The Hamburg Marathon is the biggest marathonin Germany after Berlin. In 2008 23,230 participants were registered. Worldcups in cycling, the UCI ProTour competition Vattenfall Cyclassics, and the triathlonITUworldcup Hamburg City Manare also held in Hamburg.

The HSH Nordbank Arena (formerly the AOL Arenaand originally Volksparkstadion) was used a site for the 2006 World Cup. In 2010 UEFA will hold the final of the UEFA Cupin the arena.


As elsewhere in Northern Germany, the original language of Hamburg is Low German, usually referred to as Hamborger Platt(German Hamburger Platt) or Hamborgsch. It is still in use, albeit by a minority and rarely in public, probably due to a hostile climate between World War II and the early 1980s. Since large-scale Germanization beginning in earnest within 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 Missingschvarieties, 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 “proper” German propagated by education and media. However, the former importance of Low German is indicated by several songs, such as the famous sea shantyHamborger Veermaster, written in the 19th century when Low German was used more frequently.

English culture

There are several English-speaking communities in Hamburg, e. g. Caledonian Society of Hamburg, British Club Hamburg, British and Commonwealth Luncheon Club, Professional Women's Forum. American and international English-speaking organisations are The American Club of Hamburg e.V., American Women's Club, The English-Speaking Union of Commonwealth and The German-American Women's Club.


Memorial for successful English engineer William Lindley, who reorganized from 1842 on the drinking water and sewerage system of Hamburg and thus helped to fight against cholera is located near Baumwall train station in the street "Vorsetzen".

In 2009, more than 2,500 stumbling blocks (Stolpersteine)were laid with the names of deported and murdered citizens. Inserted into the pavement in front of their former houses, the blocks are supposed to draw attention to the victims, who were persecuted by the Nazis.


The town hall (front view)

The city of Hamburg is one of 16 German states, therefore the First Mayor of Hamburg's office corresponds more to the role of a minister-presidentthan to the one of a city mayor. In Hamburg, the government as a German state governmentis responsible for public education, correctional institutions and public safety, but also as a municipality for libraries, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services.

Since 1897 seat of the government is the Hamburg Rathausmarker with the office for the First Mayor, the meeting room for the Senate and the floor for the Hamburg Parliament.As of 2008 the First Mayor of Hamburg was Ole von Beust, who governed in Germany's first state-wide "black-green" coalition, consisting of the conservative CDUand the alternative Green Party.


Commerzbank Atrium
The gross domestic product in Hamburg is total €88.9 billion.The city has the highest GDP in Germany – €50,000 per capita – and a relatively high employment rate, with 88 percent of the working-age population. The city is home to over 120,000 enterprises. In 2007, the average income of employees was €30,937.

The most significant economic unit for Hamburg is the Port of Hamburg, which ranks 2nd only to Rotterdammarker in Europe and 9th worldwide with transshipments of of cargo and 134 million tons of goods in 2007.After German reunification, Hamburg recovered the eastern portion of its hinterland, becoming by far the fastest-growing port in Europe. International trade is also the reason for the large number of consulates in the city. Although situated up the Elbe, it is considered a sea port due to its ability to handle large ocean-going vessels.
Hamburg, along with Seattlemarker and Toulousemarker, is an important location of the civil aerospace industry.Airbus, which has an assembly plant in Hamburg, employs over 13,000 people in the Finkenwerder quarter.

Heavy industry includes the making of steel, aluminum, copper and a number of shipyards such as Blohm + Voss.


Other important industries are media businesses with over 70,000 employees. The section Norddeutscher Rundfunkof the television and radio network ARDwith its television station NDR Fernsehenis based in Hamburg; as well as the commercial television stations Hamburg 1and Tide TV. Most of the commercial German television networks have offices for their local stations. There are some regional radio stations such as Radio Hamburgmarker.Some of Germany's largest publishing companies, Axel Springer AG, Gruner + Jahr, Bauer Media Groupare located in the city. Many national newspapers and magazines such as Der Spiegeland Die Zeitare produced in Hamburg, as well as some special-interest newspapers such as Financial Times Deutschland. Hamburger Abendblattand Hamburger Morgenpostare daily regional newspapers with having a large circulation. There is also a number of music companies (the largest being Warner Bros.RecordsGermany) and Internet businesses (e.g., AOL, Adobe Systemsand GoogleGermany, and also Web 2.0companies like Qype, CoreMediaand XING). Jimdo GmbH, a German web hosting provider, is headquartered in Hamburg.

Hamburg was one of the locations for the film Tomorrow Never Diesof the James Bond series. Filming the final leap of the car chase, and the exterior of Bond's hotel, the Atlantic Hotel Kempinski at the Binnenalstermarker.The Reeperbahnmarker street was location for many sets, among other the 1994 Beatles film Backbeat.


On December 31, 2006 there were 1,754,182 registered people living in Hamburg (up from 1,652,363 in 1990) in an area of . The population densitywas . The metropolitan area of the Hamburg region (Hamburg Metropolitan Regionmarker) is home to about 4.3 million in an area of .

There were 856,132 males and 898,050 females in Hamburg. For every 1,000 males there were 1,049 females. In 2006 there were 16,089 births in Hamburg, of which 33.1% were given by unmarried women, 6,921 marriages and 4,583 divorces. In the city, the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 18, and 18.8% were 65 years of age or older. 257,060 resident aliens were living in Hamburg (14.8% of the population). The largest group are people with only Turkish citizenship with 58,154 (22.6% of the resident aliens), followed by 20,743 with only Polish citizenship. 4,046 people were from the United Kingdommarker and 4,369 were from the United States.According to GTZ, 22,000 immigrants living in Hamburg are from Afghanistanmarker, thus forming the largest Afghan community in Germany and Europe.

In 1999, there were 910,304 households, out of which 18.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, and 47.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 1.9.


About 31.7% of Hamburg's population belongs to the Lutheran North Elbian Evangelical Church, and 10.2% to the Roman Catholic Church. There are more than 70,000 people of Muslim faith living in Hamburg, making Islam the next-largest religion in the city. The remainder of the population consists of members of smaller Christian churches, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, and those unaffiliated with any faith. Hamburg is seat of one of the three bishops of the LutheranNorth Elbian Evangelical Churchand seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hamburg. There are several mosques, including the Islamic Centre Hamburgmarker and a growing Jewish community.


Health systems

Hamburg is home to 54 hospitals. The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorfmarker with about 1300 beds is a large medical school.There are also smaller private hospitals with 40 beds. On December 31, 2007 there were about 12,600 hospital beds in Hamburg proper. In 2006 1,061 day-care centers for children, 3,841 physicians in private practice and 462 pharmacies were counted in Hamburg.


Hamburg is a major transportation hub in Germany. Hamburg is connected to four Autobahnen(motorways) and is 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 Tunnelmarker (Alter Elbtunnel) now a major tourist sight, and the Elbe Tunnelmarker (Elbtunnel) the crossing of a motorway.

Hamburg Airportmarker is the oldest airport in Germany still in operation.There is also the smaller Hamburg Finkenwerder Airportmarker, used only as a company airport for Airbus.Some airlines market Lübeck Airportmarker in Lübeckmarker as serving Hamburg.

Hamburg's license plateprefix is HH (Hansestadt Hamburg, English: Hanseatic city of Hamburg), rather than just the single-letter normally used for large cities such as B for Berlin or M for Munich. The prefix "H" is used in Hanovermarker instead.

Public transportation

Public transportby rail, bus and ships is organized by a fare-collection joint venture between transportation companies. Tickets sold by one company in this Hamburger Verkehrsverbund(Hamburg traffic group) (HVV) are valid on all other HVV companies' services. The HVV was the first organization of this kind worldwide.
Nine mass transit rail lines across the city are the backbone of Hamburg public transportation. The Hamburg S-Bahnsystem comprises six lines and the Hamburg U-Bahnthree lines. U-Bahnis short for Untergrundbahn(underground railway). Approximately of of the subway is underground; most of the tracks are on embankments, viaducts or at ground level. Older residents still speak of the system as Hochbahn(elevated railway), also due to the fact that the operating company of the subway is the Hamburger Hochbahn. A light rail system, the AKN railway, connects to satellite towns in Schleswig-Holstein to the city. Regional trains of Germany's major railway company Deutsche Bahn AGand the regional metronomtrains may be used with a HVV public transport ticket, too. Except at the three bigger stations in the center of Hamburg, like Hamburg central stationmarker, Hamburg Dammtor stationmarker, or Hamburg-Altona stationmarker, the regional trains hardly stop inside the area of the city.The tramnetwork was shut down in 1978.

Gaps in the rail network are filled by bus routes, plied by single-deck, two-, three- and four-axle diesel buses. Hamburg has no trams or trolley-buses, but has hydrogen-fueled buses operating pilot services. A 24-hour bus network operates as frequently as every 2 minutes on busy routes (30 minutes in suburban areas).

There are six ferry lines along the river Elbe, operated by the HADAGcompany. While mainly used by Hamburg citizens and dock workers, they can also be used for sightseeing tours.

The international airport Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel, official name "Hamburg Airportmarker" (IATA: HAM, ICAOmarker: EDDH) is the fifth biggest airport in germany and the oldest airport in germany foundet in 1912.It's about 5 miles away from the city center. Aproximate 60 Airlines provide 125 destination airports including some long distance destiantions like New York, Dubai, Toronto and Tehran. Lufthansamarker is the homecarrier with the most flights followed from Air Berlin.At the Hamburg airport Lufthansamarker operate one of their biggest Lufthansa Technik Plant.

The second airport in Hamburg is Hamburg-Finkenwerder (IATA: XFW, ICAOmarker: EDHI).It's about 6 miles away from the city center and a non public airport for the Airbus Operations GmbHplant. It's the second biggest airbus plant after Tolouse and the third biggest aviation manufacturing plant after Seattle and Tolouse. In Hamburg airbus operate the final assembly lines for A318, A319, A321and A380aircrafts.


Electricity for Hamburg and Northern Germany is provided by Vattenfall Europe, former state-owned Hamburgische Electricitäts-Werke. Vattenfall Europe owns nuclear power plants near Hamburg, Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plantmarker, Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plantmarker and Krümmel Nuclear Power Plantmarker.All scheduled to be taken out of service. There are also the coal-fired Wedel Power Stationmarker and Moorburg Power Station and the fuel cell power plant in the HafenCity quarter.VERA Klärschlammverbrennunguses the biosolids of the Hamburg wastewater treatment plant, the Pumpspeicherwerk Geesthachtis a pump storage power plant and a biomass power station is Müllverwertung Borsigstraße.


The school system is managed by the Ministry of Schools and Vocational Training (Behörde für Schule und Berufsbildung). In 2006 about 160,000 pupils were taught in 245 primary schools, 195 secondary schools. There are 33 public libraries in Hamburg proper.

17 universities are located in Hamburg. There are about 70,000 university students, including 9,000 resident aliens. Six universities are public, like the largest, the University of Hamburgmarker with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the University of Music and Theatremarker, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciencesmarker and the Hamburg University of Technologymarker.Seven universities are private, like the Bucerius Law Schoolmarker.The city has also smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as the Helmut Schmidt Universitymarker (Former: University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg).

Twin towns—Sister cities

Hamburg is twinnedwith eight cities. In 1994 Chicago became the newest sister city of Hamburg. There are several other partnerships with cities, in 2007 Hamburg and Dar es Salaammarker, Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a cooperation.

People from Hamburg


  • Hamburg guide for residents and visitors. Hamburg Führer Verlag GmbH, Hamburg, published 12 times p. a.


  1. Constitution of Hamburg
  2. Verg , p.15
  3. Verg , p. 26
  4. Verg , p. 30
  5. Verg , p. 39
  6. Hamburg in your pocket, September – October 2008, page 6: History
  7. Ortwin Pelc, Kriegsende in Hamburg, Hamburg 2005
  8. ibid
  9. Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park Act
  10. Borough Administration Act
  11. Greater Hamburg Act
  12. Reich Act of the Constitution and Administration of Hanseatic city of Hamburg
  13. Hamburg Act of Areal Organization
  14. Ulrich Gaßdorf: Engländer wollen in den Hafen, Amerikaner in gute Restaurants. In: Hamburger Abendblatt from October, 24 2009, page 17
  15. Hamburg Guide, July 2009, page 40: Hamburg's Cruise Ship Calendar. Queen Mary 2 on August, 7th and 15th.
  16. Hamburg Führer Verlag GmbH: Hamburg Guide, May 2009, p. 61
  17. M. Ramesh: Making Hamburg Europe's preferred port December 25, 2000 Accessed August 11, 2008
  18. " United Internet AG acquires a minority stake in Jimdo GmbH." Thomson Reuters. July 8, 2008. Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  19. GTZ – Migration and development: Afghans in Germany
  20. Selectable data base:
  21. Selectable data base:

External links

The Speicherstadt at night.
Jewish mourning hall at Ohlsdorf Cemetery.
Deutsches Schauspielhaus in the quarter St. Georg.
The English Theatre
Warehouse district 1890
Warehouse district
Freedom of the Seas behind the Landungsbrücken
Neue and Freihafen-Elbbrücke.

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