Hamburg is Germany’s second biggest city and one of the most important with one of Europe’s largest ports for containers and an economic and cultural centre for the whole of northern Germany. Hamburg is a pretty city with beautiful Alster in the centre with high tempo and lots of clubs,bars, restaurants and shops.
The city was constructed around the castle Hammaburg on Elbe that was built on the orders of Karl the Great in 808 and was developed in 834 as a seat of bishopric which, among other things, sent the Missionary Ansgar to Birka in Sweden for missionary work.
The city was destroyed in 845 by a fleet of 600 viking ships, in 943 by the Obodrites and in 1030 by the Polish king Mieszko II Lambert and, after several further raids the seat of bishop was moved to Bremen.
Hamburg during the middle ages becomes part of Hansan and in course of time becomes the domineering city and receives a big economic upswing. Both Denamek and Sweden attempt several times to conquer the city and break its economic power but fail. Even the German emperor’s attempt to dominate the city fails and Hamburg preserves its independent status as a free weathy state, a republic governed by a senate until the end of 1871.
There are five grand churches which are a part of Hamburg’s skyline like St. Michael’s church from 1786 with its 132-meter high copper spire which is most well-known. St.Nikolai’s church which began in 1846 at at the same place where during the years 1,000 a chapel dedicated to St. Nokolai was found, and during the years 1874-76 it was world’s tallest building with its 147 meters. The oldest of the churches are St. Peter’s from from the beginning of the year 1,100 and St. Katharine’s from 1256. The fifth and the last of the chrches is the 125 meter high St. Jacob’s church from 1693 which is situated in the middle of central Hamburg.
Hamburg is known for its rich cultural life with, among other things, a large number of theatres with, inter alia, the state-owned Thalia theatre which was founded in 1843. The city also has some 70 museums with excellent art collections which the city’s wealthy citizens have contributed over the years. There is alos Johannes Brahms museum, Neuengamme concentration camps and Erotic art museum.
Hamburg is seen as a green city with parks all over the city. The biggest park is the city park in Hamburg central part which was designated in 1910 and has a wonderful lawn and a high water tower which contains Europe’s biggest planetarium. In the middle of central Hamburg is also found the beautiful Alster which has a extensive canal system and more bridges than Venice and Amsetrdam together. The buitl-up aarea aound major part of Alster is from the 1800s upto the 1920s which among other things the city quarter Eppendorf with main streets Eppendorfer Baum and Eppendorfer Landstrasse between Klosterstern and Eppendorfer Market, has a closely built-up area from before the turn of the century. There are also many fashion and special shops.
In Hamburg is also found one the world’s most famous zoos Hagenbeck’s zoo which was founded in 1874 and was the first zoo which used open-air construction .
Hamburg is like other large port cities known for its lively night life centered around Reeperbahn. This is an inheritence from the time when the sailors often for several days had to wait for their ships to be load and off-loaded and over the time needed varied entertainment. Reeperbahn which is most known for its pronographic clubs also accommodates most night clubs in the city. It was in a Reeperbahn club that Beetles started their career. From the night clubs in Reeperbahn festivities continue into the auctionhalls of the fish market on the Elbe beach, where there has been market every Sunday morning since 1703.
Other areas with many bars and restaurants are Schanzenviertel, Altona and Winterhude. Also in the area between Alster and the Central Station several known bars and restaurants are found. In summertime several beach clubs open between Landungsbrücken and Altona along the Elbe.
In Hamburg there is the world’s biggest model railway Miniatur Wunderland which are spread over an area of 1,000 m2 and divided into several sections. Miniatur Wunderland is situated in the warehouse (Speicherstadt) on the Elbe.
Here is found as well Svenska Klubben in Hamburg which was founded in 1906 and, among other things, is responsible for the Skandinaviska Skolan in Hamburg a day school according to Sedish curriculum.
Hamburg has two well-constructed underground railway systems (U-bahn and S-bahn) which criss-crosses the city. U-bahn cosists of the three lines U1 (blue line), U2 (red line) and U3 (yellow line) and is 101 km long. Line U3 is well worth journey between Hamburg central railway station and St. Pauli (Reeperbahn) where the line is so-called Over-ground railway and goes on via-ducts along the entire port with outdoor stations so that you see the port area . The S-bahn part of the underground consists of the line S1-5 as well as S11, 21 and 31.
Hamburg’s airport is called Flughafen Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel (often only Fuhlsbüttel) or Hamburg Airport and is situated in the city part of Fuhlsbüttel. A commuter line to Hamburg airport will be ready in 2008. There is also an airport in Lübeck to which the planes from Skavsta airport in Sweden fly. From Lübecks Airport it takes about an hour to drive by bus to central Hamburg.
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