Hamburg, Germany - is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union, home to over 1.8 million people. On the river Elbe, the port of Hamburg is the second largest port in Europe after Rotterdam and tenth largest worldwide.
Hamburg is a major transport hub and is one of the most affluent cities in Europe. It has become a media and industrial centre, with plants and facilities belonging to Airbus, Blohm + Voss and Aurubis. The radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk and publishers such as Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel-Verlag are pillars of the important media industry in Hamburg.
Hamburg has been an important financial centre for centuries, and is the seat of the world's second oldest bank,
Berenberg Bank. The city is a major tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors; it ranked 17th in the world for livability in 2012, and in 2010 it ranked 10th in the world.
Hamburg has architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles and only a few skyscrapers. Churches are important landmarks, such as St Nicholas', which for a short time in the 19th century was the world's tallest building. The skyline features the tall spires of the most important churches (Hauptkirchen) St Michael's (nicknamed Michel), St Peter's, St James's (St. Jacobi) and St. Catherine's covered with copper plates.
The many streams, rivers and canals are crossed by over 2300 bridges, more than London, Amsterdam and Venice combined. Hamburg has more bridges inside its city limits than any other city in the world and more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined.
The town hall is a richly decorated Neo-Renaissance building finished in 1897. The tower is 112 metres (367 ft) high. Its façade, 111 m (364 ft) long, depicts the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, since Hamburg was, as a Free Imperial City, only under the sovereignty of the emperor. The Chilehaus, a brick stone office building built in 1922 and designed by architect Fritz Höger, is shaped like an ocean liner.
A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaels, and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbour promenade (Landungsbrücken). Sightseeing buses connect these points of interest. As Hamburg is one of the world's largest harbours many visitors take one of the harbour and/or canal boat tours (Grobe Hafenrundfahrt, Fleetfahrt) which start from the Landungsbrucken. Major destinations also include museums. Visit the local fish market (Fischmarkt), the Merchants District (marked by its imposing red-brick architecture), a fine dining experience along the river or a night out in the university quarter.
The Reeperbahn (red light district) is also quite famous.
Former Der Spiegel headquarters, Wikimedia Commons