Thursday, May 13, 2010
Blogtrotting: Hamburg, meine Perle!
Welcome! Cara from Blogtrotting has invited me to be your tour guide today (well, Friday, I'm a bit early, if you happen to see this on Thursday :) ) and I'm proud to present my chosen hometown Hamburg - to my eyes, the most beautiful city in the world. Above you see the Michel, Hamburg's largest church and it's most prominent landmark. You can see some more pictures of it I took and the view from the top here This is the view you get when you walk through the old Elbtunnel from the Landungsbruecken to the other side of the Elbe.
The post of Hamburg is the third biggest worldwide and has just celebrated its 821st birthday. The birthday celebrations always draw a massive crowd and you get to see a lot of ships
It's among my favourite parts of Hamburg and whenever I'm away, I take the subway line that drives above ground along the Landungsbruecken to get a view of the port. If you visit Hamburg, by all means take a round trip with one of the many port barges to see more of it, there's always a lot to discover.
Hamburg still calls itself Freie und Hansestadt, Free and Hanseatic City. Many towns were part of the Hanse, but only very few were Free - this meant that the citizens could not be drafted by the Emperor or other sovereigns, that they didn't have to pay taxes except to the city itself - those cities more or less ruled themselves. This is still a very important part of Hamburg's culture - we're still a city state and citizens of Hamburg do not accept decorations and medal given by the state or anyone else, since that would be a (symbolic) pledge of allegiance to whoever gives the medal.
The traders of the Hanse used to be called Pfeffersaecke (pepper sacks) due to the money they made by buying and selling spices and pepper in particular. They were proud of what they had created, the city hall was built as a symbol, to show everyone that Hamburg was a prosperous city that ruled itself.
This is Hans Hummel, a water carrier famous in Hamburg. You can read about why he's famous and why Hummel Hummel Mors Mors is not a friendly greeting in Hamburg in this post I made
Hamburg has the only privately owned zoo in Germany. It developed from a couple of seals Carl Hagenbeck exhibited on the Reeperbahn into one of the most beautiful zoos in Germany and to this day, it's owned by the Hagenbeck family. Which is why people in Hamburg don't go to the zoo, they go to Hagenbeck. Take a tour with me!
Hamburg is a very green city, there are parks everywhere and many nature reserves within the city boundaries. The Alster is the second river to run through Hamburg and it branches up into many canals - you can reach many places in Hamburg by boat and it has more bridges than Venice. Here's the view from the Jungfernstieg over the Binnenalster, with the Alsterfountain, affectionately called the biggest burst pipe in Hamburg. It's right in the middle of the city and on sunny days, many people take their sailboat out on it.
Much of Hamburg was destroyed during the second World War. On the 24/25 July 1943, the largest bombing occurred and the flames developed into a firestorm, killing 45.000 people. Here's a view of the Michel in 1945 - the spire survived the bombing. The Nikolaikirche was not rebuilt and now serves as a memorial.
I could show you so much more - I always discover something new myself even after 11 years and it's one of the reasons I love this city so much. I'll leave you with a view over the Elbe and I hope that you enjoyed the tour. Goodbye, or as we say: Tschuess!
at 5:24 PM