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Hamburg Germany is the country's second largest city and hosts one of Europe's largest ports. Elegance abounds here and in the city's architecture, from its gracefully constructed office buildings to its enchanting gallerias. Don't let the name of the city fool you though, the food we know as a Hamburger was not invented here.
Hamburg's full name is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg Germany. This name dates back to its status as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and also marks it as a city-state. That's right, Hamburg and its environs makes up one of Germany's sixteen states. Hamburg is also known as the Green City on the Water because of the plethora of parks and lawns located throughout. The title is quite fitting; Hamburg is Germany's most verdant city.
The name Hamburg dates back to the ninth century when Charlemagne commissioned a fortification to be built upon a stretch of ground located between the Elbe and Alster rivers. The fort was named Hamma Burg.
The history of Hamburg Germany has many interesting facets. In the eleventh century it was burned by the King of Poland, and during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it entered into the Hanseatic League, becoming an economic power due to its proximity to the ocean. In the sixteenth century, it embraced the Protestant Reformation and received a large number of religious refugees from the Netherlands and France. At times, Hamburg was under Danish control, and it was even briefly taken by Napoleon during the early part of the nineteenth century. After the end of World War II and the drawing of the Iron Curtain, Hamburg was West Germany's only true city. As a result it acquired a cultural importance to make up for its damaged economic role suffered in the aftermath of both World Wars. Since reunification, Hamburg has been striving to reacquire its position as the area's largest deep sea port.
If you're taking a tour of Hamburg, you'll have plenty of options. If you're on a limited time frame, you'd be best served to plan in advance what you want to see based on how many days you plan on spending in the area.
Of course one of the most popular places to tour, and important to the history of Hamburg Germany itself, is its harbor. While Hamburg is not located directly on the sea, the river Elbe and their large port allow for them to accommodate even the greatest of cargo ships. Hamburg Germany tours of its harbor are readily available. While you're on the wharf, be sure to check out some of the boat museums.
If you're looking for Hamburg Germany tours by boat, but don't want to see the harbor, don't worry—the Alster will provide gorgeous sights of Hamburg's best side. You could also take tour around Hamburg's manmade lake, located in the middle of the city, in a steam ship. All manner of options are available, from lake tours, to canal tours, to two hour cruises, to hop-on and hop-off tours.
But there's more to Hamburg than water and ships. The Speicherstadt is a hundred year old warehouse complex. It might not sound enticing on paper, but this red brick building with its ornate towers and rooftops is quite magnificent. At night, the Speicherstadt is lighted and some magical views can be obtained from the nearby bridges and canals. Nighttime boat Hamburg Germany tours are also an option.
St. Michaelis is Hamburg's main Protestant church. Its spire, known as Michel, stretches up to an impressive 132 meters (433 feet) and is covered in copper. The church has been central to the history of Hamburg Germany and has also served as a landmark for those sailing up the river Elbe. The spire also provides an incredible view of the rest of the city and its harbor.
There is also plenty of shopping available. The Mönckebergstrasse is a mile long stretch of shops and stores offering all manner of goods and services.
Two notable museums that are important to Hamburg history are the Rodin exhibit and the Hamburg Dungeon. Rodin, the famous French sculptor, was incredibly popular in Germany during the beginning of the twentieth century. Meanwhile, the Hamburg Dungeon offers a far more interactive experience. Live actors, along with theatrical effects and technology, bring the dungeon to life including a spectacular water ride that reenacts the flood of 1717.
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