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Hamburg Attractions and Things to See

Hamburg is the second biggest city in Germany, and the eighth biggest in the European Union; a major transportation center in Northern Germany, and its port is the third biggest in Europe, as well as the eighth biggest in the world. It has grown into an important tourist destination for foreign and domestic visitors, welcoming over 7.7 million people to its city in 2008. Hamburg has a long and exciting history, with its original name being called Treva, and then becoming Hammaburg, after a huge castle was built on rocky ground located in a marsh situated between the Elbe and Alster Rivers, in 808 AD; ordered by Emperor Charlemagne, to protect the village and region from the Slavic marauders. Burg means castle, but the hamma part is not known, as to why or how, and its exact location has yet to be discovered.
Hamburg's history and early beginnings are especially significant today, as many of the old and ancient structures that were built during its early years still stand and are magnificent examples of architecture and style. Those styles can be seen today, as the diversity of its history is clearly seen in the various examples of architecture, and surprisingly, it doesn't have as many skyscrapers as other metro areas in Europe. Many of its outstanding structures have become iconic landmarks today, like St. Nicolas's church, that had been the tallest structure in the world during the 19th century, and its skyline showcases the spires of its main churches, like St. Peter's, St. James's, St. Michael's and St. Catherine's church that are covered with copper plates, and the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm, an older publicly accessible television and radio tower. The city has many bridges that criss-cross the rivers, canals and streams, and number more than 2300, which is much more than Venice or Amsterdam; in fact, it has more bridges than any city in the world.
The town hall is a marvelous neo-renaissance structure, decorated with many beautiful elements, and was finished in 1897, standing 367 feet high. The 364 foot facade, showcases the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, because the city had been a Free Imperial City, under the sovereignty of the emperor. One of the most unique structures in the city, is the Chilehaus, a large brick stone building, constructed in 1922, designed by architect, Fritz Hoger and shaped like an ocean liner. Europe's biggest inner-city development is the HafenCity, that houses some 10,000 citizens, and another 15,000 workers. The plan has some designs by Renzo Piano and Rem Koolhaas, and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall is in the process of construction and should be completed mid 2012; it will host concerts in a structure that sits atop an old warehouse, that had been designed by Herzog and de Meuron. The city has numerous parks that are located throughout the city and offer the community an excellent place to relax and unwind.
Culturally, Hamburg has many magnificent venues to offer visitors, that include 60 museums, over 40 theaters and 100 music venues and nightclubs. An example of the city's popular attractions is from 2005, when over 18 million visitors would enjoy the cinemas, cultural events, concerts, museums, theaters and exhibitions. There are numerous large museums and galleries that showcase contemporary and classical art, like the Deichtorhallen or House of Photography, the Kunsthalle Hamburg that houses a marvelous contemporary art gallery and the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe or the Museum for Art and Industry. In 2008, the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg opened in the new HafenCity district, and you can enjoy numerous specialized museums like the Museum of Labor and many of local history, like the Kiekeber Open Air Museum. The music scene in Hamburg is alive and vibrant, with the Hamburg State Opera, the Philharmonic Hamburg orchestra, and many more. The city was the birthplace of Johannes Brahms, who had spent his early years living here, and include a few museum works that will delight the music aficionados in your family. It is famous for its festivals and events, as well as its excellent cuisine.
It original dishes include green beans cooked with bacon and pears, or birnen, bohnen und speck; aalsuppe that is a dish that has everything in it, including the kitchen sink; bratkartofffeln or pan-fried potato slices; finkenwerder scholie or pan-fried plaice; labskaus or a blend of corned beef, mashed potatoes and beetroot and many others that you should try when you visit this beautiful city.