The opulent architecture of Hamburg, Germany

Since its origins as a moated castle between the Alster and Elber rivers, the “free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg” has embraced seafaring commerce. The early merchants’ wealth and power is evidenced in the majestic, late Gothic Renaissance Rathaus (City Hall) and in the nicely restored half-timbered merchant houses along Delchstrasse. They stand in sharp contrast to the narrow alley quarters of the “Krameramtsstuben” district.
The Planten un Blomen (Botanical Garden) is in the heart of the city and is quite spectacular. The city has grown considerably since World War II with a population now totaling 1.8 million, making it Germany’s second largest city and eighth largest in the European Union, with a total population of about 5 million in the metropolitan region.

hamburg-1Rathaus (City Hall) — built 1886 to 1897 — dominates the center of Hamburg, Germany, where it is situated on a large plaza, adjacent to the Alsterakaden Canal, connecting the Binnenalster Lake with the Norderelbe (Northern Elbe) River
hamburg-2Hauptkirche St. Michaelis (Saint Michael’s Church) was originally constructed between 1906 and 1912, severely damaged in World War II and completely rebuilt in the early 1950s
hamburg-3Hauptkirche St. Michaelis (Saint Michael’s Church) is well known for its four organs, the larger one pictured here, with two on the sides of the transept and one with the pipes in the ceiling, sounding like music from heaven
hamburg-4Mockenberg Strasse, one of the main shopping streets that terminates at the Rathaus Plaza
hamburg-5Retail shops, offices and apartments in modern buildings overlooking Binnenalster Lake
hamburg-6No, it’s not Venice in Amsterdam, but Venice in Hamburg, often called the “Venice of the North” (move over, Amsterdam and Bruges…) – lots of cafes and restaurants under the arches, overlooking the canal
hamburg-7The view from our canal boat as we sailed from Binnenalster (Inner, and smaller Alster) Lake to Aussenalster (Outer, and larger, Alster) Lake and the interconnected canals in the Uhlenhorst neighborhood
hamburg-8Luxurious homes (mansions) on a small pond off one of the numerous canals in the district northeast of Aussenalster (Outer, and larger, Alster) Lake
hamburg-9One of the few surviving nineteenth century office buildings in the Altstadt District (central downtown)

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