32 Hamburg Facts You Would Love About The German City

Vishvendra Ahlawat
Jan 23, 2023 By Vishvendra Ahlawat
Originally Published on Feb 16, 2022
Edited by Jade Scott
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
One of the most important Hamburg facts is that the full name of this city is The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Hamburg is a port city located in northern Germany.

It was the only city in Germany to get a spot on the list of the most livable cities in the world. Its full name is The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Hamburg city has seen many ups and downs throughout its history and always comes back stronger. This city in Germany has more bridges than any other city in the World.

This city is even home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2015. Hamburg is the biggest non-capital city in the entire European Union.

Hamburg city used to attract over seven million visitors annually before the pandemic started, and even during Coronavirus restrictions, over three million people visited Hamburg.

Apart from a number of historical places to visit and one of the biggest theatres, there are many cuisines unique to Hamburg city that most of the tourists enjoy the food a lot. In this article, we will be discussing more facts related to Hamburg city that will leave you amazed.

Facts About Hamburg

Hamburg is usually on most tourists' lists when they plan their next destination, not only because of its location but also because of its rich history. In this section, we will be stating some Hamburg facts that will make you like this city even more.

  • Hamburg has around 2,300 bridges, which is more bridges than the combined number of bridges in Venice, London, and Amsterdam.
  • It's because the whole city is surrounded by water and that is why this city has the most number of bridges in any city in the world.
  • Hamburg, Germany is surrounded by two large lakes, that sit upon the Alster River on each side and the Elbe River flows straight into the North City.
  • Every ship that enters the city of Hamburg receives a warm welcome.
  • The Willkomm-Höf or 'Welcome Point' welcomes people with the national anthem of the country that the ship is registered to.
  • For the return trip, the Hamburg flag is dipped, and the international flag of 'bon voyage' is hosted.
  • This city has not one but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in it.
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Committee met in the German city of Bonn on July 5, 2015, and declared the Kontorhausviertel and Speicherstadt as World Heritage Sites.
  • The Speicherstdadt, built between 1885 and 1927, is considered the world's largest uniform collection of warehouses.
  • Kontorhausviertel is claimed to be the first office-only district in the entirety of Europe and has even had many office buildings present since the early 20th century.
  • The Hamburger Dom is a very lively festival celebrated in the city of Hamburg and it lasts for a month. Unlike traditional festivals, it is held three times a year and is one of the best known and biggest festivals that features roller coasters, carousels, beer tents, and obviously plenty of German food.
  • Hamburg is the largest non-capital city in the European Union and the seventh-largest city overall in the EU.

History Of Hamburg

Hamburg has had many events throughout its history and faced many unfortunate events, but has come back stronger every time. In this section, we will be learning some important historical events that happened in Hamburg.

  • In 808 CE, Emperor Charlemagne issued an order of construction of a castle between the River Elbe and the River Alster on the marshy lands, to ward off Slavic tribes.
  • In 1189, Frederick I Barbarossa gave Hamburg the title of a Free Imperial City within the Holy Roman Empire.
  • As the access to the lower River Elbe was tax-free, it made this city become a key trading power in Europe and that's why the Danes, led by King Valdemar II even took over Hamburg several times until they were defeated in 1227.
  • A few years later in 1241, the city of Lübeck also formed an alliance with Hamburg that eventually resulted in the League of Hanseatic Cities. The legacy of the league can still be seen in the name of the city, The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
  • A law was also enacted by the senate of Hamburg in 1664, to protect the swans in the city. Anyone who tried to insult, shoot, eat or beat a swan to death would be severely punished.
  • Even today, Alster swans are protected by the city government and are made sure to be treated with respect.
  • This city faced a terrible fate on August 5, 1284, when a great portion of the city got burned down.
  • Then in 1350, not even a century later, The Black Death, which was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history killed over 6000 people, which was around half the population of this city at that time. Despite so many tragedies, the city of Hamburg kept on growing its trade route globally.
  • Lutheranism was made the state religion of Hamburg in the 16th century and drew many religious refugees from France and the Netherlands. Although it also led to the loss of many Roman Catholic citizens too.
  • Post London and Amsterdam, the Hamburg stock market came into existence in 1558.
  • When Napoleon's armies invaded the city in 1810, the city's growth was hugely affected as it cut off the city's trade. It wasn't until the Congress of Vienna in 1815 that this city was again given the title of a 'free city', along with Lübeck, Bremen, and Frankfurt.
  • This city also faced many problems such as the Great Fire in 1842, which left around 20,000 of Hamburg's citizens homeless and one-third of the city in ruins.
  • In 1860, a democratic constitution was accepted by Hamburg city and it established the separation of state and church and also guaranteed the freedom of assembly, press, and association.
  • In 1871, Hamburg became part of the German Empire but still retained its self-rule.
  • During these growing times, the population of Hamburg reached around 800,000 but since the water supply was not modernized from the Elbe River, it resulted in a major cholera outbreak and the death of 8,600 people. The imperial government greatly reduced Hamburg city's authority as they failed in handling the pandemic.
Did you know that Hamburg has two UNESCO World Heritage sites in it?

Hamburg's Culture And Food

Hamburg is also known for its unique cuisines and culture. In this paragraph, we will be learning more about the food and culture of Hamburg.

  • As this city is located next to the Elbe River and is also near to a sea, many cuisines that this place has to offer are based on fish dishes.
  • Fried Herring is also a famous dish here and is made after marinating fish in vinegar and frying. One more famous fish dish is Räucheraal, which is actually a smoked eel and has been made by street vendors from the early 19th century and can be found in many restaurants in the inner city.
  • The creamy lobster soup 'Hamburger Hummersuppe' is one of the most popular soups here. It is served with some whipped cream and also garnished with dill. This soup is sometimes served with a variation of small shrimp (soup Hamburg style).
  • Steckrübeneintopf is a Hamburg variation which is popular all over North Germany and called 'Hamburger National'. There is also a great variety of snacks available here just like any other country.
  • Other than international products such as Asian cuisine, pizza, and doner kebab, there are more snacks with regional taste.

Hamburg's Tourism

Hamburg has many places to offer to its tourists. Some of the most popular places to visit in Hamburg are listed below.

  • Before COVID-19 affected tourism, Hamburg had over seven million visitors in 2019. The port of Hamburg is one of the places that you can visit within city limits and have a unique experience as you can walk the pedestrian trail to Hamburg port, which is one of the most visited places in this city.
  • Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland is the world's largest model railway and is considered one of the best places to visit in the city. It boasts more than 1040 trains and 50,524 ft (15,400 m) of track.
  • The Elbphilharmonie, locally known as 'Elphi', is the crown jewel of the resurged Port of Hamburg. The new building, which is located at the point of Grasbrook peninsula, has now established itself as the city's major landmark and is even considered as one of the largest, and most pleasing concert halls in the world. This concert hall has 215o seats in it.
  • One of the most important landmarks here is St. Mitchael's (Hauptikirche Sankt Michaelis) and it was built between 1750 and 1762 in the baroque period and is the most famous out of all churches in Hamburg.

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Written by Vishvendra Ahlawat

Bachelor of Business Adminstration

Vishvendra Ahlawat picture

Vishvendra AhlawatBachelor of Business Adminstration

Vishvendra is a recent graduate with a Bachelor's in Business Administration from CCS (Chaudhary Charan Singh) University, with a strong interest in digital marketing and social media. He has perfected his skills in SEO optimization to create targeted and engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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