Nikolaifleet, one of a few remaining canals in Hamburg-Altstadt
Location of Altstadt within Hamburg-Mitte
|• Total||1.2 km2 (0.5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
(31 December 2016)
|• Density||1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2|
|ISO 3166 code||DE-HH|
|Official name||Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus|
|Inscription||2015 (39th Session)|
|Area||26.08 ha (64.4 acres)|
|Buffer zone||56.17 ha (138.8 acres)|
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.
The area of today's Altstadt had a minor Bronze Age settlement dating from the 9th or 8th century BC. An Ingaevonian settlement at this location was known by the name "Treva" – a strategic trading node on amber routes during Iron Age and Late Antiquity.
In the 8th century CE, Saxon merchants established what was to become the nucleus of Hamburg: the "Hammaburg", then a refuge fort located at today's Domplatz, the site of the former cathedral. Under Frankish rule, a baptistery was installed in 804 and Hammaburg strengthened by Charlemagne in 811. Quickly, the place grew to a sizable market town, declared a bishop's see in 831, an archbishop's see a year later. For the next 600 years, the history of Altstadt was equivalent to the history of Hamburg.
By the end of the 15th century, the then Hanseatic city-republic and free Imperial city had accumulated various territorial possessions in its hinterland. Eventually, Hamburg's 13th-century city-walls received a couple of extensions: first in the 1530s, then again in the 1620s to include all of adjacent Neustadt.
Regarding the urban history of Altstadt, only a few structures prior to the 17th century are left: repeated damming and diverting of the Alster and its canals, the Great Fire (1842), the bombing in World War II (1941–1945) and modern infrastructure projects (particularly during the 1880s to 1900s, 1920s and 1950s to 1970s) left Hamburg's inner-city with a mainly 19th and 20th-century built environment.
The Hammaburg, Hamburg's origin, was established on a former headland, between the confluences of Alster and Bille into the Elbe Stream. Over the centuries Alster and Bille were impondered and diverted several times, resulting in an ever different geography. Today, Altstadt is bordered by Alster (i.e. Alsterfleet and Binnenalster) to the West and North-West, the rail tracks of Hamburg-Altona link line and Hauptbahnhof to the East, and Zollkanal to the South.
Hamburg-Altstadt has four designated quarters (German: Viertel, or specifically used in Hamburg: Quartier) for statistical and planning purposes, however not recognized as administrative subdivisions.
|Historic district, in parts also mixed use; located between Binnenhafen and Nikolaifleet.|
|Office district, erected in the 1920s and 1930s as the first of its kind in Europe; located between the Speicherstadt's end at Zollkanal and Steinstraße. On the tentative list as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Nikolai-Quartier||Shopping and banking district nestled between Alsterfleet, Cremon Island and Rathausmarkt. Named after St. Nikolai.|
|Mönckeberg-Quartier||Shopping district spanning between Ballindamm and Steinstraße, and reaching up to Rathausmarkt. Named after central Mönckebergstraße, also includes shopping street of Spitalerstraße.|
Streets and squares
The single most important square in Altstadt is Rathausmarkt, both by location and function. It is the starting point of Alter Wall, Reesendamm/Ballindamm, Mönckebergstraße and Große Johannisstraße/Großer Burstah, all important streets in Altstadt. Other important squares in Altstadt include Burchardplatz, Domplatz, Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz, and Hopfenmarkt.
The eastern end of Altstadt is encircled by "Ring 1" (Glockengießerwall, Steintorwall), a 1880s-built ring road continuing into Neustadt. Willy-Brandt-Straße is part of Bundesstraße 4, a 1960s-built thoroughfare, crossing Altstadt midway from East to West.
Landmarks and cultural heritage
The Hamburg Rathaus is an imposing Renaissance Revival structure, housing Hamburg's Senate and Parliament (Bürgerschaft). Forming a joint building ensemble back-to-back with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, it was built after the Great Fire of 1842.
Museums and cultural institutions
- Music and performing arts venues
- No English language equivalent, literal translation: "city-part"
- Hammaburg - The Legend, Archäologisches Museum Hamburg, hamburg-guide.de, Retrieved 23 March 2015
- Speicherstadt and Chilehaus with Kontorhaus District, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris, Retrieved 23 March 2015
- Kontorhausviertel, Interessengemeinschaft Kontorhausviertel e.V., Hamburg, Retrieved 23 March 2015
- Business Improvement District (BID) Nikolai-Quartier, Otto Wulff BID Gesellschaft mbH, Hamburg, Retrieved 23 March 2015
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hamburg-Altstadt.|