If you have been saving up to travel somewhere unique and classy, you may want to consider going to Hamburg, Germany.
But before we travel into the heart of Hamburg, here are some facts about it.
Hamburg, Germany is the second-largest city in Germany after its capital, Berlin. It contributes to the history of trade, autonomy, and of course to the economic powers in Germany and Europe as well.
The trading industry became prosperous by its river, Elbe, which connects the city to its allied city, Lübeck. The alliance was formed around 1241 which lead to establishing the League of Hanseatic Cities. This alliance formed a powerful commercial and defensive alliance between coastal cities in Northern Europe. It became crucial to Hamburg’s economic position in the world.
Hamburg also has a unique law in protecting its freedom. Around 1664, the senate of Hamburg enacted a law that protects the swans of the city. It says that any person who kills, insults, poaches, or eats swans would be punished. The city government of Hamburg, during that time, believes that the protection of swans living in Alster, their freedom, as well as Hanseatic, will be preserved. Until now, the city government of Hamburg instills the protection of the swans.
Around the 14th century, a great fire and a plague struck the city. A great fire bursts into the city that destroyed all but one residential house. It is also when black death killed more than half of the city’s population with around 6,000 people died of the plague. It also hit most parts of Europe back then.
Before the spark of World War I, the city also had the largest Jewish community in Germany until the suppression of the Nazi Regime. Most of the Jews were deported and killed by the Nazis. Since then, the city offered the memorial of the Jews through Stolpersteine (commemorative cobblestones found throughout the city) that remind the Nazi oppression. Buildings at the Neuengamme concentration camp are served also as a memorial to the victims.
On the brighter side of history, did you know that hamburgers are invented here in Hamburg, Germany, that is similar to the city’s name, Hamburg? Around the 19th century, cow’s meat from Hamburg was minced and combined with garlic, onions, salt, and pepper that was turned into patties without bread. It was considered a gourmet and pricey back then. The concept of hamburger was just improved much later.
So, while you read the rest of the article, why don’t you grab a nice and beefy hamburger, I’m sure you’ll crave one on your way of reading.
Where to go to Hamburg, Germany?
Here are some quick tips where you should spend your time in the city.
1. Port of Hamburg & Speicherstadt
The port of Hamburg is the gateway to Germany which is surrounded by 100 square meters of the tidal harbor. You may also find a lot of tourist attractions in the area. It is most popular during the summer, evenings and weekends.
The city also boasts the Speicherstadt that becomes part of UNESCO World Heritage Site lists in 2015. The 19th-century warehouse district used to store tobacco, coffee, dried fruits, and spices.
The best way to explore the Port of Hamburg is by boat to see the beauty of the port.
If you are looking for a classy type of performance shows, you might want to visit the Elbphilharnmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall) or locally known as “Elphi.” It is located around the Grassbrook peninsula. You will greatly enjoy it here more if you are a classical music enthusiast. It also offers a great view of the city. Elphi is near Port of Hamburg.
3. Miniatur Wunderland
If you have the same passion as Sheldon Cooper (the main character of the series, The Big Bang Theory) for trains, this is your chance to visit the Miniatur Wunderland. Also known as the world’s largest model railway. Though it might seem a simple toy layout, you will also see the overlooking view of the whole city through the layout. The small-scale layout has 15,400 meters of track and 1,040 trains. Since it is one of the most visited attractions in the city, save your time from long lines by reserving tickets online. Dining and restaurants are available on-site.
4. Hamburger Kunsthalle
The translated as Hamburg Art Hall. Hamburger Kunsthalle is one of the country’s top art galleries. The art gallery houses numerous altarpieces of the 14th century from local artists and Dutch masters of the 16th and 17th centuries. There are also fine collections of 19th-century German and French paintings with substantial modern and contemporary art collections.
5. Hamburger Rathaus (City Hall) and Mönckebergstraße
The Hamburger Rathaus or the city hall is a Neo-Renaissance building that consists of 647 rooms. It is open to the public for the city’s annual Long Night of Museums event. Guided tours are available. The Mönckebergstraße is a business district next to Rathaus.
6. St. Michael’s Church
You may not want to miss Hamburg’s Baroque-style church, St. Michael’s Church. Built-in 1750 to 1762 and an important landmark of the city. As St. Michael’s image, there is a bronze statue of Archangel Michael killing the devil. It is also a resting place for more than 2,425 people.
7. International Maritime Museum
If you are a seafarer or just a fan of marine stories, you might want to visit this museum. The museum offers Hamburg’s maritime history and all. It also uncovers the 3,000 years of human connection to water.
8. Alster Lakes
if you want to enrich your knowledge on Hamburg’s culture and history, you may want to take a boat ride to wander through the two artificial lakes, the Inner Alster (Binnenalster) and Outer Alster (Aussenalster), connected to the rivers Alster and Elbe. The ride will uncover Hamburg’s picturesque city squares and historic avenues. The lakes are popular among tourists during summer for sailing and kayaking and during winter for skating.
9. Ohlsdorf Cemetery
If it is your first time to hear cemetery being a tourist spot, don’t be afraid, this has much to offer. Ohlsdorf Cemetery is the world’s largest rural cemetery. It covers 961 acres of land with 12 chapels, around 1.5 million burials, and 280,000 burial sites. You will also find here the Hamburg Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery. The 400 allied prisoners of war are buried along with many who died in Germany.
10. Museum am Rothenbaum & PROTOTYP Museum
Museum am Rothenbaum or Hamburg Museum of Ethnology was founded in 1879. It houses more than 350,000 artifacts and documents with a focus on “Cultures and Arts of the World.”
The PROTOTYP Museum is a car museum that showcases most prototype racing cars and motorsports related. It also showcases their driving simulators. A café is also located on-site.
And of course, you don’t want to miss where hamburgers came from, so why don’t you try some before you conclude your travel? For more destinations to visit. Click HERE!