The Speicherstadt (German pronunciation: [ˈʃpaɪ̯çɐˌʃtat], literally: 'City of Warehouses', meaning warehouse district) in Hamburg, Germany is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations, oak logs, in this particular case.[1] It is located in the port of Hamburg—within the HafenCity quarter—and was built from 1883 to 1927.

The district was built as a free zone to transfer goods without paying customs. As of 2009, both the district and the surrounding area are under redevelopment. As the first site in Hamburg, it was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site on 5 July 2015.[2]

Hamburg’s Speicherstadt at night
View of Brooksfleet at night
General information
Typewarehouse district
Architectural styleGothic Revival
LocationHamburg, Germany
Construction started1883
OwnerFree and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Other dimensions1,500 m × 250 m
Technical details
Materialred brick
Size26 hectares (0.26 km2)
Floor area630,000 m2 (6,800,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectCarl Johann Christian Zimmermann
EngineerFranz Andreas Meyer
Official nameSpeicherstadt
Part ofSpeicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus
Reference no.1467
2013-06-08 Highflyer HP L4706
Aerial view of the Speicherstadt


A panoramic view of the Speicherstadt.
A panoramic view of the Speicherstadt.

The Speicherstadt is located in the port of Hamburg. It is 1.5 km (0.93 mi) long and interlaced by loading canals (Low German: Fleets).


Since 1815, the independent and sovereign city of Hamburg was a member of the German Confederation—the association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna—but not member of the German Customs Union.

Following the Austro-Prussian War which established Prussian hegemony in north Germany, Hamburg was obliged to join the North German Federation.[3] However it obtained an opt-out in the form of Article 34 of the North German constitution [4], which stated that Hamburg and the other Hanseatic cities would remain as free ports outside the Community customs border until they apply for inclusion. Article 34 was carried over into the imperial constitution of 1871, when the south German states joined the federation. However, Hamburg came under great pressure from Berlin to join the Customs Union after 1879, when the latter's external tariff was greatly increased. In 1881 an agreement was signed between Prussian Finance Minister Karl Hermann Bitter and the State Secretary of the imperial Treasury, on the one hand, Hamburg's Plenipotentiary Senators Versmann and O'Swald, and the envoy of the Hanseatic states in Berlin, Dr. Krüger, on the other. Hamburg would join the Customs Union with all its territory, except a permanent free port district which the agreement specified. For this district, Article 34 would still apply, thus the freedoms of that district could not be abolished or restricted without Hamburg's approval.[5][6]

In 1883, to clear space for the new port area, the demolition of the Kehrwieder and Wandrahm area began and more than 20,000 people needed to be relocated. The construction was completed before the start of World War I, managed by the Freihafen-Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft (the predecessor of the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG), which was also responsible for the subsequent operation.

After the destruction of about half of the buildings in Operation Gomorrah by bombing during World War II, the conservative rebuilding was finished in 1967, while the Hanseatic Trade Center occupies now the sites of the completely destroyed structures.[7] In 1991 it was listed as a protected Hamburg heritage site.[8]. Since 2008, it has been part of the HafenCity quarter.[9] In an attempt to revitalize the inner city area, the Hamburg government initiated the development of the HafenCity area, for example with the construction of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall.[10]

In 2015, the Speicherstadt was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


A cross-section view of the Speicherstadt from 1888.
A cross-section view of the Speicherstadt from 1888.
Speicherstadt 2008b
Facade of a warehouse
Hamburg, Speicherstadt, Wasserschloss -- 2016 -- 2971
'Wasserschloss' at Holländischbrookfleet

The warehouses were built with different support structures, but Andreas Meyer created a Neo-Gothic red-brick outer layer with little towers, alcoves, and glazed terra cotta ornaments. The warehouses are multi-storey buildings with entrances from water and land.[8] One of the oldest warehouses is the Kaispeicher B of the International Maritime Museum.

Hamburg-090613-0249-DSC 8346-Speicherstadt
Hafenrathaus ('Harbour City Hall') in the Speicherstadt


The Speicherstadt is a major tourist attraction in Hamburg and is the focus of most of the harbor tours.[11] There are several museums like the Deutsches Zollmuseum (German Customs Museum), Miniatur Wunderland (a model railway) and the Hamburg Dungeon. The Afghan Museum was also located here, but closed in 2012.[12]

The buildings are also used as warehouses. As of 2005, the companies in the Speicherstadt handled one-third of the world's carpet production, and other goods including cocoa, coffee, tea, spices, maritime equipment, and electronics.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Speicherstadt". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus". UNESCO. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  3. ^ Planung und Finanzierung der Speicherstadt in Hamburg ,by Frank M. Hinz; publ. LIT Verlag Münster, 2000; page 45
  4. ^ Constitution of the North German Federation //de.wikisource.org/wiki/Verfassung_des_Norddeutschen_Bundes Retrieved Dec 2017
  5. ^ Hamburg and the Freeport - Economy and Society 1888–1914, by Peter Borowsky, publ Hamburg University Press, Hamburg, 2005; p. 114
  6. ^ Prange, Carsten (2005). "Zollanschluß". In Franklin Koplitzsch and Daniel Tilgner (ed.). Hamburg Lexikon (in German) (3 ed.). Ellert&Richter. p. 538. ISBN 3-8319-0179-1.
  7. ^ "Speicherstadt Hamburg Entwicklungskonzept (German)" (PDF). Hamburg Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt. April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Prange, Carsten (2005). "Speicherstadt". In Franklin Koplitzsch and Daniel Tilgner (ed.). Hamburg Lexikon (in German) (3 ed.). Ellert&Richter. pp. 444–445. ISBN 3-8319-0179-1.
  9. ^ "Gesetz über die räumliche Gliederung der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg (RäumGiG) [Act of the areal organisation]" (in German). 2006-07-06. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  10. ^ Jörn Weinhold (2008). Martina Heßler and Clemens Zimmermann (ed.). Port Culture: Maritime Entertainment and Urban Revitalisation, 1950–2000. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag. pp. 179–201. ISBN 978-3-593-38547-1.
  11. ^ "Speicherstadt". Hamburg Tourismus GmbH. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Afghanistan Museum Hamburg". Dark Tourism. Retrieved 24 December 2017.


  • Batz, M. (2002). "Urbane Light Germany Speicherstadt, Hamburg, the largest historical warehouse complex in the world, has become a softly-glowing night-time panorama". International Lighting Review (12, ): 14–19. OCLC 193350885.
  • Lawrenz, Dierk; von Borstel, Christiane (2008). Die Hamburger Speicherstadt (in German). Freiburg, Br: EK-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-88255-893-7.
  • Meyn, Boris (2003). Die rote Stadt: ein historischer Kriminalroman (in German). Reinbek: Rowohlt. ISBN 978-3-499-23407-1. A historical detective story.
  • Lange, Ralf; Hampel, Thomas (2004). Speicherstadt und HafenCity: zwischen Tradition und Vision (in German). Hamburg: Elbe-und-Flut-Ed., Hampel und Hettchen. ISBN 978-3-7672-1440-8.

External links

Coordinates: 53°32′36″N 9°59′31″E / 53.54333°N 9.99194°E

2015 in architecture

The year 2015 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.

Afghan Museum

The Afghan Museum (German: Afghanisches Museum) was private museum of culture and cultural history of Afghanistan, situated in the historic and picturesque Speicherstadt (warehouse district) of Hamburg, Germany. The museum's mandate was to bring the authentic and traditional aspects of Afghan culture to life.

Altstadt, Hamburg

Altstadt (German: [ˈalt.ʃtat] (listen), literally: "Old town"), more precisely Hamburg-Altstadt – as not to be mistaken with Hamburg-Altona-Altstadt – is one of the inner-city districts of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany.


Barmbek-Süd (Southern Barmbek) is a quarter of Hamburg, Germany, in the borough of Hamburg-Nord. It is located in the east of Hamburg-Nord, approximately five kilometers from Hamburg city center. Barmbek-Süd is a densely built-up area.

Barmbek-Süd borders the quarters of Barmbek-Nord, Dulsberg, Eilbek, Uhlenhorst, and Winterhude.

Blackmail (band)

Blackmail is a German alternative rock band from Koblenz, Germany which was started briefly in 1993. Blackmail are singer Mathias Reetz, brothers Kurt Ebelhäuser (lead guitars) and Carlos Ebelhäuser (bass) and drummer Mario Matthias. Their style of music usually varies, but mainly consists of the indie rock genre which is combined with experimentation of electronic music, progressive rock, alternative rock and dance. It is also known for its harsh and high-pitched guitar melodies.


The Chilehaus (Chile House) is a ten-story office building in Hamburg, Germany. It is located in the Kontorhausviertel. It is an exceptional example of the 1920s Brick Expressionism style of architecture. This large angular building is located on a site of approximately 6,000m², spanning the Fischertwiete Street in Hamburg. It was designed by the German architect Fritz Höger and finished in 1924.


Deichstraße (lit. "dike street") is the oldest remaining street in the Altstadt of Hamburg, Germany and a popular visitor attraction in the city.

Deichstraße dates back to the 14th century; it was first mentioned in 1304. Located adjacent to Nikolaifleet and close to the Speicherstadt, it now contains carefully restored 17th–19th-century houses, all that is left of the old harbour district. The Great Fire of 1842 broke out in Deichstraße 42 and destroyed many of the original buildings, but spared the southern end of the street spreading - driven by the wind - mostly northeastwards. Today, Deichstraße –along with Neustadt's Peterstraße– contains some of the oldest buildings in the city, including the oldest warehouse, at Peterstraße 27, built in 1780.


The Elbphilharmonie (German pronunciation ) (Elbe Philharmonic Hall) is a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany, on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world. It is popularly nicknamed Elphi.The new glassy construction resembles a hoisted sail, water wave, iceberg or quartz crystal; it sits on top of an old warehouse building (Kaispeicher A, built 1963) near the historical Speicherstadt and is designed by architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. It is the tallest inhabited building in Hamburg, with a final height of 108 metres (354 ft).The Elbphilharmonie was officially inaugurated with concerts of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and a light show on 11 January 2017.


HafenCity (German pronunciation ) is a quarter in the district of Hamburg-Mitte, Hamburg, Germany, Europe. It is located on the Elbe river island Grasbrook, on former Port of Hamburg area. It was formally established in 2008 and also includes the historical Speicherstadt area, which since 2015 is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with the adjacent Kontorhausviertel. The main landmark of the HafenCity is the Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

In a narrower sense, HafenCity Hamburg is a project of urban regeneration where the "Grosser Grasbrook" area of the former Hamburg free port is being revitalised with new hotels, shops, office buildings, and residential areas. The project is considered the largest urban redevelopment project in Europe by landmass (approximately 2.2 square kilometres (220 ha)). With the decreased economic importance of free ports in an era of European Union free trade, large container ships, and increased border security, the Hamburg free port was reduced in size, relieving the current HafenCity area from its restrictions. The ground-breaking ceremony was held on 20 June 2001, with the first quarter called "Am Dalmannkai/Sandtorkai" -next to the Elbphilharmonie- completed in 2009.

When completely developed, the HafenCity area will be home to about 12,000 people and the workplace of 40,000 people. The prospect for completion is not tied down, but will probably be between 2025 and 2030.


Hamburg (English: ; German: [ˈhambʊɐ̯k] (listen); officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg; German: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg; Low German/Low Saxon: Friee un Hansestadt Hamborg) is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

One of Germany's 16 federal states, it is surrounded by Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south. The city's metropolitan region is home to more than five million people. Hamburg lies on the River Elbe and two of its tributaries, the River Alster and the River Bille.

The official name reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a fully sovereign city state, and before 1919 formed a civic republic headed constitutionally by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Beset by disasters such as the Great Fire of Hamburg, North Sea flood of 1962 and military conflicts including World War II bombing raids, the city has managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe.

Hamburg is Europe's third-largest port. Major regional broadcasting firm NDR, the printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city. Hamburg is the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Media, commercial, logistical, and industrial firms with significant locations in the city include multinationals Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis, Beiersdorf, and Unilever.

The city hosts specialists in world economics and international law, including consular and diplomatic missions as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the EU-LAC Foundation, and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, multipartite international political conferences and summits such as Europe and China and the G20. Both the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Angela Merkel, German chancellor since 2005, come from Hamburg.

The city is a major international and domestic tourist destination. It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016. The Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2015.Hamburg is a major European science, research, and education hub, with several universities and institutions. Among its most notable cultural venues are the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle concert halls. It gave birth to movements like Hamburger Schule and paved the way for bands including The Beatles. Hamburg is also known for several theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is among the best-known European entertainment districts.

Hamburg Dungeon

Built in 2000, the Hamburg Dungeon is a tourist attraction from a chain including the London Dungeon and Berlin Dungeon. It is the first of this brand to be built in mainland Europe. It provides a journey through Hamburg’s dark history in an actor led, interactive experience.

Hanseatic Trade Center

The Hanseatic Trade Center (HTC) is a major office complex in the HafenCity of Hamburg, Germany. Developed after an urban design competition in the 1980s, and built in five phases during the 1990s, it was the first new construction in the urban renewal of this part of the Port of Hamburg. Parts of the Hanseatic Trade Center along Kehrwiederfleet complement the historic Speicherstadt, while its western end at Kehrwiederspitze features two high-rise structures.

List of World Heritage Sites in Germany

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. West Germany ratified the convention on 23 August 1976, making the Federal Republic's historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.German sites were first inscribed on the World Heritage List in UNESCO's 2nd Session in 1978 with Aachen Cathedral.There are 44 official UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany, 41 cultural and 3 natural, with one additional previous site struck from the list. In addition, there are 17 German entries in the Memory of the World Programme.

List of bridges in Hamburg

This list of bridges in Hamburg has no claim to be complete, but rather just give an overview of their history and scope. For this article, the bridges are listed by Hamburg's three major rivers (Alster, Bille and Elbe) and the respectively crossed body of water (river, creek, canal, fleet, harbor basin or else). The Elbe is by far the largest of the three. Unlike Alster and Bille, the Elbe is also within the North Sea's tidal influence, and Elbe bridges differ substantially from the ones on Alster and Bille. All three rivers are fed by a number of smaller rivers and also feature a number of branches or sidearms.

Hamburg has the most bridges of any city in Europe. Besides the Hanseatic city's mercantile and maritime history, the many rivers, canals and bridges constitute to Hamburg's association as the "Venice of the North". A 2004 report by the Department for Roads, Bridges and Waterways (LSBG) states a total number of 2,496 bridges in Hamburg, many more than cities like Venice, Amsterdam or Saint Petersburg. Given the city's waterborne geography and the port's heavy duty requirements, bridges in Hamburg also cover a great variety of architectural styles and innovative structural systems. Function-wise the total number of bridges break down to 1,172 road bridges, 987 railroad bridges (of which 407 Hochbahn bridges) and 470 footbridges (of which 290 within public parks and green spaces). 383 bridges are under management of the Hamburg Port Authority.The most notable bridges in Hamburg include the historic inner-city bridges passing the Lower Alster (plus canals), the bridges across Speicherstadt canals, and the grand bridges spanning the Elbe's Norderelbe and Süderelbe anabranches, most commonly known as Elbbrücken.

List of museums in Hamburg

List of museums in Hamburg

The city of Hamburg, Germany is home to several museums, galleries, and other related cultural institutions. In 2009, 50 state and private museums, were located in Hamburg proper. This list contains the most famous or well-regarded organizations.

Miniatur Wunderland

Miniatur Wunderland (German for 'miniature wonderland') is a model railway attraction in Hamburg, Germany, and the largest of its kind in the world. The railway is located in the historic Speicherstadt district of the city.

In October 2016 the railway consisted of 15,400 m (50,525 ft) of track in H0 scale, divided into nine sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland, a replica of the Hamburg Airport and Italy. Of the 6,800 m2 (73,195 sq ft) of floorspace, the model takes 1,490 m2 (16,038 sq ft).By 2020, the exhibit is expected to have reached its final construction phase, including at least a total of ten new sections in a model area of over 2,300 m2 (24,757 sq ft). The exhibit includes 1,300 trains made up of over 10,000 carriages, over 100,000 moving vehicles, ca. 500,000 lights, 130,000 trees, and 400,000 human figurines. Planning is also in progress for the construction of sections for France, England, Ireland, Africa and Australia.

Postage stamps and postal history of Hamburg

This article is about the postage stamps and postal history of Hamburg from the medieval messengers until the entry of the Hamburg Postal Administration into the Northern German Postal District in 1868.

Prototyp - Personen.Kraft.Wagen

The Prototyp - Personen.Kraft.Wagen (persons.power.cars) museum in Hamburg opened in 2008 in Hamburg's Speicherstadt district. The permanent exhibition of the museum specializes in German sports and racing cars developed after WW II.

The PROTOTYP museum ist privately funded and wants to convey excitement about cars by focussing the designers and race drivers like Otto Mathé and Petermax Müller who re-established racing after 1945. In many cases early race and sports cars in Germany were technically based on pre-war constructions like the Volkswagen. For that reason the PROTOTYP museum shows a special interest in this vehicle. In post-war racing unique self-built cars – prototypes – were designed and raced. These cars are here on display, together with other race and record cars, sports and even modern formula cars.

Display cabinets next to the cars show historic exhibitis and offer informative stories. A digital library allows to leaf through the photo albums of race drivers and engineers. In a walk-in “Audiobox” several engine sounds can be started. A driving simulator is integrated in a real Porsche 356.

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