Hamburg, around the harbour

Photo Catherine Gras

This post follows the one I wrote about the warehouse and trading post area of Hamburg

These two districts date from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, a “must see” of Hamburg.

This post takes us to the banks of the Elbe where part of Hamburg’s harbour is located, the part that is most visible and accessible to visitors … the North Sea is more than 100km away.

It is ideal to walk along the banks of the Elbe, but also to get on one of the many boats, including ferries that are as accessible as the metro, to get a view of the city from the harbour.

I propose to start this visit with HafenCity and more particularly with the contemporary building of the Philharmonie. A building site which in its time caused a lot of ink to flow, in particular because of its significant overrun of the budget of the work, multiplied by more than ten and its delay in delivery of the work, but today it is a building impossible to circumvent of the skyline of the city.

The Elbphilharmonie was built at the end of the historic warehouse area, a part that was well damaged by the war.

It is possible to access a gallery on the first floor with a beautiful view of the harbour (weather permitting) but also a chance to see the interior architecture of this building.

This area of the harbour has been extensively modified and is well suited for walking, and is very close to the Unesco listed Speicherstadt (see my post mentioned at the beginning of this one). The modern buildings overlook the docks.

Another extremely interesting part is a little further down the river, towards Landungsbrücken. The well-equipped quay gives access to the various ships passing through the harbour and the activity is incessant…

If you take a boat away from the quay, you can admire the brick commercial buildings that bear witness to the glorious economic past and present of the port.

And see the newer part dedicated to container ships, by far the most economically active part today.

And finally, back to the Philharmonie, this time at night.

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