About Hamburg: Hamburg

This large city in the north of German is one of the most populated industrial centers of the country. Its population exceeds 1.7 million people, and its port, although it is at a significant distance from the sea, is one of the largest ones in Europe. Nevertheless, it will will rather interesting to visit Hamburg.

There you can feel to the full that you are in a large Hansa, that is, trading, city of Europe. High church spires lend a German flavor to the city landscape. You understand at once that the city has a long and glorious history.

The first records of Hamburg date back to the Early Middle Ages, however, the event, which was most important for the city occurred in the year of 1189, under Frederick "Barbarossa", who, by imperial charter, granted Hamburg significant trade privileges, including the right to collect duties from the ships going on the Elbe River. This made the city one of the most prosperous one in Europe. Hamburg was one of the first members of the Hanseatic League, which was created in the 13 century in the Northern Europe to protect merchants from feudal lords. Although the nearby Lubeck played a more important role in the Hansa, Hamburg much excelled its neighbor in wealth, as well as the scale of trade.

The main attractions of the city are located in the Altstadt (Old Town) and Neustadt (New Town). From the north they are bordered by a bigger Alster lake, and from the south - by the Elbe River. Unfortunately, only some of the medieval buildings of Hamburg survived to our time, as the bombing of the city during the last war was rather intensive. But the restored buildings and church spires can give you some idea of the architectural traditions of the Northern Germany. St. Michael's Church is one of Hamburg's five Lutheran churches. Moreover, it is the main Lutheran church of the city. The height of its steeple is 132 meters. You should ascend to it in order to see Hamburg from above.

It would be better to begin all your tours of the city from the Town Hall Square. It is there that the most important sight of the city, the Hamburg Rathaus, or town hall, is located. The building was constructed in 1897. Today it is the seat of the parliament and the municipal council, but some of its 650 rooms are open for tourists.

Alster Lake is near the Town Hall. The artificial lake was created in the 13 century when one of the tributaries of the Elbe River was dammed. This made it possible to improve navigation, and the lake of 160 hectares became one of the favorite recreation areas of the natives. The lake is surrounded by parks. If you have time, you should have a boat ride on the lake.

The most interesting attraction of Hamburg is the old customs warehouses in the Speicherstadt Island. They were built at the end of the 19 century and now could be easily used a setting for the films about Jack the Ripper or Sherlock Holmes. Gloomy multistoreyed buildings from red brick give some idea about the appearance of city port districts inhabited by the dregs of society.

If you travel with your family, you should consider visiting the Hagenbeck Zoo. It is considered as one of the best zoos in Europe. You can also visit the Heide Park Resort.

And if you travel alone or in an adult company, you may go to the Reeperbahn. It is a local Red Light Quarter, where you can find a great number of corresponding establishments. It has everything you can find in Amsterdam, maybe excepting marijuana. The rest of it the same – prostitutes in the showcases, sex shops, erotic theatres, etc. Reeperbahn is in the port district St.Pauli. If you want just recreation, you can find there any entertainments (including theatres and music halls), and besides, even a mere walk over the port district of Hamburg may be pleasant for you.

If you want to learn the history of the Hanseatic League in more detail, you should have the tours of the neighboring cities of Lubeck and Bremen. Actually, these three cities were the foundation of the Hansa, and in the 17 century only they retained the right to be called Hanseatic cities.

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