luni, 9 iunie 2014

Culture and History in the Hanseatic Cities (I)

Two harbor cities to the North Sea, two gateways to the world, Hamburg and Bremen are linked with Constanta, the main Romanian harbor, by the world’s seas and by modern airways, and the same from Bucharest… A couple of hours flight and you find yourself in a German world, maybe in an area which value the most freedom (Free and Hanseatic Town) and their cosmopolitan lifestyle. Together with their history and the culture, local and international.

Best of Hamburg

On Alster lake
The green city on the water is not just one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Germany's second metropolis is admired as a cosmopolitan, stylish city-state, even the normally reticent citizens of the Hanseatic city have difficulty hiding their pride about their city, but many of its tourists, simply see it as a sin city – a place of prostitutes and strip shows. The cause is that one of the greatest ports in Europe, it has gained wealth ever since in 1189 Emperor Friederich I (Barbarossa) granted tax-free imports down the Elbe. The good times began in the early Middle Ages and Hamburg was declared a Free Imperial City by Emperor Maximilian I in 1510.
Today a city in a permanent expansion, reinventing itself, Hamburg continues to exploit its link to the maritime trade in the container port, while expressing its freedom as Germany's media capital. The port adds a special flavour to Hamburg enriching its cosmopolitan lifestyle, in a city renowned for its arts and theatre.
With a population that goes towards 1.8 million, Hamburg has the lowest population density of any European city. Canals provide breathing space among the offices as they thread from the Elbe's banks to the Alster lakes. The city's over 2,300 bridges are more than in Venice, Amsterdam and London combined.
Most of the main sights are located in the city centre, a seamless semicircular spread of architecture north of the Elbe, but for local character you must see the outlying residential districts: St Georg east of the Hauptbahnhof; or exclusive quarters that fringe the Aussenalster lake. West of the centre are St Pauli, the former port district of Reeperbahn fame, and to its north, the scruffy but rapidly gentrifying Schanzenviertel. Together, these three form the heartland of Hamburg nightlife.
The Fish Market - A legend and a must-see for all visitors since 1703 Almost everything has been traded here at Hamburg's most traditional market, in the shadow of the 100-year old fish auction hall.
Speicherstadt - The century-old Speicherstadt, the world's largest contiguous warehouse complex, is located in the Freihafen (free-port) between Deichtorhallen and Baumwall. An idyll that one would hardly imagine finding in a world port waits there for visitors. Wilhelmine brick Gothic from the late nineteenth century, bizarre gables and turrets which reflect the barges in the canals. A Hamburg landmark, this is one of the main attractions in the great harbor tour. The world's largest integrated complex of warehouses was built in 1883. Since 1991, the unique district has been given historic monument protection. The warehouses are built on oak piles and the district is crossed by what are known as fleets - canals that are flooded depending on the tides and can then also be travelled by ship. Most tours depart from the landing stages in St. Pauli.
Port of Hamburg - About 13,000 ships from all over the world call at Europe's second largest port. At the very site from where about 5 million European emigrants began their journey to the New World between 1850 and 1939 people can now investigate their own family’s history today.
Elbphilharmonie - Hamburg will gain a new cultural and urban landmark with the Elbphilharmonie in HafenCity. Classical music culture, music of the 21st century and sophisticated light music will have a spectacular venue here. The city has a wide variety of attractions that can be explored. These include the Town Hall, the St. Michaelis Church, the historic Speicherstadt, HafenCity and the extensive cultural programme. Another landmark of the Hanseatic city is currently being built and tours to theElbphilharmonie are already available.
Designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, the Elbphilharmonie is being built in a historic location in Hamburg, on the warehouse designed by Werner Kallmorgen and used for storage of cocoa, tea and tobacco until the 1990s. The Elbphilharmonie has been in planning since 2003. At its highest point it reaches a height of 110 meters and spans an area of 27 football pitches.  
The Elbphilharmonie in construction
On Alster lake
The lower part of the building will house a car park, restaurants, a wellness and conference area for the hotel and the Kaistudio, a concert hall for 170 visitors. In the upper part of the building there will be two concert halls in addition to the hotel rooms and 45 private residences: The Great Hall with its 2,150 seats is the heart of the Elbphilharmonie. It straightens from the 12th to the 17th floor and is acoustically decoupled from the rest of the building. The small hall with 550 seats will be used for chamber music and jazz concerts, banquets and receptions.
The Elbphilharmonie will be, after 3 more years, a distinct icon, enhancing the international reputation of the HafenCity and strengthens Hamburg as a cultural metropolis in its competition with other European cities.
St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn - Scene, strip and the FC. "On the Reeperbahn at half past midnight...". Almost everyone in Germany knows the song by Hans Albers and can draw a conclusion about the variety of pleasures on Hamburg's "sexy mile." For evening adventures, St. Pauli is still the number one choice. There is nothing that does not exist here! When residents of Hamburg says 'I'm on the Kiez' they don't mean 'their Kiez' or district, like they do in Berlin. They mean Hamburg's legendary red-light and party district.
Urban sparkle and natural beauty are the hallmarks of Hamburg, which boasts a wide range of hotels, restaurants, theatres and shops, chic beaches along the Elbe river, the verdant banks of the Alster, a buzzing port district and landmarks reflecting more than 1,200 years of history.
Four Seasons Hotel
Chile House

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