HAMBURG is the second largest city in Germany, it formed with L'beck, Bremen and Rostock and other European ports the medieval Hanseatic League. Hamburg is a city-state, being as far as possible independent of other states that existed and exist in Germany. However, during the centuries, Hamburg has always been an international city, not only because of its position in international trade, but also in political dimensions.
Hamburg is a watery city, geographically, historically and atmospherically. It is Germany's second largest city and lies on the Elbe River, for centuries a major port and trading centre for central Europe. The city has a network of canals that rival those of Venice (it is said to have more bridges than Venice) and is centred on two artificial lakes that take up eight percent of its total area. Probably because of all the water, Hamburg is also known as Germany's 'green city', sporting 1,400 parks and gardens. Modern buildings sit cheek by jowl with historic Baroque and Renaissance architecture, and by night the neon lights dazzle all-night revellers, particularly in the city's notorious red light district, the Reeperbahn.
The city is known as one of the most important harbours in Europe and the world, and it is the greenest city in Germany: 13 % of the city are park and greenland, 23 % protected countryside and 6% nature reserves. Nevertheless, two thirds of the city are occupied by parks, lakes or tree-lined canals, giving this huge harbour city a refreshal rural feel.
Hamburg has many faces and contrasts are evident wherever you look there. The finest parks and buildings are revealed around the Alster Lake in the city center while the neon-lit Reeperbahn at night revive old memories of "Sin-City Europe". And a walk along one of Hamburg's many canals explains why this city has been called the "Venice of the North". Recently, the city has become a Media center, half of the Nation's newspapers and magazines have their roots here.
Unfortunately, large parts of the city were destroyed during the devastating air raids of World War II. In spite of it, Hamburg still has large quarters with expensive houses and villas, home to merchants and captains, surrounded by lots of green. Hamburg keeps its tradition of being an open, yet discreet city. Hamburgers sometimes appear to be quite reserved at first, but once they get to know who they are dealing with, they will be as warm and friendly as you would wish.
Unfortunately, large parts of the city were destroyed during the devastating air raids of World War II. In spite of it, Hamburg still has large quarters with expensive houses and villas, home to merchants and captains, surrounded by lots of green. Hamburg keeps its tradition of being an open, yet discreet city.