Hamburg - City of Germany
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany , and, along with its central port, also the second-largest port in Europe , ninth-largest port in the world, and the most populous city in the European Union that is not a national capital.
GERMANY National Animal : Eagle, Lepord
Hamburg is a major transportation hub in northern Germany and became a media and industrial center with factories such as Blohm + Voss and Norddeutsche Affinerie. The radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk and publishers such as Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel-Verlag represent the important media industry in Hamburg. The city is a major tourist destination both for domestic and overseas visitors, with about 7.4 million overnight stays in 2007.
The city takes its name from the first permanent building on the site, a castle ordered to be built by Emperor Charlemagne in 808 AD. The castle was built on rocky ground in a marsh between the Alster and the Elbe as a defense against Slavic incursion. The castle was named Hammaburg, where burg means castle. The Hamma element remains uncertain,also the location of this castle.
During the first half of the 19th century, a patron goddess with Hamburg's Latin name Hammonia emerged, mostly in romantic and poetic references, and although she has no mythology to call her own, Hammonia became the symbol of the city's spirit during this time. Hamburg experienced its fastest growth during the second half of the 19th century, when its population more than quadrupled to 800,000 as the growth of the city's Atlantic trade helped make it Europe's third-largest port. With Albert Ballin as its director, the Hamburg-America Line became the world's largest transatlantic shipping company at the turn of the century, and Hamburg was also home to shipping companies to South America, Africa, India and East Asia. Hamburg was the port for most Germans and Eastern Europeans to leave for the New World and became home to trading communities from all over the world.
Hamburg offers more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs. In 2005, more than 18 million people visited concerts, exhibitions, theatres, cinemas, museums, and other performances of cultural achievement. More than 8,552 taxable companies - the average size was 3.16 employees - were engaged in culture like music, performing arts and literature. There are 5 companies in the creative sector per thousand residents .
Art Gallery and Gallery of Contemporary Arts is located near central station.
In 2008 the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg opened in the HafenCity quarter.
Miniatur Wunderland shows various model trains in action and in a fascinating artificial landscape.
The Hamburg State Opera is one of the leading German opera houses. Its orchestra is the Philharmoniker Hamburg. Hamburg's other orchestra is the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. The main concert venue is the Laeiszhalle Musikhalle Hamburg, pending the completion of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. The Laeiszhalle is the home of the Hamburger Symphoniker. Hamburg was one city to take part in the Complaints Choir project.
Many visitors take a walk in the evening around the area of Reeperbahn in the quarter St. Pauli, considered Europe's largest red light district and home of strip clubs, bars and nightclubs. The singer and actor Hans Albers is strongly associated with St. Pauli, providing in the 1940s the neighborhood's unofficial anthem, "Auf der Reeperbahn Nachts um Halb Eins." The song explains in a polite way how a sailor enjoys his last day with a trollop before going aboard. It was in the Reeperbahn that The Beatles began their career with a 48-night residency at the Indra Club, and then another 58 nights at the Kaiserkeller, in 1960, the Top Ten Club, and the Star-Club.
As elsewhere in Northern Germany, the original language of Hamburg is Low German, usually referred to as Hamborger Platt or Hamborgsch. It is still in use, albeit by a minority and rarely in public, probably due to a hostile climate between World War II and the early 1980s.Since large-scale Germanization beginning in earnest within the 18th century, various Low German-colored dialects have developed . Originally, there was a range of such Missingsch varieties, the best-known being the low-prestige ones of the working classes and the somewhat more bourgeois Hanseatendeutsch, although the term is used in appreciation.
The school system is managed by the Ministry of Schools and Vocational Training. In 2006 about 160,000 pupils were taught in 245 primary schools, 195 secondary schools.There are 33 public libraries in Hamburg proper.
17 universities are located in Hamburg. There are about 70,000 university students, including 9,000 resident aliens. Six universities are public, like the largest, the University of Hamburg with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the University of Music and Theatre, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and the Hamburg University of Technology. Seven universities are private, like the Bucerius Law School. The city has also smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as the Helmut Schmidt University.
GERMANY National Bird : White Stork
GERMANY National Flower : Centaurea/Knapweed