The town hall has more rooms
than Buckingham Palace and the city has more bridges than Venice. The Hamburg
merchants were clearly a self-confident lot who appear not to have been
greatly troubled. The city is cool, not just because of the prevailing
west wind but also because of architecture that pushes everything aside
that stands in the way of progress. Though the sober reckoning of the Hanseatic
merchants was right for no other German city today is and elegant or aesthetic.
A fundamental part of the townscape is the malls now spread throughout
the city. In 1980 the Hansa district was opened as the longest shopping
mall in Europe, bringing an area under a glass atrium that had previously
consisted of individual sites. By combining traditional bricks with glass
and marble the splendor of Hanseatic architecture was so effectively captured
that this style has also become a characteristic of the city.
All is agree that Hamburg is
one of the world's most beautiful cities! For centuries, Hamburg has had
one of the largest international sea ports, with trade relations spanning
the entire world, particularly English-speaking countries and South America.
Even so, Hamburg is not situated on the open sea. Rather, it is located
on the wide lower reaches of the River Elbe, approximately 100 km upstream
from the North Sea.
|Today more than fifteen
of these "galleries" provide for relaxed shopping that provides an alternative
for a stroll to the traditional Jungfern-stieg boulevard One of these Passagen,
as the Germans call them, exits to the Inner Alster, that expanse of water
in the city in which the surrounding tall office blocks, Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten,
and delightful cafes are reflected. The aquamarine blue of this city landscape
is partly formed by the adjoining Outer Alster with its surface of 405
acres (164 ha) making it possible to sail after work. The Alster provides
fun but the wealth is created on the Elbe. Once mainsails piloted their
way across this broad expanse of water but today container ships with gigantic
cargoes dock here. The port accounts for a considerable proportion of the
city and is still the most important source of work in the city.
A city and a German federal
state at the same time, Hamburg is the last of the great European city-states.
Thus, the city has governed itself for many centuries. The "Burgerschafi"
(the parliament) elects the Senate. The seat of Hamburg's government is
the magnificent town hall. The tradition of democratic liberalism has left
an indelible stamp on the city, allowing it to become Germany's leading
publishing and media center. One third of Hamburg's economic output is
accounted for by the media and the services industry. Today, it is no longer
the port but the services industry which dominates Hamburg's economy.
The city center lines Lake Alster:
classic facades, elegant shopping streets, street crafts, restaurants,
grand hotels from the 19th century interspersed with medieval churches.
"Fleets" (open canals) flow through the city, which boasts no less than
2428 bridges (Venice, by comparison, has a mere 450). Hamburg is an exceptionally
green city with large parks and gardens. Its hallmark is St. Michael's
the unique baroque church. It goes without saying that with its over 90
consulates this international and cosmopolitan city offers a rich variety
of different cultural events: theater, opera, classical music, ballet,
musicals, pop concerts, museums, art galleries, cinemas showing the latest
||The container ships and
cruisers sailing up and down the Elbe are a unique sight. Ships from all
around the world moor at the-port, while Airbus aircraft are produced in
Hamburg. The city itself has a subtly maritime and refined atmosphere.
Magnificent offices owned by long-established traders and ship owners as
well as the imposing town hall are reminders of the city's Hanseatic trading