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Reeperbahn - June 2008.JPG
Former name(s) Heinrichstraße
Owner The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Location Flag of Hamburg Hamburg, Germany
Postal code 20359[1]

The Herbertstraße (formerly Heinrichstraße) is a street in Hamburg's St. Pauli district. The narrow, short street is notorious for its prostitution (about 250 women work here), with the prostitutes sitting in windows and waiting for customers.

Entrance to Herbertstraße; red sign to the right of the gate reads "No entrance for juveniles under 18 years of age and women". The large cigarette ad reads literally, "...For more foreplay."

Historically, Herbertstraße was the only area where prostition was tolerated in Hamburg. In 1933, the Nazi authorities erected wooden screens to hide the illegal activities. Today, prostitution is legal in Herbertstraße and in surrounding parts of St. Pauli, as well as other designated areas within Hamburg.

In the 1970s police added signs advising youths and women against entering: the former for reasons of protection against harmful influences, the latter because prostitutes would actively seek to chase away any women who entered, thus causing trouble.

At present, Herbertstraße is still in operation and has become a tourist attraction for visitors to Hamburg. Similar, less well-known brothel streets exist in various German cities, e.g. Aachen (Antoniusstraße), Bochum (Im Winkel), Braunschweig (Bruchstraße), Bremen (Helenenstraße), Bremerhaven (Lessingstraße), Hagen, Minden (Rampenloch), Mannheim (Lupinenstraße), Essen (Stahlstraße), Duisburg (Vulkanstraße), Oberhausen (Flaßhofstraße), Düsseldorf (Hinter dem Bahndamm), Dortmund (Linienstraße), Hannover (Ludwigstraße) and Karlsruhe (Brunnenstraße).

Herbertstraße is not named after a person, but is part of a system of streets in the area named alphabetically after male given names (such as Davidstraße, Erichstraße, Friedrichstraße, Gerhardstraße etc.).


  1. ^ Staff (2008). Straßen- und Gebietsverzeichnis der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg 2008 (Hamburg list of streets and locations) (in German). Hamburg: Statistical office Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein (Statistisches Amt für Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein). ISSN 0938-636X. 

Coordinates: 53°32′52.99″N 9°57′42.78″E / 53.5480528°N 9.9618833°E / 53.5480528; 9.9618833