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The style of this little arcade was inspired by Venetian architecture and is one of Hamburg's most familiar sights. After the 1842 fire destroyed the greater part of the city, the architect Alexis de Chateauneuf redesigned the centre. The arcades, which were incorporated into his plans, stand elegantly. They are lit by wrought iron lamps at night and the railings at the waterfront are intricately designed. Another fire during New Year's Eve 1989/90 destroyed parts of the arcade but they were quickly rebuilt faithful to their original design.
Erected in 1897, this impressive Neo-Renaissance town hall is a symbol of Hamburg's wealth and autonomy. The striking turquoise roofs of the imposing edifice have become a defining landmark of Hamburg's skyline. Its magnificent north facade is dominated by a huge tower decorated with bronze statues of past German Emperors. The interior contains some 650 different rooms, of which the Bürgersaal, Kaisersaal and Turmsaal are the most opulent. The fantastic Große Festsaal, with its bronze and marble decor, is still used for celebrations and below the ground, 4,000 oak columns support the building. Hamburg Rathaus continues to operate in an official governmental capacity even today, incorporating the meeting rooms and office of the senate and the mayor respectively.
One of the main shopping streets in the city, the Mönckebergstraße or “Mö” as it is referred to as is a place to see and be seen. Named after the mayor who oversaw the building work in 1908, it links the Rathausmarkt with the main railway station. Lined with imposing office buildings made of brick or sandstone, the road is also home to two of Hamburg's most important churches (St. Petri Kirche and St. Jacobi Kirche), the Mönckebrunnen fountain and the Levantehaus, a traditional Kontorhaus-turned-shopping center, which also houses the exclusive Park Hyatt hotel.
Opened in 1869, the Hamburger Kunsthalle houses several centuries worth of paintings. Spread over three colossal structures, it is one of the largest art galleries in the country with a huge display of more than 700 pieces, which is divided into four sections; The Gallery of Old Masters, The Gallery of 19th-Century Art, The Gallery of Classical Modernism and The Gallery of Contemporary Art. Hamburger Kunsthalle is one of the most important public art spaces in the world which takes you through several centuries of art and culture through the works of old and new masters like Manet, Liebermann, Friedrich, Munch, Blue Rider, and Brücke groups. The museum is a regular venue for several art exhibitions and houses a few permanent exhibitions as well. They have a children's room for young artists and provides a platform for art aspirants to showcase their talent. The museum has an in-house cafe and a gift shop within the premises and is available for private events and concerts as well.
One of Hamburg's major landmarks, the Lutheran church of Saint Michael was originally built in the early 17th Century. It still stands today, though it has seen many reincarnations since the original church was built. The building was destroyed by lightning in 1661, which led to its baroque-inspired reconstruction in 1786. In 1906 the burnt down church was rebuilt and then was heavily damaged in both World War I and II. Constructed in the honor of Archangel Michael, the entrance of the church is ornamented with a spectacular statue depicting Archangel Michael's victory over the Devil. Despite its tumultuous history, the church's tower continues to offer incredible views of the city and still plays host to a 300-year-old tradition, whereby a trumpet player plays a hymn facing north, then south, then east and west.
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Speicherstadt, literally the "City of Warehouses, is the world's largest warehouse complex. The warehouses, many of which are up to eight stories high, are all made of brick while the copper roofs and small towers serve as decorative features. Interestingly enough, the historic Speicherstadt still serves its original purpose - everything from spices to carpets are stored in the huge warehouses erected by local merchants over a century ago. Some of the rooms of the warehouses have even been converted into museums for visitors who are curious about the warehouse district and its history.
Established in 1874, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum of Arts and Crafts) is one of the finest museums in the country and a must visit for art and culture enthusiasts. Spanning 4000 years of mankind's history and with 500,000 displays, it has an impressive range of collection from different eras and cultures. Their exhaustive selection includes permanent displays as well as new acquisitions. It not only showcases objects from antiquity but also contemporary art mediums. From antiques to masterpieces, musical instruments to fashion, posters to graphic art and media, these wide spectrum of objects will surely intrigue you.
The name 'Planten und Blomen' has its origins in the old Hamburg dialect for 'plants and flowers'. With a huge variety of trees, plants, flowers, a Japanese garden and an ice skating rink for winters, the park attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year. One of the major summertime attractions is the water, music and light show. This impressive display takes place on a regular basis attracting a decent crowd of tourists. There is also an adventure playground and numerous other activities to ensure that kids enjoy themselves amidst the scenic beauty that is Planten und Blomen.
Deichtorhallen is a perfect example of how property can be used for the betterment of the bustling art and culture scene in a region. Formerly comprising of two market places, one of which was a flower market up until 1962, the area is now one of the largest exhibition centers in Europe. Home to some stunning works of both contemporary art and photography. the center was preserved owing to a generous donation, which propelled it to become one of Hamburg's premier art hubs. Today, the Deichtorhallen is a collection of showrooms for modern art exhibitions of all kinds, including design, new media and installations.
Perhaps the single most famous street in Germany, the Reeperbahn is full of cafés, bars and restaurants; theaters, cabarets and clubs, and more. Cutting through the district of St. Pauli, the Reeperbahn is the center of Hamburg's red-light district - a throbbing, neon-lit center of diversion, which never sleeps. Many of the establishments are seedy rip-off joints, but it's still well worth coming here to cruise down the street and take a breath of its inimitable atmosphere.
The Altonaer museum specializes in north German subjects, and is one of the biggest regional museums in Germany. Find out about Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and the Lower Elbe Region. Areas covered include fishing and navigation, craftsmanship, cultural and city history and north German art and graphics. There are also numerous special collections on display, apart from which the museum has a library with more than 60,000 books on the various areas of interest represented in the museum. There are also outposts such as the Museum of Middle-class Culture in the Jenisch-Haus, which is a Country Residence situated in the middle of Jenisch Park in Klein Flottbeck. Altonaer also hosts various exhibitions and events throughout the year.
BallinStadt or Emigration Museum as it referred to as is an innovative museum that tackles the previously under-represented topic of European emigration from Germany. The area on which the museum now stands was once filled with temporary housing units that held millions of people over the course of about 40 years from the turn of the 20th Century. These men and women came from across Europe to seek transport with the HAPAG lines that left from Hamburg. Now, the museum offers visitors a chance to look back in time and learn about the lives of the people who made makeshift homes at this facility. With complete digitalized passenger lists and interactive displays, the exhibits showcase the history of BallinStadt and the trials of the many emigrants who passed through its doors.