Germany, facts and history in brief
Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Hamburg is Germany's second largest city
(behind Berlin) and its principal port.
The official name Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
recalls its membership in the medieval
Hanseatic League and the fact that Hamburg
is one of Germany's sixteen Bundesländer
rather than part of a state.
The state and administrative city cover
750 km² with 1.7 million inhabitants,
while another 750,000 live in
neighbouring urban areas.
The wider Hamburg metropolitan region
including nearby districts of
Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony
covers 18,100 km² with a
population of 4 million.
Founded in the first decade
of the 9th century
as Hamma Burg ("fortified town"), it was
designated the seat of an bishopric
(834) whose first bishop Ansgar became
known as the Apostle of the North.
In 845 a fleet said to number 600 Viking
ships came up the Elbe river and
destroyed Hamburg, at that time a place
of around 500 inhabitants.
Hamburg was two years later combined
with Bremen as the
bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen.
The see was finally moved to Bremen
after further raids in 1066 and 1072,
this time by Slavs from the east.
Frederick I "Barbarossa" is said to
have granted free access up the lower
Elbe to Hamburg in a charter of 1189.
Hamburg's proximity to the main trade
routes of the North and Baltic Seas
quickly made it a major port of northern
Europe, and its alliance (1241) with
Lübeck on the Baltic is considered
the origin of the powerful
Hanseatic League of trading cities.
Today's inner city therefore hosts almost
no buildings from before 1842 and even
few from before 1945. In February 1962
the city's low-lying areas were
affected by severe flooding.
The city boundaries were extended in
1937 with the Groß-Hamburg-Gesetz
(Greater Hamburg Act) to incorporate
Harburg-Wilhelmsburg and Altona.
During Operation Gomorrah of World War II,
the British bombed Hamburg on July 28,
1943 which caused a firestorm that
killed 42,000 German civilians.
The population of the city proper peaked
in the mid-1960s at 1.85 million, but
has recovered from a mid-1980s low
of under 1.6m. Growth is now
concentrated in the suburban areas.
For the state's official website,
For a more information about
Hamburg see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from
see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, November 2003.
All text is available under the terms of the
GNU Free Documentation License
Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in November 2003. E. & O.E.
I visited Hamburg for the first time
with my daughter Sarolta during our tour
around Europe in 1978.
We enjoyed the city so much I was to
return with Hui Chin a few years later.
Hui Chin and I enjoyed our stay in Hamburg, during our visit in 2003.
After our arrival at about 8 pm at night,
we spent a couple of hours walking around downtown
with our luggage, asking people, looking for a suitable hotel,
until a kind doorman at the very expensive, Hyatt Hotel
told us that we'll find many suitable hotels
behind the station, and he was right of course.
We exited the wrong side of the station.
These fellas are all over Hamburg streets.
Are they there waiting for the
next "Allied' raids,
to stop the firestorms?
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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