Facts about Hamburg

We found 19 facts about Hamburg

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

This beautiful city with old buildings existed already in the early Middle Ages when it served as a center of Christianization. Its city port is one of the largest in the world and is over 830 years old. Hamburg is also a significant center of German industry, finance, and tourism. There are numerous parks and museums here, and three times a year the city organizes several-week-long festivals, which are some of the largest events in Europe.

The city also has a dark past. During World War II, Nazi Germany opened a concentration camp in the city, where several dozen thousand prisoners lost their lives.

It is the second most populous city in Germany.

Hamburg has a population of approximately 1.85 million people.

Hamburg is located at the confluence of the Elbe and Alster.

It was by them in the 4th century BC the first inhabitants settled and established a permanent residence. The Greek geographer, astronomer, and mathematician Claudius Ptolemy arrived in these areas in the 2nd century BC and named them Treva. The name Hammaburg was given in 858 to a nearby stronghold, which was built to defend the church that had existed here since 810.

There are a record number of bridges in the city, approximately 2500.

Hamburg is crossed by a river and numerous canals, which is why it was necessary to build so many crossings, thanks to which the city can boast the largest number of bridges in Europe.

It is a city with traditional historic buildings.

There are no skyscrapers in it, the tallest object is the Heinrich-Turm TV tower with a height of 279.2 meters. The tallest city building is the church of St. Nicolas, whose tower rises to a height of 147.9 meters above the city level.

A characteristic city building is the Elbphilharmonie, a philharmonic hall located on the banks of the Elbe.

The building consists of two parts, the lower one made of concrete and bricks and the upper one, made of glass, whose roof resembles rough waves. It is the tallest non-religious building in the city, 110 meters tall. It was built on the site of the imperial granary from 1875, which was destroyed during World War II.

One of Hamburg’s biggest tourist attractions is the Planten un Blomen park.

Its history dates back to 1821 when a plane tree was planted there. The park was opened in 1930 and today covers an area of 47 hectares, It is known for its numerous ponds and fountains and light shows. The park also has an amphitheater, a playground, and an old botanical garden.

However, the character of the city is beginning to change, and in 2025 the first urban high-rise building – Elbtower – is to be completed.

The 233-meter-tall building is to be built on the banks of the northern Elbe near the Elbphilharmonie. The city’s inhabitants are divided regarding the construction of a new facility, some support the city’s development in this direction, while others point out that many facilities in Hamburg require renovation and they should be included in the city’s development plans first.

The most famous festival in northern Germany - Hamburg Dom - takes place in the city three times a year.

The event is organized in spring (30 days), summer (31 days) and late fall (30 days). It originates from the Christman market, which was organized in front of the Hamburg Cathedral on the occasion of Catholic holidays as early as 1329. Since the city came under Protestant influence, celebrations were also organized on other occasions. Hamburg Dom celebrations attract approximately 10 million tourists annually.

Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, two great composers of classical music, were born in Hamburg.

Brahms created his first works here, and as his popularity grew, he moved to Vienna. A museum dedicated to him was established in the city, near his birthplace. Mendelssohn was not closely associated with the city, as he went to Berlin with his parents when he was two years old.

Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest miniature railway located in the Speicherstadt area of Hamburg.

There you can admire the world on a miniature scale with recreated regions such as the Harz Mountains, Austrian Alps, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the USA, and the fictional city of Knuffingen with an airport very similar to the one in Hamburg.

The exhibition includes over 1300 trains and over 10.000 wagons, 100.000 moving vehicles, 130.000 trees, and 400.000 human figurines. The construction of the railway and its surroundings began in December 2000 and the first launch took place on 16th August of the following year. Further elements were added over the years and currently, the length of the railway line is 15.750 meters, which corresponds to 1367 kilometers of the actual railway.

In 2021, it is planned to add a section to Monaco and Provence, in 2022 to South America, in 2023 to Central America and the Caribbean, and Asia in 2026 and 2027.

The port of Hamburg is the third in Europe in terms of the amount of cargo passing through it.

It was created during the reign of Frederick I Barbarossa on 7th  May 1189. Traffic goes through the Elbe River which flows into the North Sea 110 kilometers away. In addition to fulfilling the most important economic function in the city, it is also a major tourist attraction. The port area has museums, restaurants, hotels, and musical theatres.

In the first week of May, the port celebrates its opening anniversary.

During the event, you can visit the decks of both old galleons and modern vessels. Musical events and pyrotechnics shows are organized.

In Hamburg, you can visit the deck of a submarine.

Although the name may suggest visiting a German vessel, it is the U-Boat Museum Hamburg.

The ship is called B-515 and is of the Tango class (project 641B). The submarines were constructed between 1971 and 1983. Unit B-515 is one of the first units produced. The ship served in the Soviet and Russian Navy and was decommissioned in 2002. It is currently moored on the Hamburg quay and open to visitors.

Speicherstadt is the world’s largest warehouse complex in the world.

It is located near the port of Hamburg and during its operation it was used to store coffee, tea, grain, spices, and tobacco. In 2015, Speicherstadt was included on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List. HafeCity has been built there since 2001-a modern office and residential district.

The Kontorhausviertel is also on the World Cultural Heritage List.

It is an office district with buildings from the 1920s and 1930s built in the style of brick expressionism.

On the section of the Elbe between Hamburg and the North Sea, in the town of Wedel, lies the Willkomm-Höft, the welcome point for ships arriving or leaving the port of Hamburg.

Ships passing through this point are greeted by the playing of the national anthem of the country in which the ship is registered, or dismissed by raising the “bon voyage” signal flag. The greetings database contains 152 hymns and greetings in various languages.

At the beginning of their career, the Beatles often played in Hamburg.

In honor of the band, a square called Beatles-Platz was created at the intersection of Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit streets. It was created to commemorate Hamburg as an important place for the band on its way to international fame.

The square, marked out in a circle with a diameter of 29 meters, began to be built on 29th May 2008, and its construction took about three months. Its official opening took place on 11th September of the same year.

The first modern zoo in the world was established in Hamburg.

When it opened, this zoo was groundbreaking by the standards of facilities of this type at that time. It was the first zoo to use open enclosures surrounded by moats to better approximate the animals’ natural habitat. At that time, other zoos kept animals in cages.

The Nazis established a concentration camp in Hamburg.

Neuengamme was established in December 1938 and during World War II approximately 106.000 people, most of whom were Russians and Poles, were imprisoned there. More than half of the prisoners did not survive the medical testing that was carried out, mainly focusing on tuberculosis. A group of children from Auschwitz were also brought to the camp and subjected to medical experiments. The camp was liberated by the British army on 4th May 1945.

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